What do you get if you cross a crumble with a pie? A fruit streusel. This wonderful creation has the best bits of both baking traditions, with sweet pastry, tart filling, and a crunchy, nutty topping. Try our recipe – you might find streusel tart becomes a new favourite.
About Fruit Streusel Tart
Yes, you could make a lattice top or double-crust fruit pie, but streusel topping will save you time and effort. Streusel is a crumbly topping that gives flavour and crunch to an ordinary fruit tart. Once started, you may never stop making it! Streusel can be strewn over fruit or sponge cakes (during the last 20 minutes of cooking) and sprinkled on muffin batter for a pretty, crunchy top. The word comes from German, a derivation of ‘strew’, and streusel is today very popular in America. It’s similar to a British crumble topping, just applied to different recipes – and we think you’re going to like it!
Classic Fruit Streusel Recipe
Before starting on the filling (and variations), you’ll need a prepared sweet shortcrust pastry crust. Make this using the recipe under Making Sweet Tarts (or buy one for speed!). If you like, you can add the zest of an orange to the dough for a hint of extra flavour. Blind bake the sweet pastry for 15 minutes before cooling slightly and filling.
To Make The Streusel, You’ll Need:
- 6 tbsp Demerara sugar
- 6tbsp plain flour, sifted
- 4tbsp unsalted butter
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 4tbsp pecans or almonds, chopped
Weigh the flour and butter into a large bowl, and rub them together until you have coarse crumbs (the texture of porridge oats). Stir in the sugar, lemon zest, and nuts, and put the streusel into the fridge until you’ve made your tart filling.
Fill your tart case with fruit filling. If using juicy fruit like apples or rhubarb, it’s advisable to soften them first in a saucepan so that they render most of their juice (and discard this). If using berries, you can put them straight into the case. See below for some filling suggestions. You can also buy prepared tart fillings, or try – as Leith’s Baking School suggests – spreading your tart case with mincemeat for an unusual Mince Pie dessert.
Once your tart is filled, sprinkle the streusel over the top evenly. Put a baking sheet in the oven and preheat it to 190ºC. Put the tart onto the baking sheet, and bake for 20-40 minutes, depending on your filling – when cooked, the pastry will be golden, and the filling will be bubbling.
Ideas For Fruit Streusel Fillings
Once you’ve made the streusel, it can be used to top all kinds of baked tarts – from rhubarb to apple. Here are some ideas to get you started on your own creations…
Cranberry And Apple Tart – because apples are quite juicy, it is wise to soften the fruit filling in a pan and discard some of the juice. Use 2 cups chopped apples and 1 cup frozen cranberries, and sprinkle over about 3 tbsp sugar before softening the filling in a saucepan. Taste for sweetness, then strain it gently and spread the fruit in your pastry case before topping with Streusel and baking as above.
Apple-Cinnamon Streusel – soften your chopped cooking apples, as above, with a generous 4tbsp brown sugar and a pinch of ground cinnamon.
Pear and Raspberry Tart – thinly slice 4 pears and toss in a bowl with 1 cup raspberries, 3tsp cornflour, and 3-4 tbsp brown sugar. Fill and bake as above.