Fruit tarts

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Joined Oct 29, 2016
Hello all!
I need advice on fruit tarts. The boss wants fruit tarts added to the menu and I am having trouble bringing this to life. I only work 3 days a week so I need these tarts to have a shelf life of 3 days minimum. Does anyone have advice to keeping the shell crisp, fruit fresh, and keep the filling from sweating? Also low on labor. I guess I am asking for a miracle.

Here is a little background to understand the situation: I work part time(15 hours a week) as a pastry chef for a high volume bakery. They work mostly in breads so my department is significantly smaller than the rest of the operation. That being said my good are the bulk of their in-store sales (as apposed to wholesale). I supply three stores with products in addition to our own store front. It is all fairly basic, macarons, chocolate torte, cupcakes, mini pecan pies, and lemon bars. I push out a significant amount of product for the short hours I have available and I am pretty much maxed out. I feel in order to fill this request I will require an assistant, that is definitely not what my boss wants to hear. Any advice folks? Thanks!
 
5,508
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
You can brush out the tarts with chocolate which will make them pretty much waterproof. Problem is, no matter what fruit you choose, or what glaze, it will look like (deleted) after 3 days in the display case. Some places get away with sliced canned peaches and whole strawberries, or mango and whole berries.

Mind you a baked "open face" apple tart would hold up o.k. ...
 

chefpeon

Kitchen Dork
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Joined Jun 15, 2006
Ditto what foodpump foodpump said. I worked in a situation extremely similar to yours. When I did put out fruit tarts, and it was pretty often that I did, I instructed the salespeople that it was sellable whole for one day only. The next day it got sliced and sold as the dessert portion of our lunch special. Or it would go on the half price shelf, sliced, not whole. If I did individual fruit tarts, rule was the same. Depending on what fruits you use, you can squeak out a longer shelf life. For instance, one time I used canned pineapple rings, frozen blueberries, and mandarin sections. That looks nice for a couple days.

To save time, I would bake off a bunch of tart shells (short crust) at once; as much as I had rings/pans for. Once out of the oven and cooled, I would lightly brush in melted white chocolate to cover the inside bottom and sides. Into the retarder to set, then wrap and freeze. I always had a fresh batch of pastry cream on hand, so I throw that in a tart shell, cover with fruit and glaze. Once you have all the components, it's a pretty quick job to put it together. Also, a Tarte Tatin might be a good fruit tart to feature once in a while.....especially in the Fall.
 
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Joined Sep 26, 2017
I like to use egg white more than chocolate. It's not as moisture-proof as chocolate, but it gives a much more pleasant eating experience.

As for the fruit topping, you can try this stuff. I've used it with success, but your fruit selection will also be a big factor. Or you could do it the old school way of having someone cut up the fruit and top the tarts daily. We used to have a server do this at one place.


The filling will hold up better if you use tapioca starch, or better yet, modified starch.
 
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Joined Oct 1, 2006
Hi chefjess606,

If the real issue is "We need more fruit desserts" maybe hand pies would suffice or something else that can still be served three days after production.

If this is just a profit motive, offer to add a different item that has higher profit with less labor and/or ingredient cost. Bosses like items that have higher profitability...

Another option is to make all components and share the pain... On your off days others will have to complete them. "Put this filling, into these shells, and garnish with one of these". Make photo examples for them to follow.

Good luck!
 
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Joined Jul 3, 2008
You said "three days, minimum." Not doable, unless it's some hacked up facsimile of a fresh fruit tart.

.
 
5,508
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Ah cstanford, c'mon now, you have to think outside of the box...

"Fresh fruit tart" could be made with fresh apples, baked, then glazed. It'll hold for 3 days, provided its in a clear clamshell box. Not exactly kiwis, raspberries, and strawberries. But apples started off fresh, not frozen, not canned, or freeze dried.

If the boss can't accept any of the above ideas-- with sgmchef's suggestion of "sharing the pain" probably the best option, then I would probably say something like:

"Well, if I could make a fresh fruit tart that lasted 3 days, I'd be making a fortune with my own business, and not working here for X$ an hour"....
 
5,192
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
I personally feel the shelf life of fresh fruit tarts, directly correlates to the glaze that is used.
We only keep tarts the day of, but we use a clear spray mist glaze that would let it go longer.
If it's a busy weekend we will use a light frangipane or brown butter mix and bake fresh blueberries, apples, plums, etc.
Glaze, and they will go 2 days.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2007
What about a lemon tart with a berry garnish? The berries could be put on on the day of sale by any of the staff really. Alternate raspberries and blackberries, raspberry and blueberries (go with one rasp for every two blues, space them out further apart if berries are scares or really pricey...) can a rhubarb tart pass for a fresh fruit tart in your demographic? I've found IQF rhubarb to be more colorful (it retains a darker pink than fresh stalks) and you could do a rhubarb crumble/streusel tart....
 
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Joined Oct 29, 2016
Thanks for all the advice and ideas!!!! The conclusion we came to is to only offer the tarts on weekends, thus eliminating the need for an extended shelf life. I'm doing a shortbread crust with a pastry cream and mascarpone filling, topped with fresh fruit. Pictures will be coming shortly, my crust is resting
 
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Joined Oct 29, 2016
Fruit tarts are out!!! Boss is happy. I resolved the shelf life issue by taking a promotion and filling the tarts daily since I am in the store more now. I appreciate all the ideas, it helped a lot with the brainstorming
 

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