A classic of classics: pastry cream tart with strawberries. To make it you need 3 components: a delicious and crispy tart shell, soft and delicious pastry cream and sweet strawberries to finish.
This week I uploaded my recipes for my favourite tart dough and also pastry cream and so here are two videos when I make these components. As a matter of fact, on the video where I make the pastry cream, I also show how to assemble this tart.
This is a perfect summer dessert because fruits become soooo juicy and sweet that we need to enjoy them! I used strawberries for this pastry cream tart but you can use any other berry, mangoes, kiwi, oranges, etc! Get creative with how you arrange the fruit on top of the pastry cream.
The best thing, if you can, is to spread the pastry cream and arrange the fruit right before serving it. As minutes go by, the pastry cream develops a harder crust on top that doesn’t look so good. Also, the fruit releases juices and can dye the pastry cream as well.
For the dough
- 150 g unsalted butter soft at room temperatura
- ½ tsp salt
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 250 g all-purpose flour
For the filling
- 8 egg yolks
- 25 g all-purpose flour
- 25 g cornstarch / cornflour
- 100 g sugar
- 500 ml milk any kind
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 500 g strawberries
For the dough
- Whisk together the butter with the sugar and salt until it’s creamy and homogeneous. At this point, you could also add spices and citrus fruits’ zest if you like.
- Add the egg and whisk it in until it’s back to creamy (it will look split at first).
- Add the flour and mix it in using a spatula. When the spatula doesn’t help anymore, finish mixing with your hands. Place the dough on a clean surface and knead only until fully homogeneous and no longer sticking to your hands. Don’t knead it more than what’s necessary; only enough to mix it.
For the tart assembly
- Roll out the dough in between two sheets of baking paper. It needs to be 2mm thick. Once you’ve achieved this, take the dough (with paper and all) into the fridge for 2 hours or until it’s firm and a maximum of 2 days. I first placed it on a chopping board and then put that into the fridge to keep it flat.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and unstick the paper from both sides and then only keep the paper that’s under the tart. We’re doing this only so that the dough isn’t completely stuck to the paper. Use the tart ring to cut the base disc. If you’re using a removable bottom tart pan then cut around the removable bottom base with a small knife.
- In the case of the tart ring, cut the paper around the ring using a knife or a pair of scissors. Place the paper, dough and ring onto a dish that can fit your freezer. If you’re using a removable bottom pan, lift the dough carefully and place it inside the pan with the base on. If it breaks in half don’t worry – you can stick it back in place by gently pressing on it.
- For the sides, cut strips of dough that are thicker than the height of the tart. Place one strip at a time around the edge, pressing gently to stick them in place. Keep going until you’ve reached the last one. The last strip you arrange it in place and use a knife to cut it to the edge of the start of the first one you laid out. I think it’s easier to understand if you watch the video above.
- Use a non-dented small knife to cut the edge to the rim of the pan or ring.
- Freeze the dough inside the pan or ring for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
For baking and unmolding
- Preheat your oven to 160°C / 320°F.
- Remove the dough from the freezer and poke it at the base 4-6 times with a fork to prevent it from inflating.
- Bake the tart immediately (yes, while frozen!) for 12-18 minutes. The first time you make it you want to be really careful and take a close look as it cooks because it goes from light golden to dark in very little time.
- Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool down completely before unmolding.
- The dough always shrinks a little as it bakes, so to remove the ring you only need to lift it carefully. In the case of the removable bottom pan, you need to place it on top of a bowl and help the sides slide down slowly. At this point, you should be able to lift the tart shell from the base.
Para la crema pastelera
- Place half the sugar in a bowl. Add the egg yolks. After adding each egg yolk, mix them using a whisk to prevent them from generating a crust that doesn’t dissolve later.
- Add the flour and cornstarch/cornflour and whisk together with the yolks.
- In a small saucepan, place the milk and mix it with the other half of the sugar, salt and vanilla. Heat it up until it steams; don’t let it boil.
- While whisking the yolks, add about ¼ of the milk onto them. Whisk vigorously.
- Add the rest of the milk and mix. You can now do it more calmly.
- Return the mix into the saucepan and heat it up over medium-low heat, mixing all the time. Once it starts to boil, leave it in for a couple of seconds and then remove it from the heat and saucepan to stop the cooking process. If you leave it on the heat or in the saucepan for longer, it could split.
- I placed the pastry cream straight into the pastry bag that I was going to use to fill up the tart. You can also place it in a bowl and cover it with plastic or silicone, making sure that it touches the surface of the pastry cream to prevent it from forming a crust where it meets the air.
- Slice the strawberries and line them in circles towards the centre. Finish with edible flowers and mint leaves.