Thursday, March 13, 2014

La Madeleine Fruit Tart // Almond Tart Crust

For my upcoming birthday, B asked what I wanted. Past conversations:

Chef Uy: Can I have socks? Or pens? I kinda need some.
B: If I give you socks and pens for your birthday, that's not socially acceptable gift for a girlfriend, and my manhood will be judged forever.

Chef Uy: How about a pumice stone? I keep getting blisters while running.
B: You want me to give you a rock to rub your feet on as a birthday gift? 

Chef Uy: I don't know, I'll google, "what are good gifts for my girlfriend" for some ideas.
B: You suck at picking gifts. What's wrong with you?!
fruit mixed berry almond tart
This year, I decided to take the plunge and ask for a domain name for my birthday. I am SO excited! Yup, OCD is now legit! No more ending with a --> OCD is now!
french tart blackberry raspberry
How serendipitous that this La Madeleine Fruit Tart recipe is the first post under my new domain name since it's so nostalgic. I posted this originally in Sept 2010, and it's been one of my most popular recipes, so I decided to update it. Once a upon a time, OCD was just a random collection of recipes, and nothing more - no journaling, no pictures, nada. But especially within the last year, it's grown a lot. Not only is it a fun hobby, I've learned a ton about cooking, food photography, web design coding, and social media networking.

And I procrastinate even more than ever. But one can study medicine productively for only so many hours.
la madeleine fruit pastry
La Madeleine is a french cafe chain which has THE MOST AMAZING fruit tart. In an attempt to replicate their mixed berry tart, I've adapted this copycat recipe. I'd say it tastes pretty darn close to the original (dare I say, I think it's is even better.) The almond shortbread crust is absolutely key.

Oh for the record, this is proof ANYONE can learn to improve their food photography *shudder* From 2010 to now.
fruit tart food photography improvement

La Madeleine Fruit Tart

Almond Tart Dough:
3/4 stick unsalted butter slightly melted
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely crushed sliced almonds (or almond flour)

1/8 cup granulated sugar
2 cups milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-3 tbsp cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon amaretto (optional)

Fruit (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries blueberries)

Crust: Combine butter, sugar, egg, salt and vanilla. If not using almond flour, use a food processor or blender to finely crush your sliced almonds. Mix flour with almonds in another bowl, and add to the butter mixture. Do not over-mix; stop when dough is well combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight, or at least 2 hours before use.

Place the dough on a well greased tart pan, prick the bottom of the shell. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Filling: Mix 1/8 cup sugar to the milk in a sauce pan, bring to boil stirring occasionally. In separate mixing bowl, combine remaining sugar (1/4 cup) with cornstarch and egg yolks, mix well with a whisk. Once the milk is boiling pour some of the milk into egg mixture to temper, stirring constantly. Pour the egg mixture into the rest of the milk and return to the heat, stirring until the cream thickens and comes to a complete boil.

Remove from the heat, add the butter and vanilla. Pour the cream into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature.

Spread the cream into tart shell and decorate with fruit. Enjoy your La Madeleine fruit tart!


  1. Your tart looks wonderful and so does your photography.


    1. Thanks! When the photos look that bad 4 years ago, you really can't do anything else besides improve

  2. They taste as good as they look! :D

  3. I live in Denmark and there's a lovely little bakery near my office that sells something similar to these. However, because it's Denmark, they're very expensive, so they're reserved for very special occasions. I'm definitely pinning these for future reference... thank you!

    1. Hi Sage, hello there in Denmark! I've always anted to visit - my parents went but left the kids behind (boo!)

      This is definitely a special occasion sort of dessert, but well worth the effort. La Madeleine doesn't sell these cheap either so I totally understand.

  4. I'm confused about the crust instructions? You said mix flour with 1 cup sliced almonds. Do you mean like mix in a food mixer to make like almond meal or leave the almond slices whole?

    1. HI Katie,

      Sure, I've added more details in the directions. When you do it all the time, you forget to list detailed instructions because it's automatic for me haha. You're right, it's basically crushed sliced almonds, or you can use almond flour, depending on how much crunchy texture you want. Hope that helps clarify things!

    2. Also what type of milk did you use? Just like a skim milk or whole milk?

    3. I used skim milk because that's what I had, but whole would work just as well (it'd probably be even tastier since it's richer)

  5. I have just taken my tart shell out of the oven and my filing mixture is cooled. Do I wait for my tart shell to cool as well before pouring the filling into it?

    1. Hi there, honestly, by the time I finish the filling mixture and have that finished chilling/cooling, the tart shell has already cooled. However I bet it would be ok either way!

  6. As always your pictures look tempting!

  7. Could I use heavy whipping cream instead of milk? And powered sugar instead of cornstarch?

    1. Hi Casey, yes heavy cream will work. The cornstarch is to thicken the custard; I have not tried powdered sugar, but if you use heavy cream that is already thicker than milk so I would imagine it to be ok.

  8. I bet the almond tart dough is delicious! It looks so yummy!!

  9. Do you add a simple syrup glaze on top?

    1. You could, but I do not - I find you don't really need one

  10. Hi I like the idea of having almond in the crust. Thanks for sharing. Your tart mold is pretty big. Mine is the mini tart mold. How long do I need to bake for mini tarts? Same temperature?


    1. My tart mold is also mini at just 3 inches (the berries sizes for reference). But if yours is really mini then I would cut the time in half and monitor it until it turns golden brown.

  11. These are absolutely beautiful! You have a lovely blog and great photos!!