Showstopping strawberry tart
Strawberry season will soon be with us, and I can't wait to serve this simple showstopper.
- 1 sheet shortcrust pastry or a ready made tart case
- 1 ounce plain/all purpose flour
- 2 ounces sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 pint milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces strawberries
- 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 360 degrees F.
- Roll out the pastry and line a greased 9-inch pastry case. Be sure to press the pastry down into the corners and then trim the edges neatly. Prick the base with a fork and roughly line with grease-proof paper or parchment paper. Weigh it down with some baking beans or dried beans.
- Cook in the oven for 10 minutes until the base is starting to set. Remove the parchment and baking beans and return to the oven until firm and a light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- To make the creme patisserie, heat the milk over a medium heat until scalding hot. Add the vanilla extract. Put the flour, sugar, egg and egg yolk in a large bowl and beat together until well blended. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, stirring well, and return to the pan. Cook over a medium heat stirring constantly until boiling. Boil gently for 5 minutes. Stir well while cooking or it will catch. Don't be alarmed if it gets a little lumpy during cooking; it's normal. The lumps will go as it cooks out. Remove from the pan from the heat and cool the creme patisserie in a bowl.
- To put the tart together, fill the tart case with the cooled creme patisserie (you will need to give it a beat with a wooden spoon), spreading it out nicely in the case. Cut the strawberries in half lengthwise and arrange in concentric rings on top of the custard.
- Warm the jam in a small pan over a low heat until it is slightly liquid. Pass through a sieve, giving it a rub with a metal spoon to get all the jam through but keeping the lumps of fruit in the sieve. Allow the jam to cool before painting it over the strawberries with a pastry brush.
- Serve with plenty of pouring cream or some creme fraiche.