With a delicate shortcrust pastry shell, smooth custard filling and topped with your favourite brightly-coloured fruits, these mini Fruit Flans are hard to resist.
The recipe makes 24 of these individual desserts which are sure to be a hit and disappear fast.
Fruit Flans: start with a great base
Here, I’ve used my homemade Sweet Shortcrust Pastry for the tarts.
You can, of course, use frozen shortcrust pastry or buy pre-made tart shells. However, if you have time, read through all of the instructions over on the Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Recipe post and whip up your own homemade tart shells.
All of the ingredients and instructions for the mini tart shells are also included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
The custard cream filling
To make the filling, you’ll need:
- custard powder
- icing sugar
- vanilla extract
- thickened cream.
Just make up the custard, allow to cool and then beat together with the remaining ingredients.
Putting the fruit in your fruit flans
I’ve listed the fruits I used here in the recipe card below.
However, you can choose to create your fruit flans with all of your own favourite fruits.
Brightly coloured fruits and contrasting colours work well.
Tips for perfect Fruit Flans
Fruit flans are best made no more than a few hours before serving, though they will last for up to one day in the fridge.
To prevent the base going soft, some people add a layer of chocolate to the inside of the tarts. This is an option, though I always prefer making them up fresh without the chocolate layer. To add a chocolate layer, simply melt chocolate and then add a teaspoon to each tart shell, tipping them from side to side until the entire inside of the shell is coated in chocolate. Allow to set before adding the custard filling.
While you could use frozen fruit, fresh is best here. The frozen fruits tend not to hold their form well and the colour can run into the custard and pastry.
- 125 grams butter
- 120 grams icing sugar (3/4 cup)
- 1 egg yolk
- 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 230 grams plain flour (all purpose flour) (1 1/2 cups)
- pinch salt
Custard Cream Filling
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons custard powder
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup thickened cream
- 12 strawberries
- 12 raspberries
- 24 blueberries
- 120 grams tinned peaches
- 1 kiwi fruit
- 2 tablespoons jam (any flavour to complement the fruit used)
- 1 tablespoon water
- Take butter from fridge and allow to sit for about 30 minutes.
- Chop butter into cubes and beat in a stand mixer on med-high for 1-2 minutes.
- Add icing sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Turn speed to med-high and beat again for 1-2 minutes or until mixture turns a pale colour.
- Add egg yolk and 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and combine with a spatula.
- Fold through sifted flour and salt. The mixture should all be a pale yellow colour with no dry of floury parts. If it seems too dry, add another teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Turn out mixture onto bench and knead lightly to form a ball. Wrap in baking paper and place into the fridge for at least one hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
- Remove mixture from fridge and break into two pieces. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 3mm.
- Use an 8cm round cutter (fluted works well), place rounds into ungreased muffin/cupcake tins.
- Gently press into tin and then prick the base with a fork 3 times. Chill in the fridge for 10-20 minutes before placing a paper patty pan into each tin and fill with pie weights or rice.
- Bake for 8 minutes and then remove patty pan and weights. Place back into oven and cook for another 2-4 minutes or until a light golden brown colour.
- Allow to cool completely.
Custard Cream Filling
- Heat most of the milk in a saucepan, leaving a few tablespoons in a bowl to blend with custard powder.
- Blend custard power with the few tablespoons of milk. Add to milk once milk is starting to steam and close to simmering. Whisk over heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Combine cooled custard and remaining ingredients and beat on med-high for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is combined and smooth.
- Dollop custard into cooled pastry shells.
- Chop strawberries in half and then slice each half into three parts. Arrange on top of custard layer.
- Slice kiwi fruit and then quarter each slice. Arrange a piece on top of the custard layer.
- Chop raspberries in half and place one half on each tart.
- Place one blueberry on each tart.
- Chop peaches and place one piece on each tart.
- Heat jam and water in a saucepan until boiling. Boil for one minute and then remove from heat.
- Using a pastry brush, carefully brush the jam mixture over the fruit.
- These are best served immediately, but can be stored in the fridge for up to one day.