This is the second part of my Parisian Strawberry Tart recipe. The filling is from Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets, the original recipe is Fresh Strawberry and Marshmallow Tart but I decided to omit the Marshmallows this time, so it is just Fresh Strawberry Tart.
The tart is scrumptious and definitely one I will make again. The pastry cream is lovely but not the best I have ever tried, I may use my favourite pastry cream recipe next time. That being said this tart was very very well received.
1 1/4 cups (300g) whole milk
1 moist, plump vanilla pod, split and scraped, or 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
3 tablespoons (30g) cornstarch
1 stick plus 3 tbsp (9 1/2 ounces / 160g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.
To Make The Pastry Cream:
Bring the milk and vanilla pod to a boil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cover the pan and turn off the heat, set aside for 10 minutes. Or, if your using vanilla extract, just bring the milk to the boil and proceed with the recipe, adding the extract before you add the butter to the hot pastry cream.
Working in a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until thick and pale. Whisking all the while, very slowly drizzle a quarter of the hot milk onto the yolks. Then still whisking, pour the rest of the liquid in a steady stream over the tempered yolks. Remove the vanilla pod and discard or save for another use (vanilla sugar!!!).
Put the pan over a medium heat and, whisking vigorously and without stopping, bring the mixture to the boil. Keep the mixture at the boil, whisking energetically, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and scrape the pastry cream into a clean bowl. Allow the pastry cream to cool on the counter for about 3 minutes.
Cut half the butter (80g) into 5 or 6 chunks and stir the chunks into the hot pastry cream, continuing to stir until the butter is melted and incorporated. At this point, the pastry cream needs to be thoroughly chilled. You can either set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and, to ensure even cooling, stir the cream from time to time, or refrigerate the cream, in which case you should press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal.
When the pastry cream is cold, scrape it into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Put the remaining 80g of butter in a small bowl and, using a rubber spatula, work the butter until it is soft and creamy. With the mixer on a high speed, gradually beat the softened butter into the pastry cream. Keep whipping until the pastry cream is light, smooth and satiny. The pastry cream can be used now or chilled until needed.
The cream can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days of frozen for 1 month.
To Assemble The Tart
1 x Baked Sweet Tart Shell (see part 1)
Pastry Cream (above)
4 cups (600g) fresh strawberries, hulled
2 tsps icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
Red Currant Jelly
Fill your baked tart shell with enough pastry cream to come about 1/4 inch from the top of the crust. Smooth the surface of the cream using and offset spatula.
Put 3/4 cup (115g) of the strawberries in a small bowl with the confectioners' sugar and, using a fork, coarsely crush the berries. Allow the berries to sit for 3 minutes, then turn them into a sieve and shake the sieve over the sink several times to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Spoon the crushed berries over the pastry cream, leaving a slim border bare.
Cut the remaining strawberries in half and arrange in concentric circles over the top of the tart. For the final touch warm some red currant jelly on the stove top or in a microwave oven and, using a pastry feather or brush, paint each strawberry with a little jelly. Serve the tart of chill it until needed.
The tart should be served cool, and it can be kept in the refrigerator, lightly covered for about 8 hours.