Oh strawberry tart, how much do I love thee? Let me count thee ways!
(strawberry tart before adding the jam glaze)
Is there ever an occasion that would not benefit from the presence of a good tart? Whether the edible or titillating kind, I think we can all agree that a tart is always fun. Hunky and I entertained some friends this week and no surprise, he made risotto. I reminded him to make sure he cooked extra this time. When we had Bald Eagle and Lemongrass over last, there was barely enough the first round. Then Bald Eagle beat everyone to seconds and that was it. Not a single grain left in the pan. Sigh. Oh well, food always tastes better when there isn't enough to go around right? I took care of dessert and after looking through my usual repertoire of recipes, I decided to make a fresh, creamy and luscious strawberry tart. I haven't made one of these since university and let me tell you, that was quite a while ago. I made a sweet pastry dough, added a layer of chocolate ganache, filled it with creme patisserie, topped it with fresh strawberries brushed with diluted jam. Scrumptious! Even if I do say so myself. Below is the recipe. It may seem like quite a lot of work but everything is pretty quick and easy. Its definitely worth the effort!
Sweet tart dough (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking)
You will need a loose base 9" fluted pan
- 1.5 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 110g very cold unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in food processor and pulse a couple of time to combine. I don't have a food processor, my mixer worked just fine.
- Scatter pieces of butter and pulse to combine
- Stir the yolk to break it up a little and pour into mixture
- The dough will barely hold together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped.
- Butter the tart pan and press the dough into the pan. Do this fairly quickly as the dough will start feeling oily in this heat of ours. Pop it into the freezer for at least half hour.
- Heat up the oven to 190C. Prick dough all over with a fork. Butter a piece of foil (shiny side) that is large enough to cover the pan. Place it firmly over the dough shiny side down and bake for 20-30 mins depending on your oven. Mine was a little too brown on one side.
Creme patisserie (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking)
- 2 cups milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup corn flour
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 60g unsalted butter, cut into smallish cubes
- Bring the milk to boil in a small saucepan
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of milk to temper the yolk mixture.
- Whisk in the rest of the milk and place pan over medium heat, whisking all the while. It will thicken quite suddenly. Don't worry if it looks very thick and "dry".
- Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for a few minutes before adding in chopped up cubes of butter. The mixture will become smooth and silky.
- Pour into container and place piece of cling wrap over to prevent a film forming. Refrigerate once cooled.
- Melt 125g of plain, dark or cooking chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of cream and whisk together. Don't worry if it seizes up, just keep whisking and it will become smooth and glossy again.
Assembling the tart
- Pour in ganache and spread evenly around the bottom and sides. Place in fridge to firm up quickly.
- The creme patisserie will be quite stiff from the fridge but a good whisk will restore it to its creamy glory. Pour into tart and level the top before placing strawberries on top.
- Dilute 1/3 cup of jam with 1 tsp water and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Spoon or brush over the top of the strawberries. Voila!
Luscious, tarty, sweet and delicious, not unlike me!