by Feli Chic'Cuisine
As the sweet scent of summer fills the air, there's one delightful treat that perfectly captures the essence of the season: the classic strawberry tart. Its buttery tart shell, velvety vanilla crème pâtissière, and succulent fresh strawberries come together to create a dessert that is both elegant and irresistible.
The vibrant red berries, picked at the peak of ripeness, bring a burst of sweetness and a hint of tartness to any dish they grace. With their tantalizing aroma and delightful taste, strawberries are truly a summer treasure that deserves to be showcased in a delicious dessert.
So, gather your ingredients, unleash your creativity, and prepare to embark on a delightful journey of flavors with this heavenly strawberry tart.
Choosing the Perfect Strawberries for a Delicious Tart
When it comes to making a delectable strawberry tart, choosing the right strawberries is important. The sweet and tangy flavor of strawberries can truly elevate the taste of your tart, making it a dessert to remember.
1. Opt for Freshness: Look for bright red strawberries with a glossy appearance. Avoid berries that have dull or dark spots, as they may indicate overripeness or mold. Fresh strawberries should have a sweet aroma and feel firm to the touch.
2. Seasonal and Local: Choosing strawberries that are in season and sourced locally can make a significant difference in flavor. Strawberries are at their peak during the summer months, so try to select them when they are abundantly available. Local strawberries are often fresher and have a more intense flavor since they spend less time in transit.
3. Organic and Pesticide-Free: Consider opting for organic strawberries, especially if they are available. Organic strawberries are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, making them a healthier choice. If organic strawberries are not accessible, rinse conventionally grown strawberries thoroughly to remove any pesticide residues before using them in your tart.
4. Texture: Look for strawberries that are firm, yet juicy. Avoid those that are overly mushy or have a waterlogged appearance, as they may become soggy when baked.
For a perfect tarte
Pastry Crust - To create the classic Strawberry Tart, you have the option to begin with a buttery, crisp pastry crust that you can make from scratch or save time by using a store-bought one. Whether you choose to roll out your own homemade tart pastry crust or opt for the convenience of a pre-made tart pastry, the result will be equally delightful.
For creating a buttery, crispy tart pastry crust that serves as the base for your strawberry tart. Follow these steps:
Mixing the dough
Chilling and rolling out the dough
Fitting the dough into a tart pan
Blind baking the tart crust
Vanilla Crème Pâtissière – This smooth custard, infused with the essence of vanilla, adds a luxurious creaminess to the tart. The delicate balance between the sweet strawberries and the subtly fragrant vanilla is a match made in dessert heaven.
For making a velvety vanilla crème pâtissière: Here's how:
Heating the milk
Whisking the egg yolks and sugar
Adding flour or cornstarch and tempering the eggs
Cooking the custard
Adding vanilla extract
Assembling the Strawberry Tart - Now that we have our tart crust and vanilla crème pâtissière ready, it's time to assemble the strawberry tart. Gently spoon the luscious crème pâtissière into the tart crust, ensuring an even layer. Then, arrange the fresh, sliced strawberries on top, allowing their natural beauty to shine. For an extra touch of elegance, you can brush the strawberries with a light glaze to give them a glossy finish.
Serve the tart as a delightful centerpiece at your next summer gathering, accompanied by a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of homemade strawberry ice cream.
Prep. time: 20 min
Cook. time: 20 min
Total time: 40 min
Serves: 1 tart, 9 inch (23 cm)
1 sweet pastry
1 egg, beaten
For the Crème Pâtissière
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
1 vanilla bean (1 tsp extract vanilla)
3 egg yolks
5 tablespoons superfine sugar
3 tablespoons all-pourpose (plain) flour
For the fruit filling
1-2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup apricot jam (strawberry jam), for glazing
powdered (confectioners') sugar, for dusting
fresh mint leaves, for decoration (optional)
To Make the Crème Pâtissière
1. Put the milk into a heavy saucepan. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean along its length, scrape the seeds into the milk, then put the halved pods in too.
2. In another saucepan, put the egg yolks and sugar, and whisk until pale and creamy. Add the flour and mix untul smooth.
3. Put the pan of milk over medium heat, bring to just under a boil, then slowly pour half of it into the egg mixture, whisking well. Add the other half of the milk and continue to whisk.
4. Put the pan over medium heat, bring to a boil, whisking continuously for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and scoop out the vanilla pods (if use). Cover the surface of the bowl with parchment paper (baking paper) straightaway to prevent a skin forming. Allow to cool.
Bake the pastry crust
5. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/ gas 6 (350°F). Lightly grease a 9 inches (23 cm) removable-bottomed tart pan.
6. Lightly dust a work surface with flour, roll out the pastry, and line the pan. Fit into bottom and side of tart pan. Prick the bottom of shell all over with a fork and bake for 20 minutes, until golden-brown. Leave the pastry crust in the pan for about 10 minutes, then lift out and leave on a rack to cool.
7. In a saucepan, put the jam and add the water. Bring to just under simmer. Don't let the mixture boil - the jam will become too gooey to spread properly. Press the jam trough a fine sieve to remove the pulp.
To Assemble the Tart
8. Fill the pastry crust with crème pâtissière and top with fresh strawberries. Using a brush, lightly glaze the top of the tart. Alternatively, dust the tart with powdered (confectioners') sugar.
Decorate with mint leaves, if you like.
“Taste, which enables us to distinguish all that has a flavor from that which is insipid."― Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin