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Strawberry Tart | Tarte aux Fraises

A classic Strawberry Tart recipe using summer’s finest juiciest fruits with a creme patissiere & homemade strawberry glaze – delicious!

Strawberries are the best of summer fruits. Nothing beats the pleasure of picking strawberries on a warm sunny day and popping them into your mouth, still warm and juicy with a flavour so sweet and so intense. Sadly neglected because of my knee operations, our strawberry plots have gone awry over the last couple of years and I haven’t been able to rescue the overgrown plots in our fruit garden. I’m saving what plants I can this year and 0H has promised me some raised beds for next year, so watch this space.

Our favourite strawberry dessert here at the Kitchen Shed is a Tarte aux Fraise, the traditional kind with a rich shortcrust pastry, a creme patissiere, the ripest fresh strawberries you can find and a glaze. When I have time, I like to make individual strawberry tartlets as there’s something I find so cute and delicious about them. This recipe gives instructions and timings for both a large tart and small tartlets – I did the same with my Easy Lemon Tart and it proved to be quite popular.

The Strawberry Tart is relatively easy to master and both the pastry case and custard can be made beforehand; the availability of good quality ready made tart cases and custards makes the recipe even easier.


Once you have your tart case and custard it’s simply a matter of filling the pastry case with custard, topping with strawberries and brushing with a glaze. We’re down to the last jar of our homemade strawberry jelly from a batch I made just for strawberry tarts – take a look at the Strawberry Jelly recipe for details if you want to make your own too. If you don’t fancy making a glaze to top off your tart, you can simply dredge with icing sugar instead which means making your strawberry tart really can be as easy as pie. Bon appetit.


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Strawberry Tart | Tarte aux Fraises
 
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A classic Strawberry Tart recipe using summer's finest juiciest fruits with a creme patissiere & homemade strawberry glaze - delicious!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Serves: 8 portions
Ingredients

Creme Patissiere:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 350 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar

Pastry:
  • 200 g plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100 g chilled butter, cut into small cubes
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (freeze the white for later)
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons water

Topping:
  • At least 300 g strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • Glaze:
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry jelly or warmed and sieved strawberry jam. Alternatively, 2 to 3 tablespoons of icing sugar for dredging.
Instructions

Make your creme pattissiere:
  1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and thick, then stir in the cornflour.
  2. Slowly bring milk to the boil. Remove from the heat and pour onto the egg mix, whisking all the time.
  3. Transfer your custard to your milk pan and continue whisking over low to medium heat until it comes up to a gentle boil, it must boil to thicken.
  4. Continue to whisk for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.
  5. Transfer to a bowl or jug and dredge with icing sugar to prevent skin forming.
  6. Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge as soon as the custard is cool enough.
  7. Leave in the fridge until quite cold.

To make the pastry case:
  1. Sift flour and salt into the mixing bowl of the stand mixer. Add cubes of butter and mix on slow with a paddle attachment until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar and briefly mix.
  2. Briefly whisk egg yolk and water in a small bowl before adding to the pastry mix. Mix on slow until the pastry forms. This shouldn’t take long at all, less than a minute – you don’t want to overwork the pastry.
  3. Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes until firm but not hard.
  4. Grease 1 x 23 cm ( 9 inch ) loose bottomed flan tin or 8 x 9 cm ( 3 ½ inch ) individual tart tins.
  5. Roll out your pastry to about the thickness of a £1 coin ( ⅛ inch ) making sure the pastry circle is large enough for the diameter of your flan tin plus twice its depth.
  6. Carefully line your tin with your pastry.
  7. Prick the bottom of the case with a fork and pop in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 200℃ / 400℉ / Gas Mark 6.
  9. Line your pastry case or cases with baking parchment and fill with ceramic beans, rice or dried beans.

Bake your pastry case:
  1. Large tart – 25 minutes
  2. Individual tarts – 15 minutes
  3. Remove from the oven and carefully set aside the paper and beans.
  4. Pop the back in the oven for 10 minutes (large tart) or 6 to 8 minutes (individual tarts) to crisp up the bottom.
  5. Leave to cool.
  6. Store in an airtight container until required.

To assemble:
  1. Give the creme patissiere a good whisk before spooning it into the baked pastry case and smooth the surface.
  2. Arrange the strawberries slices on top in circles, starting from the outside edge and working into the centre.
  3. Heat the strawberry jelly or sieved jam and brush over the strawberries to glaze or if you prefer, dredge with the icing sugar.
  4. Serve chilled.
Notes
Optional Quick & Easy Version:
Buy a ready made pastry case, a pot of ready made custard, a pack of strawberries & simply assemble.

 

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