Did you know that the first garden Strawberries were first cultivated in Brittany? Yes, I can say that with a proud face, squinty eyes and hair in the wind while staring at the horizon from the bow of my ship; a mixture of Clint Eastwood and Jacques Cartier, Breton explorer, Canada discoverer and Strawberry amateur who brought back some Fragaria virginiana in the hull of his ship… The rest is history.
After just a few years, the crop in the garden started to give so generously. I wanted to do my own – and from scratch – Strawberry Tart. You, know, the real deal, with crème patissière and all that. One of my favourite dessert and a French classic, where the fruit is using its natural fragrance and delicate elegance to deliver an amazing tart in a complex simplicity if that even makes sense. Well it does to me so…
For The Pastry:
- 200g of organic white flour
- 100g of butter
- 50g of sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 ice cubes
I mix the lot in a blender and then in a bowI where I knead the dough quickly with an extra drizzle of water if necessary. Put the dough in the fridge for at least an hour. Take it out of the fridge and let’s get ready for a bit of blind baking. Roll the dough and delicately lay it on a buttered and floured tart dish.
Cover then with a sheet of baking paper and I put my “clay beans” in the middle. You can do without, a bit risky so make sure you fold the edges over the tart and refrigerate for another hour.
For the crème patissière:
Ok, this is like a thick custard if you wish; you’ll need:
- 4 egg yolks
- 25cl of milk
- 25g of white flour
- 25g of coconut flour
- 50g of sugar
- 1 tsp. of vanilla essence
Start by beating the yolks with the sugar. Add gently the two flours and keep whisking. In a pan, bring the milk to boiling point. While you whisk, add the hot milk little by little to the mix. The second operation is to put it all back in the pan, on a low fire and with a spatula, keep stirring until thick. Set aside to cool and then scoop inside the cast of your tart.
Ok, we are almost there! The next step is to wash, dry and cut the top of the strawberries and then halve them. Start with a whole one in the middle of the dish, then work your way around it…
For the glaze, I use some apricot jam ( without the lumps) that I heat up for a bit and I brush the strawberries with it. It is quite neutral in taste and it looks great. For the finale, I peel roughly some unsalted pistachio…
Then you give them a good fine chop like this…
Et voilà, Tarte aux Fraises, aka Strawberry Tart. A bit of work, but well worth it!