You may think that a strawberry tart is for those more experienced pastry chefs, but I’m here to tell you it is simple and extraordinarily delicious. A sturdy Pâte Sablée pastry that won’t get soggy holds a rich Crème pâtissière topped with ripe strawberries and jam. Elegant enough to take to a formal dinner and simple enough to take to a picnic.
1 3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, extra fine
Just shy of a 1/3 cup cornstarch
Place milk into a saucepan, scald the milk. Once scaled whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a bowl. Slowly add the scaled milk, whisking to temper the eggs from curdling. Add the vanilla extract. Return the mixture to the stove and gently heat until thick. Pour into a bowl and cool, stirring often. Place a plastic wrap over the Crème pâtissière, making sure it is touching the entire surface of the pudding. Cool in the refrigerator. When cool, scrape into the cooked pie shell. Invert the tart onto a plate or bread board.
Hull the strawberries. Starting at the edge of the tart, stick them upright onto the Crème pâtissière in a circle and work your way in, using smaller strawberries for each circle. Melt a strawberry jelly with a tablespoon of water, brush over the strawberries and the custardy gaps of the tart. Make sure you snap a photo of this beautiful work of art before cutting!
Pâte Sablée pastry:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 egg yolks
Place the butter, egg yolks and sugar into a food processor, work them together quickly then blend the flour, and work into a paste. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 ” tart pan and *bake blind, then remove the beans, and return to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden and cooked. Watch closely: the edges burn swiftly. Let cool before filling.
*bake blindly is cutting a parchment sheet to extend the tart circle. Put dried beans to fill the bottom and bake according to instructions.