Today I’m bringing you a truly delightful recipe: my mulberry & white chocolate cream tart.
Picture this: sweet, juicy mulberries nestled in a silky smooth vanilla and white chocolate cream, all encased in a buttery shortcrust pastry.
Okay, now here’s an actual picture.
Mulberries aren’t a common ingredient and I think they need to be celebrated more! I actually have a mulberry tree in my back garden…. So expect a lot more mulberry recipes coming your way this spring.
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to create this delicious tart:
- Mulberries: these juicy red berries lend a unique sweetness to our tart. If you can’t find mulberries, don’t worry. Other berries such as raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries work wonderfully too.
- White chocolate: an indulgent addition that adds a creamy, sweet layer to our tart.
- Vanilla bean: a staple in so many dessert recipes, this infuses our pastry cream with a rich, warm flavor that’s simply unbeatable. It smells delicious too!
- Plain flour: the base of our shortcrust pastry, giving it structure and a delightful crumbly texture.
- Butter: this is essential for that deliciously buttery pastry we all love. Remember, the quality of your butter can significantly impact your pastry.
- Milk and heavy cream: these dairy products contribute to the creaminess of our pastry cream, making it lusciously smooth and velvety.
- Egg yolks: not only do they provide structure and stability to our pastry cream, but the yolks also enrich it, giving it a dreamy custard-like consistency.
- Granulated white sugar: this brings just the right amount of sweetness to our tart, perfectly complementing the tartness of the mulberries.
- All-purpose flour and cornstarch: these help thicken our pastry cream, ensuring it holds up beautifully when cut into.
Step 1: Prepare the pastry
Start by placing the plain flour, butter, and a pinch of salt into a food processor.
Blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also use your hands for this part.
Add a bit of cold water and blend/mix again until the dough just comes together.
Tip the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and press it into a disc. Wrap it up in cling film and pop it into the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
Chilling the dough will make it easier to roll and prevent it from shrinking as it bakes.
Step 2: Shape and blind-bake the pastry
Next, roll out the chilled dough to a thickness of about 3-5mm.
Use this to line a 9-inch loose-bottomed tart tin, trimming the edges as needed.
Prick the base with a fork and rest it in the fridge for another 20 minutes while preheating your oven to 180°C.
Blind-bake the pastry case with baking paper and pastry beads (or uncooked rice) for 15 minutes, then remove the baking paper and beads and bake for another 5-10 minutes until it’s just golden.
Press down any bubbles that have risen up and allow the pastry case to cool.
Remember: blind baking helps to prevent the pastry base from getting soggy. You can also brush the pastry with some egg whites in the middle of its baking time to create a ‘waterproof’ layer.
Step 3: Prepare the pastry cream
While the pastry is cooling, start on the pastry cream.
First, mix the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl. Then add sifted all-purpose flour and cornstarch to the egg mixture until you get a smooth paste.
In a separate saucepan, heat the milk and split the vanilla bean until it’s boiling.
Remove from heat, add the finely chopped white chocolate, and whisk until it’s all melted.
Add the milk mixture slowly to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
Pro tip: pour the mixture through a strainer if curdling occurs to ensure a smooth cream.
Step 4: Cook the cream
Transfer the egg mixture back to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly.
Continue whisking for another 30-60 seconds until it thickens.
Remove from heat, strain into a clean bowl, and cover the surface immediately with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
Allow it to cool, then fold in the softly whipped heavy cream just before using. Pour the cream into the tart shell and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Patience is key: Letting the cream set overnight will give you a firmer, easier-to-slice tart.
Step 5: Assemble the tart
Just before serving, arrange the fresh mulberries on top of the now firm cream. Melt a few squares of white chocolate and drizzle it over the tart.
This mulberry & white Chocolate Cream Tart is wonderfully versatile. Here are a few ideas on how you could customize it to suit your personal preferences or to simply try something a bit different:
- Berry swap: if mulberries aren’t available or you don’t like them, you could swap them out with any of your favorite berries. Or you could use a mix of fruit for a more colorful tart – this would be a great use for a leftover banana! Use in-season fruit for best results.
- Dark chocolate twist: for a less sweet but more intense chocolate flavor, consider swapping out the white chocolate for dark chocolate in the pastry cream. Dark chocolate pairs wonderfully with most berries.
