The best fruit tarts start with the perfect base of a crispy shell and creamy filling, culminating in a topping of vibrant fresh fruits. Traditionally, fresh fruit tarts in Lafayette, LA are topped with blueberries, raspberries, and sliced strawberries, kiwis, and oranges but can be topped with any manner of fruit you prefer. The fruit takes on its beautiful, shiny appearance with a glaze made of strained fruit jelly, typically apricot, mixed with water or a fruit liqueur.
The crispy base of most fruit tarts is made of a shortcrust that is blind baked in the oven before being filled. Blind baking is a method of prebaking tart shells. To keep the tart’s shape, beans or ceramic pie weights are used to prevent puffing and misshapen tart shells. Before the beans or pie weights are put in place, a piece of parchment paper is usually put down so they don’t stick to the raw dough. While shortcrust is the traditional pastry shell for fruit tarts, many bakeries choose to take a creative approach. Some bakeries use an almond sweet dough crust, like The Rolling Pin in Lafayette, LA. Almond sweet dough shells lend fruit tarts a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
The traditional creamy filling for most French pastries in Lafayette, LA is something called crème pâtissiere, which translates to pastry cream but is much more specific than that. Crème pâtissiere is a thicker, vanilla custard that can be piped. It is thickened with starch and egg yolks and cooked and cooled to the right consistency. Crème pâtissiere can be flavored how you like with chocolate, citrus zest, or other flavors you may enjoy.
Fresh fruit tarts in Lafayette, LA are at last topped with fresh fruit. And like most ingredients for fruit tarts, you can customize each layer to the season or your personal tastes.