Strawberries. This time of year, is when British Strawberries are at their best! So delightfully sweet and juicy, I had to create a ton of recipes to showcase one of Britains finest fruit. Be sure to check all your local markets and traders to see if they have some! May and June is the best time to pick some up.
This recipe is a classic strawberry tart. It brings me back to my time at culinary school, when I was creating loads of tarts and french pastries like this. So simple yet delicious! It also remind me of holidaying in France as a kid, where we would always go to the local patisserie to pick up a freshly make 'Tarte aux Fraises'. In my opinion, the desserts and pastries in France are so superior to so many desserts and pastries around the world.The history and stories behind patisserie is so amazing, and there is still so much to learn!
This recipe takes you through a couple basics of french patisserie. Learning to make a sweet pastry and simple creme patisserie, topped with some luscious British Strawberries, to bring it back to Britain!
These tarts are best served with some cream or just by themselves. If you are feeling like you really need a treat, you could go a bit further with some classic vanilla ice cream!
Makes 6 individual tarts or 1 large tart- You will need 6 individual tart tins, or one large tart tin.
For the pastry:
200g Plain flour
70g Icing sugar
pinch of salt
For the custard:
1 tsp. Vanilla
40g Egg yolk
125g Butter, softened
1 punnet of Strawberries
A small bowl of apricot jam
1. Firstly, start with making the pastry. In a free standing mixer with the paddle attachment, place the flour, sugar and butter together and mix until it forms into breadcrumbs.
2. Add the egg and salt into mixture and mix until a dough is formed, no more otherwise it will become too tough.
3. On a clean, lightly floured worktop, form into a ball, and flatten it. Wrap in cling film and leave to chill for 30 mins- 1 hour until firm.
4. Once the dough is ready, using a rolling pin and a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to about 2-3mm thick. Use a knife to cut round pieces a bit bigger than the tins. Lift the dough carefully over the tin and gradually push the dough into the corners of the tin.
5. Use a knife to trim the excess off, and place back in the fridge to set again. For about 20 mins or so.
6. Line the tarts with cling film or baking paper filled with uncooked rice, uncooked lentils or baking beans. Make sure to pack tightly otherwise the pastry will shrink when cooked.
7. Cook in the oven heated to 170 degrees, cook for about 10-12 minutes, remove the baking beans, then bake for another 10-12 minutes, until the pastry is completely cooked and golden brown all over.
8. Leave to cool completely.
9. Now to make the creme patisserie. In a pan, place the milk, cream and vanilla. Bring to the boil.
10. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolk until pale and fluffy, then whisk in the flour.
11. Gradually, add the milk to the egg mixture, then pour it all back into the pan. Bring to the boil, making sure to whisk at all times to stop the bottom burning.
12. Once it has been boiling for 30 seconds or so, take off the heat and pour into a bowl. Leave to cool for a couple minutes then add the softened butter with a whisk, making sure it is all combined.
13. Fill the cream in a piping bag, and pipe into the tart cases and fill to the top. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge to cool down and set completely.
14. Now for the assembly. Using a chopping board and a knife, slice strawberries about 2mm thick, and arrange like a fan on top of the tart case.
15. Melt the jam, and brush over the strawberries so they have a lovely shine.
And that's it! They are best eaten on the day of, but are good for another day.