Fresh Strawberry Tart
When I found a crate of perfectly ripe strawberries last week, I knew that besides grabbing them by their stem and devouring them whole, I had to make a luscious dessert to showcase their beauty. Turns out that a light, pastry cream filled strawberry tart was just what the doctor ordered. This recipe was inspired by my mother-n-law Ferial’s beautiful tartes-aux-fruits, which she rolls out every summer when fresh berries are abundant and at the peak of ripeness (those of you who know Ferial will agree that she holds the title of the queen of tarts – and of our hearts!). Trust me when I say that this is one killer dessert…
The biscuity tart shell can be baked up to two days before you wish to fill it. Feel free to use any combination of berries you like. Kiwi, pineapple, and mango work beautifully as well. You can skip the apricot gaze if you like, but bear in mind that if you plan on keeping the tart for more than a day, I suggest you give the fruits a light glaze to finish to keep them luscious.
Makes one 8 to 9 inch round tart shell (or six individual tarts)
For the Pastry
- 250 grams all-purpose flour
- 1/8th teaspoon salt
- 110 grams unsalted butter (about 1 stick), cubed and at room temperature
- 70 grams icing sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon water
First, put your flour in a large bowl and combine with salt. Lightly combine ingredients together. Set aside.
Meanwhile, put your butter and sugar in another bowl and mix the ingredients until just combined using an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Gradually add half the flour mixture, and pulse to combine. Add the water with the remaining flour. Pulse until the mixture holds together.
Wrap your dough tightly with plastic wrap. Let it rest for thirty minutes, and up to one hour.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius (350 Fahrenheit).
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit until it is pliable. Roll until approximately 1/8th of an inch thick on a lightly-floured surface.
Carefully place the rolled dough on top of your mould and push the pastry onto the bottom and sides of the moulds. You can use your rolling pin or a blunt knife to cut off the excess pastry on the rim.
Carefully prick the bottom of the dough several times with a fork and line the tarts with aluminum foil or parchment paper. If the dough is very soft, chill slightly before putting in the oven.
Line the foil with baking beans or rice and bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the foil or paper and the beans. Put the tart shell back into the oven and bake the shell for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until it is dry and lightly browned. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
For the Pastry Cream:
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 cups full-fat milk
- 110 grams caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 40 grams corn starch
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream (use full fat whipping cream), whipped softly until peaks form
- A vanilla pod, split leghnthwise seeds removed (optional)
- A few punnets of fresh berries
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam, heated and strained through a sieve
- 1 pastry case, baked and cooled
Place the milk, vanilla pods, and seeds into a saucepan. Heat until scalding (approximately 165 degrees F if using a candy thermometer).
While your milk is heating, beat the eggs for one minute with an electric mixer. Slowly add the sugar. Continue to beat until the mixture develops a pale yellow color. This should take about five minutes.
Add the cornstarch to the egg mixture and beat on high speed for one minute.
Add a ladle full of hot milk to the egg mixture and whisk. Pour that mixture into the remaining milk. This is your pastry cream. Cook the pastry cream on medium low heat, stirring constantly (I mean CONSTANTLY unless you want scrambled eggs). Use a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula do stir.
Once the mixture starts boiling (you’ll see thick, popping hollow circles forming in the pastry cream) continue to cook for about one minute or until thick.
Strain the pastry cream into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer. You can skip this step if the pastry cream is very smooth already.
Let cool to room temperature. Whisk in the whipped cream. Spoon into your cooled tart shell.
Add your berries (be as creative as you want!), then brush with apricot glaze.
Refrigerate tart until cold, serve, and devour.
You can find more recipes like this strawberry tart here