This strawberry tart uses crème pâtissière to add creamy goodness to the centre.
Strawberry tart. Photograph: David Sleator
- Cooking Time: 30 mins
- Course: Dessert
- Cuisine: French
- FOR THE PASTRY:
- 250g plain flour
- 125g butter
- 30g caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- FOR THE CRÈME PÂTISSIÈRE:
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 vanilla pod
- 120g caster sugar
- 50g plain flour
- 425ml milk
- 30g butter
- 250ml crème fraiche
- 50g icing sugar
- TO DECORATE:
- 500g strawberries, hulled
- 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
Pulse the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor until it forms breadcrumbs. Then add the egg yolks, lemon zest and vanilla. Process until it forms a ball of dough. If you have to add a splash of water to get this to happen, go ahead.
Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill it for 30 minutes (or overnight if you fancy).
Roll out the pastry between two big sheets of cling film. Line a 25-centimetre tart tin with pastry, prick the base with a fork and chill for another 20 minutes.
Line the tin with scrunched up baking parchment and fill with dried beans or rice and blind bake at 180 degrees/gas mark four for 20 minutes.
Remove the tart from the oven, carefully remove the beans and paper and then put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until it is nice and golden brown and dry.
Allow the pastry to cool in the tin and set it aside until you are ready to fill it.
I find it’s easier to fill and decorate the tart when it’s still in the tin (providing it’s one of those tart tins with a removable base). It just keeps everything more stable. You can remove it from the tin and plonk it on a plate or cake stand when you want to serve it.
To make the crème pâtissière, whisk the egg yolks and the seeds from the vanilla pod along with the sugar until the mixture is pale and thick. Whisk in the flour.
Meanwhile, boil the milk and then slowly pour it onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time. When all the milk has been incorporated, transfer to a non-stick saucepan and keep stirring or whisking and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer gently, while stirring, for a couple of minutes, then remove it from the heat and put into a bowl to cool.
Wipe or rub the surface of the crème pâtissière with the butter so that a film coats the surface, which will help prevent a skin from forming. When it is at room temperature, fold in the crème fraiche, and icing sugar to taste. Fill the tart shell with the crème pâtissière and decorate with strawberries.
For the final touch, warm up some redcurrant jelly with a tablespoon of boiling water and when it is loose enough to coat a pastry brush, carefully glaze the berries. Serve in big wedges.