I love to go all out and make a fancy shmancy dessert for Easter - coconut cake, lemon pound cake with coconut glaze, coconut cream pie, lemon bars with coconut crust {Yes, in my head coconut + lemon = Easter} This is all fine and dandy except for the fact that everyone gorges on chocolate and jelly beans and the dessert just sits around, in all it's unappreciated glory.

Last year I decided to do something lighter and easier to prepare. I found this recipe for an Easy Fresh Fruit Tart from my favorite recipe makers of all time - America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Country - everything they do is absolutely no-fail - classic basic recipes with perfected techniques. If you don't already own it, you must get their Family Cookbook

Start by gathering your ingredients.
Frozen Puff Pastry can be found in the freezer section of virtually every grocery store - if it's not in your store, you probably should find a new place to shop.
Fresh fruit - use whatever you like. In the past I've used a mix of all berries (blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry) but this year only the blackberries and raspberries looked fresh, so that's what I bought. Once you get the technique down you can play around and make it suit your own tastes - I'm thinking peach and blueberry would be delicious.
  Use whichever flavor jelly you want. I'm using blackberry but have used strawberry, blueberry and apricot. anything works as long as it's clear, smooth jelly and not jam {I'm sure jam would be yummy too}

This pastry technically could be made the day before you plan to serve it {store covered in the fridge}, but I think it's best to make it the same day. If it sits for a day the jelly, berries and cream cheese get soft and blend together a little too much for my liking.
The day before you plan to make this start defrosting your puff pastry. Each box comes with 2 sheets of pastry. Take one out, wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight to defrost.  If you forget to defrost the night before you can leave the pastry on the counter for an hour to defrost. In order to puff up when baked it needs to be cold when you cook it. If the pastry gets too warm, just stick it in the freezer for a few minutes until it stiffens up a bit - It should easily unfold but still feel firm.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and take out half a package of cream cheese {4 ounces} so that it will be room temperature by the time you need it {if you forget to do this, microwave for a few seconds to bring it to room temperature}.
Unfold the puff pastry onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper - if you do not normally keep parchment paper around {do NOT use wax paper or freezer paper, trust me} you can just stick the pastry on an ungreased baking sheet. The bottom will come out a little more browned but it will still be delicious.
Brush the pastry with egg.

Pop it in the preheated oven and set your timer for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes rotate the pan and cook for another 7 minutes {Yes. I HAVE to set the timer for halfway or I will forget. Every time.}

Look at that! Beautifully poofy.

After about 15 minutes total, remove your puff pastry and put it on a wire rack to cool. Did you remember to take out your cream cheese?? If not, DO IT NOW.

When completely cooled, transfer to your serving platter and cut a border around the pastry using a small serrated knife {or lets be honest, just use whatever you have - but these steak knives from Cutco are my favorite!}

Gently push down on the middle section leaving the border raised.

Stir 2 tablespoons jelly into 4 ounces of room temperature cream cheese until smooth.

Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the pushed down section of your pastry.

Microwave 1/2 cup of jelly until liquid {about 30 seconds}. If you accidentally over microwave your jelly, stick in the fridge until it's back to room temperature.

Add 3 cups of fruit to your melted jelly, gently stir until covered and spoon over the cream cheese mixture. If you forget to cover your fruit with jelly before putting on the tart, you can brush the liquid jelly over the fruit {won't be as pretty or as easy but it works. trust me.}

Voila! A beautiful, delicious and easy dessert for your Easter brunch. Or any meal for that matter.

What's your favorite Easter dessert or brunch item? Comment below and tell me all about it!
Easy Puff Pastry Fruit Tart recipe
by Tristin Rieken at ONEarmedMAMA.com


  • 1 (9 ½ x 9 1/2) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten, for brushing
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 package), softened
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons jelly
  • 3 cups (15 ounces) fresh berries (or 3 cups any fruit)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Unfold the puff pastry, lay it on the baking sheet and brush with the egg.
  • Bake pastry until golden brown and puffed, about 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway. Transfer the baked pastry to a wire rack to cool.
  • Once pastry is completely cool, transfer it to a serving platter and cut a ½ inch border around the edge. Press the center down about ¼ inch lower than the rest.
  • Mix the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of jelly together in a medium bowl. Spread mixture over the center of the pastry.
  • Microwave remaining ½ cup of jelly in a large bowl until melted, about 30 seconds. Add the berries and toss gently to coat. Spoon the berries over the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate until jelly is set, about 1 hour.
  • Cut as desired and serve.

Yield: 9 servings
Recipe adapted from: America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book


  1. MMMM I have all this stuff at home :)

    1. It's so good! If you make it post a picture of your creation to my Facebook!