Despite the many shapes and sizes of tart pans you can fill your cupboards with, you don’t actually need one to make fruit tarts. By definition, a tart is simply a small pie made by folding pastry shell over filling. Free-form fruit tarts are just as delicious as their pan-baked counterparts and you can even use the same crust and filling recipes.
Things You'll Need
- Pie crust dough, refrigerated
- Rolling pin
- Baking pan lined with parchment paper
- Chopped fruit tart filling
- Pastry brush
- Beaten egg
Dust a clean, dry work surface with flour and then rub additional flour on a rolling pin. Use a generous amount of flour and keep a pile to the side of your work area to re-dust surfaces with.
Roll a handful of pie crust dough into a ball and place it on the flour-coated work surface. Flatten the ball with a rolling pin until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick. Add more flour to your work surface, the rolling pin or your hands as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer the dough circle to a parchment-lined baking pan carefully.
Spoon the fruit filling on the center of the dough circle, leaving a couple of inches around the edge of the crust uncovered. Scrape the filling back to the center if any gets on the outer parts of the crust; this won’t affect how the tart comes out.
Fold the edges of the crust over the filling, leaving the center exposed. Be as messy or as neat as you want when folding the crust -- it only matters that you fully contain the filling. Pinch the dough at folds around the edge so it sticks to itself if it won’t hold a shape.
Brush a thin layer of beaten egg over the exposed crust. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the egg to give the tart crust a sweet, crispy glaze. Both the egg glaze and the sprinkling of sugar are optional.
Repeat steps 2 through 5 until you use all of your crust and filling. Make the tarts any size or shape you would like. Separate different-size tarts onto different pans as they will require longer or shorter baking times.
Bake the tarts at around 375 degrees Fahrenheit on a rack placed in the center of the oven. Allow them to cool and then enjoy your rustic treats. The tarts are done when the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden and flaky.
Tips & Warnings
- If you don’t have parchment to line your baking pan, use a silicone baking mat or a thin coat of oil to prevent sticking.
- Free-form fruit tarts can burn quickly. Keep a watchful eye on them until you have an idea of how much baking time they require.
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