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Classic Strawberry Tart

Two classic preparations, a sable pastry and a patisserie cream, for which you will find minor variations across recipes. The secret here is technique. You have to learn how to handle the pastry and cream and I will provide my own tips for this. The quantities are enough for a 20 cm diameter round tin.

For the sable pastry, in a bowl weight :

  • Flour, 130 gr

  • Icing Sugar, 30 gr

  • Salt 1/4 tsp

and mix well. Drop in:

  • Butter, 100 gr, cut in smaller pieces and cold

and start mixing with your hands, rubbing the butter with the flour, until the you have a uniform mixture resembling breadcrumbs. Then add

  • Egg yolk, 1 pc, lightly beaten

Continue mixing with your fingertips. The yolk will act as a glue, and the dough will quickly come together. Shape into a thick disk, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to a couple of days.

If left overnight the dough should be allowed to reach almost room T before rolling it out, so let it sit on the bench for at least 30 minutes. You should be able to roll it out without much effort and quickly. It is a delicate dough that requires as little handling as possible.

When ready to roll, remove cling film and place it between two big enough sheets of parchment paper, so that it stays covered by the sheets when rolled out. This trick helps the process greatly. Use a rolling pin to evenly open it out, by pushing from the middle outwards and rotating by 90 degrees every time. It should be at most 1 cm thick. Keep in mind the dough will contract when baked so leave enough of it, in order to end up with the height you desire on the sides. Place it, with both sheets of paper, in the tin. Place dry beans (or pebbles, or coins) on top and blind bake for 25 minutes at 180 degrees C , convection mode, in a preheated oven. Remove whatever you used for the blind baking and the top sheet, and pierce with the tip of a knife on various points. Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, to finish baking. Let the color be your guide, it should be golden. Allow to cool a few minutes, then remove from the tin by lifting the bottom sheet up. Place on a wrack and allow to cool completely before filling it with the cream.

Alternatively you can use a food processor for the dough, although I confess I prefer working my hands and avoid having to wash the processor any time!

For the patisserie cream, in a bowl, preferably that of a standing mixer, weight:

  • Egg yolk, 3 pc

  • Icing Sugar, 20 gr

and whisk well to ribbon consistency. Then whisk in:

  • Flour, 20 gr, sifted

In a small pan, heat gently:

  • Milk, 250 ml

  • Icing Sugar, 40 gr

  • Almond (or Vanilla) Extract, 1/4 tsp

and as soon as it starts to boil, slowly (i.e little by little) incorporate in the egg mixture, whisking constantly. When full incorporated, return to the pan and place on low to medium heat, whisking constantly (do not take your eyes and hand off the mixture until set!) for a few minutes it starts to bubble and thickens. Depending on the heat, it should take from 2 to 4 minutes. Strain into a bowl, and allow to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming. Another trick to prevent the skin is to dust the surface with icing sugar. Once cold it can be kept in the fridge for a few days.

Layer the cream on the pastry and top with thin pieces of fresh strawberries.


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