Really, I don’t know if there is. The strawberry tart is so French too. To herald the start of spring, it would be a wonderful idea to bake this tart and take it to a beautiful spot with green grass, spread a blanket out and sit around eating the tart and enjoying life.

Sure it’s a bit of work but well worth it. I remember in Paris you would see strawberry tarts, fig tarts, grape tarts displayed in the windows of patisseries and they would only be 2 or 4 euros! Really a bargain compared to what we pay here. Of course a home made one does taste better.

Whenever I make pastry I always make a double batch and freeze some. The other thing I do is bake a spare tart case so that if I decide to make another tart, half the is already done.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and people sing your praises for making such a beautiful dessert.

 

Recipe

Pastry or Pate Sucrée

Ingredients

175 grams of room temperature unsalted butter

125 grams of icing sugar

60m grams of almond meal

2 large eggs

1 egg yolk

1 vanilla bean

1 pinch of salt

350 grams of plain flour

Directions

Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean.

Place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and mix with your hands, until it has the texture of breadcrumbs.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix with your hands again. Sift flour and mix together until it forms a ball then place in baking paper and rest in the fridge for one and half hours.

Roll out and press into a tart tin with a push out bottom, greased of course. Then place some baking paper and fill with weights so that you can bake blind. You can use dried beans. Rest in fridge again for half an hour.

Place in a 170 degree preheated oven for twenty minutes or until golden brown. Then rest until at room temperature then fill with filling.

Pastry Cream

1 1/4 cups (300 grams) whole milk
1/2 moist, plump vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1. Bring the milk and vanilla bean (pulp and pod) to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and set aside for 10 minutes. Or, if you are using vanilla extract, just bring the mil to a boil and proceed with the recipe, adding the extract before you add the butter to the hot pastry cream.

2. Working in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, whisk the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together until thick and pale. Whisking all the while, very slowly drizzle a quarter of the hot milk onto the yolks. Then, still whisking, pour the rest of the liquid in a steady stream over the tempered yolks. Remove and discard the vanilla pod.

3. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously and without stop, bring the mixture to the boil. Keep the mixture at the boil, whisking energetically, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and scrape the pastry cream into a clean bowl. Allow the pastry cream to cool on the counter for about 3 minutes.

4. Cut the butter into chunks and stir the chunks into the hot pastry cream, continuing to stir until the butter is melted and incorporated. At this point pour the cream into the tart case and place the whole tart into the fridge to set.

You can save any left overs in the fridge in a plastic container.

Strawberries

You will need a punnet of strawberries for the top. Cut the strawberries in half after you have cleaned them making sure you remove the leaves. Pick the best looking strawberries and place them in a pattern of your choice.

Heat 1/2 cup of strawberry jam until runny and add 1 tablespoon of water, mix together and then pour over the strawberries to give that shiny appeal.

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