- Add citrus: if you enjoy the zing of citrus, consider adding some grated lemon or orange zest into your pastry cream. It’ll add a bright, tangy flavor that will lift your tart.
- Nutty garnish: to add a bit of crunch and a contrasting flavor, consider sprinkling some chopped nuts on top of the tart. Almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts would all work beautifully (I personally like using home-salted nuts).
- Spice it up: for a warm, comforting touch, try adding a bit of ground cinnamon or nutmeg into your pastry cream.
Look for dishes that are light and complement the sweet, rich, and fruity nature of our tart. Here are some ideas:
- Bean salad: a refreshing bean salad with a tangy vinaigrette could be a great side dish for a light protein or an appetizer. Psst, always soak your own beans! It’s way better than using canned stuff.
- Smoked trout: trout has a rich, savory flavor that contrasts nicely with our sweet tart. And smoked trout pairs well with so many delicious vegetables.
- Stuffed mushrooms: stuffed mushrooms are one of my favorite appetizers. Their earthy flavor and cheesy richness are super savory, which is perfect before a sweet tart.
- Chilled gazpacho: a chilled gazpacho can be a refreshing starter on a warm day and won’t make you feel too full before you get to the tart. Want more ideas on what to serve with gazpacho? I got you covered.
Got some leftover tart?
No problem, here’s how you can store it.
Place the tart in an airtight container or cover it tightly with cling film. Then store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Before serving, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to take the chill off.
You can freeze the tart unbaked if you wish (cover it with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months), but once it’s baked, I don’t recommend freezing it.
The pastry cream can have a watery texture once thawed.
How to add a tart glaze
Adding a glaze to your tart can provide a shiny, professional finish and keep the fruit fresher for longer.
Here’s a simple method:
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of apricot jam or one of these apricot jam substitutes with a bit of water until it’s liquid. Strain to remove any lumps.
- When your tart is fully cooled and set, brush this mixture lightly over the surface of your fruit with a pastry brush.
What if my pastry cream is too thin?
If your pastry cream is too thin, you might not have cooked it for long enough, or you might need more cornstarch.
Try returning it to the heat and continue to whisk until it thickens.
Remember, it will also thicken as it cools. If it’s still too thin after cooling, you will need to gently reheat it and add more cornstarch.
Also thickening related: How To Thicken Japanese Curry
What if my pastry cream is too thick?
If your pastry cream is too thick, it may have been cooked too long, have too much cornstarch, or the eggs you used were too big.
To thin it, mix in a bit of milk and whisk to remove any lumps.
Mulberry & White Chocolate Cream Tart
- For the pastry:
- 240 g plain flour
- 160 g butter
- Pinch of salt
- For the pastry cream:
- 1 1/4 cups 300 ml milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise
- 50 grams white chocolate finely chopped
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup 50 grams granulated white sugar
- 1/8 cup 20 grams all-purpose flour
- Scant 3 tablespoons 20 grams cornstarch (corn flour)
- 1/2 cup 115 ml heavy cream, softly whipped
- For the pastry: Place the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1-2 teaspoons cold water and blend again until the dough just comes together. Tip out onto a lightly floured board or clean bench and form dough into a disc, enclose in cling film and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
- Roll pastry out to 3-5mm thick, then use to line a 9-inch loose-bottomed tart tin (you’ll probably have to trim the edges). Prick the base with a fork, then place back in the fridge to rest for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the pastry case with baking paper and pastry beads or uncooked rice. Blind-bake for 15 minutes minutes, then remove baking paper and beads and bake for another 5-10 minutes until just golden. Press down any bubbles that have risen up and allow to cool.
- For the pastry cream:
- In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together with a wooden spoon. (Never let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) Sift the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Meanwhile in a saucepan combine the milk and split vanilla bean on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat, add white chocolate and whisk until melted. Add milk mixture slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.) Remove vanilla bean, scrape out seeds, and add the seeds to the egg mixture.
- Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes very thick and it is hard to stir.
- Remove from heat. Pour through a strainer into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool. Just before using in the tart shell, fold in the whipped cream with a wooden spoon. Pour into tart shell and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
- Assembly: Just before serving, arrange mulberries (or fresh berries of your choice) on top of cream, which should now be relatively firm. Melt 4 or 5 squares of white chocolate and drizzle it on top of the tart. Serve chilled.