My rendition of the fresh fruit tart I grew up infatuated with is free of gluten and dairy but full of luxurious flavors. The silky rich pastry cream is at once insanely vanilla-forward, custardy and an excellent contrast to the super-short, salty-sweet and buttery (without actually having real butter!) crust. Fresh seasonal fruit on top is the crowning glory. This recipe does require a few hours of waiting for the components to chill, bake, cool and set, but it all pays off in the end when you slice into your gorgeous fruit tart. With that said, there’s a lot you can do ahead of time. The filling can be made the night before and kept covered and refrigerated until it comes time to assemble the final fruit tart; the tart crust can also be baked ahead of time.
For the filling. Add the almond milk, vanilla extract and salt in a small saucepan and bring to just under a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, add the sugar, tapioca flour and egg in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.
As the almond milk comes just below a boil, stream about half of it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat and whisk vigorously until thick and bubbly (you want the tapioca starch to fully thicken), for about 4 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the filling so it will not form a skin. Refrigerate until fully cool and set, for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.
For the crust: Grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray.
Make the crust. Add the gluten-free all-purpose flour, almond flour, oat flour, tapioca flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Whisk to combine. Add the cubed vegan butter on top. Run the food processor on medium until the dough begins to form clumps, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom. Pour in the water 1 tablespoon at a time. Run the food processor until the dough comes together in a smooth cohesive mass, 3 to 5 minutes more.
Transfer the dough into the prepared tart pan. Press the dough evenly along the bottom and sides, trimming off any excess with a small knife. Smooth the bottom with a flat-bottomed measuring cup or slightly damp hands. If there are any bare spots, patch it up using the trimmed off dough. Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the tart until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the topping: To assemble the tart, remove the cooled crust from the pan and onto a serving plate. Spread the filling evenly over the crust, smoothing the surface using the back of a spoon. Arrange the strawberries, kiwi, blueberries and blackberries on top in whatever design you prefer. Refrigerate the fruit tart to set for at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours before serving.
While any unsweetened almond milk will work, I recommend using something on the creamier side, as it will allow the custard filling to thicken and come together more easily.
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