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Strawberry Tart

We are in full swing here at The Cook's Atelier and the market is busting at the seams with the delights of the season. Here's a recipe for an all-time favorite, a rustic strawberry tart. This is the perfect summer tart recipe and you can adapt it according to what looks good at the market. Sublime! We also love making these into individual tartlettes. By chance, if you have a little homemade strawberry confiture in your pantry, it would be a nice additional layer just under the pastry cream.

Gariguette Strawberry tart
Makes one 9-inch tart (or 8 individual tartelettes)

1/2 recipe Pâte Sucrée (or see "The Cook's Basics" section)
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar

Pastry Cream (recipe follows)
2 cups strawberries
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. With a pastry brush, sweep off excess flour, fit dough into a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (or you can uses 8 tartelette pans for individual servings), pressing into the edges and using thumb to remove excess dough. Chill tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with dried beans and bake until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. Remove parchment paper and weights; continue baking until golden all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool tart shell completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream and sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form. Working in batches, gently fold whipped cream into pastry cream; set aside.

Spoon pastry cream mixture into cooled tart shell and spread evenly. Top with strawberries; dust with confectioner’s sugar. Tart is best served the day it is made.

Pastry Cream
Makes about 1 3/4 cups

1 cup whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split
5 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Place milk, vanilla bean and 4 tablespoons sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat; cook until almost boiling.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar until thickened. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and flour and continue beating until well combined.
Remove vanilla bean from milk. While whisking constantly, slowly pour heated-milk mixture into egg yolk mixture. Pour mixture through a fine sieve back into saucepan, and cook, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat, until it thickens, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in butter until melted. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly on the surface of the pastry cream; refrigerate until completely cooled.