Ever see those gorgeous shiny fruit tarts in the bakery display case? They’re so colorful and meticulously arranged that you almost don’t even want to eat them. How do they make those fruit tarts look so shiny anyway?
There’s been a few times where I’ve looked into the pastry case and the glaze was total overkill. I have no idea what they are using on it. Gelatin maybe? Whatever it was, looked very rubbery. My personal opinion is that less is more. I like it to look pretty but in no way take away from the flavors and textures of the tart itself.
Fruit tarts are brushed with a glaze for two reasons. First, it gives it that nice shiny look. More importantly, it preserves the moisture and color of the fruit. You can easily do this with your fruit tarts at home too. I promise it takes very little effort. Once you’ve made your own tart dough and pastry cream, the glaze is a piece of cake (or should I say piece of tart?).
Making your fruit tart glaze is actually quite simple. All you need are fruit preserves or jelly and a pastry brush. I prefer to use apricot preserves but you can use apple or red currant depending on what fruits you’ve used on your tart. Simply heat a few Tablespoons over the stovetop so that it becomes loose and gently brush it onto your tart. That’s it! Sort of…
Depending on the type/brand of jelly you are using, you might need to make a few adjustments. Sometimes it helps to add a small amount of water (1/2 to 1 teaspoon per Tablespoon of jam) and then heating it. Or if you find that it’s still too chunky you can strain it before brushing it on.
The use of this glaze is not limited to fresh fruit tarts. It helps preserve cooked tarts and makes them look shiny too. If you are looking for a delicious cooked fruit tart, I highly recommend my pineapple almond tart or cherry almond tart.