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. Later, in Heidelberg, we spent more time than we should say in bakeries drooling over these tarts and other delicious German pastries.
Strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and cherries are the most popular fruit tarts found in German bakeries. The cake, or tart, is a sponge cake. We usually make our own cake using a special 11-inch enamel Zenker flan / tart Pan. The edges of the pan are fluted and the center is slightly inset, leaving a flat even area to arrange the fruit. You can also buy the empty sponge shells in the produce section of many supermarkets.
The cake is topped with a thin layer of chilled vanilla pudding or whipped cream with Dr. Oetker’s Whip It 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 depending on the color of berries. I usually use the clear glaze when I make a blueberry or kiwi tart.
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. We usually glaze our strawberry fruit tarts with Dr. Oetker red cake glaze. You can also use Dr. Oetker Clear Glaze. You can find these products online (see ONO’s Amazon store). If not, you can easily make your own glaze (see below for directions).
German Fresh Fruit Tart, or Obsttorte mit frischem Obst Recipe
For the filling
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries washed and sliced
- 1 cup vanilla pudding or whipped cream chilled
- 1 recipe glaze
- 1 recipe sponge cake
For the sponge cake
- 11- inch enamel flan/tart pan
- non-stick cooking spray
- 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
For the glaze
- 1 package unflavored gelatin
- 1 teaspoon plus one cup fruit juice
To make the sponge cake, take eggs out of refrigerator at least one hour before using. In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder,salt, and 1 cup sugar.
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.
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.
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. Arrange sliced strawberries on pudding until cavity is covered, overlapping fruit as needed. Spoon Dr. Oetker cake glaze over fruit until completely covered. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Note: To make a glaze from scratch, 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.