Vanilla Citrus Tart Recipe (video)

citrus grapefruit tart with vanilla filling

A tart that’s the definition of refreshing and delicious! My Vanilla Citrus Tart is made with a buttery, flaky pastry shell; filled with a creamy, vanilla pastry cream; and topped with grapefruit, orange and blood oranges citrus gems. You’ll love the combination of sweet and tart flavors in this tart!

Watch My Video!

Watch my video recipe and learn how to section citrus fruit into gems that you can use for any dessert. Once you try citrus gems, you’ll be hooked! Want new recipe updates? Subscribe to my YouTube channel to get a notification each time a new recipe goes live!

The All-Butter Crust

You’ll love the all-butter crust for this citrus tart! It’s flavorful, flaky, buttery – everything you want a crust to be! Plus, it’s super easy to make using a food processor! I always use a food processor for my pie and tart crust dough. It makes the job of combining the flour and cold butter so much easier than using an old-fashioned pastry blender.

I have a separate, in-depth video tutorial on ‘How to Make a Pie Crust’ you can watch here! Make sure to check it out for more details!

The Vanilla Filling

The vanilla pastry cream filling I use for this citrus tart is simply perfection. It’s not too sweet and it really brings together all the flavors of this recipe. It’s easy to make and you can use it for some many different dessert recipes, including using it as a cake or cream puff filling. For a more in-depth video tutorial, check out my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ episode!

citrus tart with vanilla custard filling

The Citrus Topping

The best thing about this amazing orange and grapefruit tart recipe is the combination of tart and sweet flavors! I love oranges and blood oranges and grapefruit and this tart recipe has all of those plus more! Watch my video recipe to see how to make the elegant citrus gems. Cutting away the hard, chewy fibers out of the citrus fruit really enhances the tasting experience.

More Recipes!

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Vanilla Citrus Tart with citrus gems with video recipe


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Vanilla Citrus Tart Recipe (video)

1 hour prep + 25 minutes cook
12 servings
Stunning citrus tart with a buttery crust, vanilla pastry cream filling, all topped with citrus gems from grapefruit and oranges!


For Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, ice cold
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream, cold

For Custard:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese

For Topping:

  • 2 of each: grapefruit, orange, blood orange


  • Prepare the pastry dough first. Place the flour, salt and sugar into a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds, just until combined. Add the ice-cold butter next; I recommend cubing the butter into small pieces and placing into the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes. Pulse the butter and flour together for a few minutes, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. With the food processor on, gradually add the cream, pouring it in a steady stream. Keep the food processor on and the mixture will come together into a dough ball. Shape the resulting dough into a disk, wrap it with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the custard, which needs to cool before being used. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small ramekin and add to the mixture. In a separate saucepan, whisk together the milk and flour. Cook over medium heat until the milk is steaming hot but not boiling.
  • Temper the hot milk into the egg mixture – add a little bit at a time and whisk vigorously after each addition. Once the milk and egg yolks are combined, pour the custard base back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, for about 5 minutes, or until the custard thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter. Transfer the custard into a clean bowl, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  • Preheat oven to 375F and prepare a 10 or 11-inch tart tin. Roll the chilled pastry dough out into a large circle on a lightly floured work surface. Transfer the dough and place it over the tart tin, then gently press it into the bottom and sides. Discard and overhanging dough. Pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles from forming while baking. Bake the tart shell in preheated oven for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. Remove and cool completely before filling.
  • Once the tart shell has cooled, finish the filling and prepare the citrus fruit. To cut the fruit into gems, first trim both ends of the fruit, then set up onto one side. Use a serrated knife to peel away the rind, including the white skin. Section the fruit along the natural segment lines, cutting away the citrus wall.
  • To finish the filling, first beat the softened cream cheese in a small mixing bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the cream cheese to the chilled custard filling and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • To assemble the tart, spread the filling to the edges with an off-set spatula, then top with citrus gems. Refrigerate the tart for a few hours to set the custard. Use a serrated knife to cut the tart when serving.


Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 1220IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1mg