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Fresh strawberries with an individual strawberry tart in a small dish.

Strawberry Tart | Tarte aux Fraises

Tarte Aux Fraises - a classic French Strawberry Tart filled with silky smooth crème pâtissière, topped with juicy fresh strawberries under a strawberry glaze. It's the perfect summer dessert !
4.98 from 48 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 portions
Calories: 337kcal
Author: Sarah James
portions

Equipment

  • 1 stand mixer - I used a KitchenAid or a large bowl and wooden spoon if mixing by hand
  • 1 medium heavy based saucepan
  • 1 large Pyrex mixing bowl
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 set of baking beans / pie weights or rice, dried peas, lentils, beans
  • 1 sheet baking parchment
  • 1 25 cm / 10 inch fluted, loose bottomed tart tin or 8 x 9cm / 3 ½ inch individual tart tins
  • 1 silicone pastry brush

Ingredients

Crème Pâtissière:

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour / cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 350 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar

Pâte Sucrée | Sweet Shortcrust pastry

  • 125 g softened butter cut into small cubes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 50 g icing sugar 4 tablespoons
  • 1 large egg
  • 50 g ground almonds / almond meal
  • 200 g plain flour / all purpose flour


Topping:

  • 300 g strawberries hulled and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry jelly or warmed and sieved strawberry jam. or 2 to 3 tablespoons of icing sugar for dredging.

Instructions

Make your pastry:

  • In a stand mixer, use a paddle attachment at medium speed to cream the softened butter, salt and icing sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy - this should take about 2 minutes.
  • Add egg and half of the flour. Mix on a slow speed until the flour is incorporated.
  • Remove the bowl from the machine before adding the ground almonds and the remainder of the flour.
  • Bring the pastry together and mix by hand but avoid overworking it.
  • Wrap your pastry with cling film / plastic wrap before refrigerating it for between 30 minutes and a couple of hours.
  • Grease 1 x 25cm (10 inch) loose bottomed flan tin or 8 x 9cm (3 ½ inch) individual tart tins.
  • Roll out your pastry between two sheets of baking parchment to prevent it from sticking to everything.
  • Make sure the pastry circle is appropriately sized for your flan tin. The circle needs to be a touch larger than the diameter of your flan tin plus twice the tin depth. Ideally, the pastry thickness should be about that of a £1 coin (3 mm / ⅛ inch.)
  • Carefully line your flan tin with pastry. Gently press the pastry so it lays flat on the bottom of the tin and then follows the shaped side. Try not to stretch the malleable pastry, patching any cracks that might appear.
  • Trim off excess pastry but leave the sides slightly higher than the flan tin in case of shrinkage.
  • Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork before popping in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  • Line your pastry case (or cases) with baking parchment and fill with ceramic beans, rice or dried beans.

Make your creme patissiere:

  • Heat the milk in a saucepan, bringing it almost to the boil before setting aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until light in colour before stirring in the cornflour.
  • Pour about 100 ml of hot milk onto the egg mix, whisking all the time. Keep whisking as you add the rest of the milk in a couple of stages.
  • Transfer the mixing bowl contents to the saucepan used for heating the milk. Continue whisking over a low to medium heat whilst your pastry cream cooks. Unlike other custards, pastry cream needs to come to the boil and be cooked through. Your custard will boil at around 90℃ / 194°F.
  • Once cooked, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Transfer to a shallow dish and dredge with icing sugar to prevent a skin forming.
  • Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge as soon as the custard is cool enough.
  • Leave in the fridge until required.

Bake your pastry case:

  • Preheat oven to 200℃ / 400℉ / Gas Mark 6
  • Large tart – 25 minutes
  • Individual strawberry tarts – 15 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and carefully remove baking parchment and beans.
  • Pop pastry case back in the oven for 10 minutes (large tart) or 6 to 8 minutes (individual tarts) to crisp up the bottom.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Store in an airtight container until required.

To assemble:

  • Heat the strawberry jelly or sieved jam and set to one side.
  • Give the creme patissiere a good whisk before spooning it into the baked pastry case and then smoothing the surface.
  • Arrange the strawberry slices in circles on top of the creme patissiere. Start from the outside edge and work into the centre.
  • Glaze the strawberries by brushing over with the previously heated strawberry jelly / sieved jam. If you prefer, dredge with the icing sugar instead of the glaze.
  • Chill for at least an hour before slicing and serving.

Notes

Pâte Sucrée
You can use salted butter if you wish, just omit adding salt to the pastry dough.
The pastry dough can be stored wrapped in cling film or plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Crème Pâtissière
Unlike other custards, pastry cream needs to come to the boil and be cooked through. If it's not thoroughly cooked for the proper amount of time the starches won’t gelatanise properly. Also, any amylase in the egg yolks won’t be inactivated and they will then react with the starches. This means you are likely to end up with a watery pastry cream.
Pastry cream will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated in an airtight container.
Can I freeze French Strawberry Tart ?
The custard and the strawberries prevent Strawberry Tart from being suitable for freezing. However, if you want to get ahead, the raw pastry or tart shell does freeze well. Store the pastry double wrapped in cling film or the tart shell in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
Optional Quick & Easy Version:
Buy a ready made pastry case, a pot of ready made custard, a pack of strawberries and simply assemble.
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 502IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg