Fresh fruit tarts are a classic dessert which make the most of summer produce. Our Strawberry tart with creme patisserie recipe takes you through how to make each separate component from scratch, though of course feel free to buy a ready made pastry case from your local supermarket if you prefer.
Servings: 6 people
For the Sweet Pastry
- 140 g Plain Flour + a little extra for rolling out (5oz)
- 50 g Unsalted Butter chilled, diced (2oz)
- 50 g Icing Sugar (2oz)
- 1 large Egg lightly beaten
For the Creme Patisserie
- 150 ml Milk (¼ pt)
- 150 ml Double Cream (¼pt)
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 75 g Caster Sugar (3oz)
- 30 g Cornflour (2tbsp)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
To assemble the Tart
- 40 g White Chocolate (1 ½ oz)
- 350 g Fresh Strawberries (12oz)
- 40 ml Double Cream optional (3tbsp)
- 40 g Semi Dark Chocolate about 54% cocoa solids) optional (1 ½ oz)
To make the pastry
Place the flour, icing
sugar and cubed chilled butter into a good sized bowl. Rub the butter
into the flour and icing sugar between your thumb and finger tips until
the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre of the
breadcrumbs and add the beaten egg. Using a rounded pallet knife, or
similar, cut through the mixture to make a dough. You may need to add a little
cold water or milk to fully bring the mixture together. Tip the dough
onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead the dough for 10
seconds. Shape the pastry into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in
cling film and place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.
To make the creme patisserie
.Pour the cream and milk into a moderate sized pan. Place on the hob and
allow to come almost to the boil. Set the pan aside. In a medium sized
bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together to combine. Add the
cornflour and mix until smooth. Sit the bowl on a kitchen towel to keep
it still whilst whisking. Pour half of the hot milk over the egg mixture
whisking all of the time. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan,
continuing to stir all of the time.
Set the pan over a low heat
and allow the custard to cook whilst stirring thoroughly all of the time
with a wooden spoon. If the custard starts to go a little lumpy as it
begins to thicken take it off the heat and beat well until smooth again.
Continue to cook the creme pat until a line can be drawn on the back of
the wooden spoon without the custard trickling back into the line. The
custard should be thick. Add the vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Pour
the custard into a clean bowl (passing it through a sieve if necessary).
Cover with cling film ensuring the cling film is in direct contact with
the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool.
To make the pastry case
Line the tart case. Remove the
pastry from the fridge.
Place the pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the pastry out
into a circle until it is about 3mm thick. Wrap the pastry around the
rolling pin, lift it up (using the rolling pin) and place into the flan tin.
Gently tease the pastry into the case so that it sits into the edges
well and picks up the shape of the fluted sides. If the pastry tears,
patch it with surplus pastry. Avoid stretching the pastry.
Trim away the excess pastry. Use a
pair of clean scissors to trim away the bulk of the excess pastry which
over hangs the sides of the tart case. Don’t worry about making it
neat as the pastry will be trimmed neatly after it has been blind baked.
Use a fork to gently prick the pastry base.
Cut a piece of grease proof paper large enough to cover the base and
sides tart case. Scrunch it up and open it out. Gently lay it on
top of the pastry, easing it into the edges. Weigh the paper down with
baking beans or uncooked rice or pasta. Place into the fridge to chill for at least 10 – 15 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 190c / 170 fan / Gas 5. Blind bake the pastry. Place the cases
into the centre of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
After 10 minutes, you may need to rotate the cases. Remove from the
oven and lift out the greaseproof paper which holds the baking beans /
rice. With a sharp knife carefully trim away the excess pastry to
neaten. Return the tart case to the oven and bake for a further 10
minutes until the pastry is golden and cooked through.
Cool. Remove the tart case from the
oven and place onto a cooling rack and allow to completely cool.
Make the chocolate ganache (optional).
Break the 40g white chocolate into a glass bowl set
over a pan of simmering water (bain marie). Ensure the water in the pan
doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Set the pan over a medium heat and
allow the chocolate to melt. Stir. Once the chocolate has almost
completely melted remove the bowl from the pan. Stir. Use a pastry brush
(or the back of a teaspoon) to apply a thin layer of the melted
chocolate to the inside of the pastry case. Set aside to allow the
chocolate to set.
Begin to assemble the tarts. Once the
chocolate inside the pastry case has set and the creme patisserie is
completely cold begin assemble the tart. Stir the custard thoroughly. Use a spoon to fill the pastry case. Avoid over filling it.
Arrange the strawberries on top of the tart. Wash, dry and hull the strawberries. Slice them in half. Gently place the strawberries around the edge of the tart cut side up and with the narrow part pointing away from the custard. Aim to use strawberries of similar size. Begin the next ring of strawberries, positioning them between the intersection of the outer ring of strawberry halves. Continue arranging the strawberries until the whole tart is covered.
Finish with a drizzle of chocolate. Spoon the cooled ganache into a piping bag (no nozzle required) (see notes b & c below). Drizzle the chocolate over the top
of the tart.
1 x 17cm(7in) loose based tart case OR 4 x 12cm (41/2in) loose-based tart cases.
Store in fridge until you're ready to serve.
a)Aim to source strawberries of equal size. Smaller ones would work better than larger strawberries, though if you have a mixture of sizes larger ones would work better around the edge of the tart and smaller ones in the central rings.
b) Use ready made pastry if you're short of time.
c) If the chocolate ganache has firmed up a little too much when you're ready to drizzle it over the tart(s) simply warm it through gently until it is the consistency you're happy with.
d) Rather than using a disposable piping bag you may prefer to make a small piping cone with greaseproof paper. Alternatively, drizzle the chocolate with a teaspoon.