French Fruit Tart – James Martin Desserts

James Martin Fruit tart

I’ve neglected this blog lately, partly because I’ve been finding it harder to fit in trying new recipes but also busy. I really felt this tart was worth writing up. It’s a rubbish photo but it gives the idea of how nice this tart looks. We’ve started doing a regular neighbours dinner party where different homes contribute different courses and it was my turn to make dessert. It needed to serve 10 people but not with huge portions and I didn’t have very much time to prepare it and my time was going to be 10mins snatched her or there during the day. I love the James Martin Desserts book. It was a present from my cousin Shanaz who also loves to bake and cook. This looked impressive, wasn’t difficult to make (although the chocolate step was a faff see below) tasted lovely and was perfect quantity for 10.

This would make a lovely dessert for a country themed dinner party as it would easily adapt to a variety of flag designs with appropriate fruit.


  • 350 g puff pastry plus plain flour, for rolling out
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 85 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 a vanilla pod, seeds only (optional)
  • 200 ml double cream, half whipped
  • 100 ml fresh custard
  • small punnet of medium-sized strawberries, hulled and halved
  • small punnet of blackberries and raspberries
  • 1 large banana, sliced
  • small bunch of seedless green and/or black grapes, halved
  • 4 tablespoons smooth apricot jam (I used my own plum jam and sifted out the fruit pieces)


  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and cut out a rectangle measuring 36 x 20 cm. Place on a baking tray. Using a table knife, score a 1 cm border around the edge, making sure you don’t cut the pastry all the way through.
  2. Brush the border with egg wash, taking care not to allow any to dribble down the sides because this will prevent the pastry rising evenly. Prick the base of the tart (not the border) with a fork and chill the pastry for 20 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Bake the pastry for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Slide onto a wire rack to leave to cool. Once cooled, gently press the centre of the pastry down to leave the frame around the edge. [When I did this I had a lot of crumbs and flaky pieces, next time I’ll brush these off]
    James Martin fruit tart pastry
  4. Melt the chocolate and brush over the bottom of the pastry [this step was a bit of a nightmare because of all the flaky pastry crumbs. I used 200g white chocolate and had two attempts and as you can see below it looked a mess. I assume the chocolate is to seal the base so the custard mix doesn’t make it go soggy]. Leave to set.

    James martin fruit tart chocolate

  5. Add the vanilla seeds to the cream and fold in the custard. Spoon and spread the cream mixture over the pastry base.
  6. Draw shallow lines in the cream mixture to create even sections of the fruit, and arrange the fruit on top so that each section is a contrasting colour. [There was something terribly satisfying about arranging the fruit]
    James Martin Fruit tart almost finished
  7. Heat the jam and, using a pastry brush, glaze the fruit. Allow to set before serving.

Apple Sorbet – James Martin Desserts

Apple Sorbet

I was cooking Japanese for a dinner party recently and wanted a fresh tasting dessert (I forgot to take photo’s of the Japanese food so no blog entry). I have a lovely recipe book James Martin Desserts that was a present from my cousin Shanaz for helping at her wedding. It has many tempting recipes but most were not what I was looking for this time. His apple sorbet recipe fitted the bill, I thought it was lovely; it tasted fresh and was easy to make. It is very different to commercial sorbets which means it may not be to everyones taste. Quantities below serve 6.


  • 4 large granny smith apples
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp liquid glucose


  1. Quarter and core the apples but do not peel. Toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice. Place in a single layer in a shallow plastic container and freeze for at least an hour.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in 400ml water in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool, then mix in glucose.
  3. Whizz the ice-cold apples in a food processor, gradually adding about a third of the syrup to make a fine puree. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice as you do this. Mix in the rest of the syrup.
  4. Transfer the mixture to an ice0cream machine. Churn until almost solid, then transfer to a rigid plastic container, seal and freeze until required. Serve in scoops.