A recipe to herald what (hopefully) looks like the early arrival of spring. With strawberries selling at five punnets for $10 at the moment, how could you possibly resist? I’ve been wanting to make some form of a strawberry tart or another after seeing the number of juicy red strawberries rolling out into the shops and thought this weekend would be the time to make one.
Originally I was going to try my hand at making Crème Pâtissière, but the amount of extra egg whites I would have left remaining was a turn off and I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to use them up (macarons???) later this week. As it is, I now have three egg whites aging in the fridge at the moment after making this – I’ll think of something, even if it’s just a speedy pavlova drizzled in passionfruit pulp!
So I ended up using a devilishly simple custard filling instead, based on this Strawberry Custard Tart recipe from Taste.com. I’ve used my own tried and tested recipe for the shortcrust pastry, however. This will give you four individual custard tarts.
For the pastry, you will need:
- 125g plain flour;
- 63g unsalted butter;
- 1 egg yolk;
- 1 + 1/2 t chilled water;
- 40g sifted icing sugar.
For the custard, you will need:
- 1 egg;
- 2 egg yolks;
- 1/2 C caster sugar;
- 1 t vanilla paste;
- 1/3C custard powder;
- 2C milk;
- 1/2C thickened cream.
To top, will you need:
- 1/2 punnet strawberries, washed, hulled and thinly sliced;
- 2 T apricot jam;
- 1T boiling water.
1. Process the flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg yolk and the chilled water in a bowl until combined, then with the food processor still running, add to the flour mixture. Process until the mixture begins to form large clumps, stopping before the machine forms a ball. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and knead gently to bring together. Form into a disc before wrapping in plastic wrap and refrigerating overnight or for at least two hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Make your custard by whisking the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla vigorously together in a bowl. Stir in the custard powder. Gradually add the milk and cream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
Transfer the custard mixture to a saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 8-10 minutes or until the mix thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Transfer to a heatproof bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap to stop a skin from forming, and refrigerate for an hour or until completely chilled.
3. Prepare your pastry by dividing the chilled round into four. Roll each portion between two sheets of baking paper before lining it into the pastry tins. Prick the bases with a fork.
Place a small square of baking paper into the pastry tins before weighing down with beans or rice. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes before removing the weights and baking for another 10 minutes until the shells are golden. Remove from the oven to cool.
4. Prepare the strawberries and slice them thinly.
5. When ready to serve, fill tart shells with the cold custard and arrange the sliced strawberries on top. Mix together the jam and hot water before using a pastry brush to glaze the top of the strawberries. Serve immediately. Yummmmm