We were introduced to German fresh fruit tarts when we lived in Erlangen, Germany, in the late 1960s. The Germans call these tarts Obsttorte mit frischem Obst, which literally means fresh cake with fresh fruit.
Strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and cherries were the most popular fruit tarts found in German bakeries. The cake, or tart, is a sponge cake. We usually make our own cake, but the empty sponge shells can be found in the produce section of many supermarkets.
The cake is topped with a thin layer of pudding that acts as a shield between the fruit and the cake so that the fruit juice doesn’t totally saturate the cake. (It keeps the cake from falling apart.) The fruit is finished with a slightly sweet clear or red glaze.
These German tarts showcase seasonal ripe fruit. Our favorite tarts are made with strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, and peaches—or a combination of fresh fruit. You can also use canned fruit, but ripe fresh fruit works best in the recipe.
German Fresh Fruit Tart, or Obsttorte mit frischem Obst Recipe
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes per cake, plus 10 minutes for pudding, and 5 minutes for glaze
THINGS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- 11-inch flan tart pan (with indent)
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
- 1 cup vanilla pudding, chilled
- 1 recipe glaze
- 1 recipe sponge cake
For the sponge cake
- 6 egg whites
- 6 egg yolks
- 1⅓ cups sifted cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup water
- Non-stick cooking spray
For the glaze
We usually glaze our strawberry fruit tarts with Dr. Oetker’s Red Cake Glaze. You can also use Dr. Oetker’s Clear Glaze. You can find these products online (see ONO’s Amazon store) and locally. If not, you can make your own glaze (see below for directions).
- 1 package unflavored gelatin
- 1 teaspoon plus one cup fruit juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- ⅔ cup fruit juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh, frozen, or canned)
To make the sponge cake
1. Take eggs out of refrigerator at least one hour before using. In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder,salt, and 1 cup sugar.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat until soft mounds form then add ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.
3. Combine egg yolks, water, and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Beat a minute or two, until well blended. Fold egg yolk mixture into stiff egg whites until blended.
4. Spray two, 11-inch flan tart pans with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each pan about ⅔ full. Shake until batter is evenly spread. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes, or until cake is golden brown. Invert pan and cool completely before filling.
To assemble the tart
Spread ½ cup chilled pudding in each tart cavity. You can make your own vanilla pudding or pie filling, or you can use Oetker’s Whip It to cover the tart cavity. Arrange sliced strawberries on pudding until cavity is covered, overlapping fruit as needed. Spoon glaze over fruit until completely covered. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
To make the glaze
Glaze 1: Mix one package unflavored gelatin with one teaspoon of fruit juice until dissolved. If desired, add sugar. Cook until gelatin mixture is dissolved. Remove from heat. Refrigerate until mixture is thick. Spoon over fruit.
Glaze 2: Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Stir in ⅔ cup fruit juice of choice. Bring to a boil the boil for one minute, or until mixture is clear, then add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and mix. Let cool for one minute before spooning over fruit.
YIELD: 2 tarts, 10 servings each