Strawberry Tart

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Summer time.

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In Scotland that means slightly warmer rain, muddy music festivals and beer gardens full of midges. We love it though.

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Summer also means strawberries, the undisputed sweet and sassy ruby-red queen of the fruits. While I reject the idea of baking with them, out of fear that their perfect raw-state sweetness would be ruined, I do wholeheartedly agree with adorning a fresh bake with them.

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This strawberry tart is the ultimate celebration of strawberries; light and crumbly shortcrust pastry with a creamy vanilla-laced thick French custard filling decorated with glorious Scottish strawberries. Mmmmmm…

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It’s a little more delicate looking than the neon-red artificially glazed strawberry tarts you see in Scottish bakery windows, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. While it may all seem a bit of a fiddle, this strawberry tart is completely worth the effort, it’s a proper good pud. If you can’t be bothered to make your own pastry, you can easily buy a ready-made case or ready-to-roll pastry, but please please please make the filling, it’s so much better than shop-bought custard or créme patissiere!

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Now stop staring and drooling and get into the kitchen!

You’ll need to start by making the thick French-style custard filling. Heat some full-fat milk and vanilla extract in a saucepan until just simmering.

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Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a large bowl until smooth.

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Once milk mixture is hot, pour it into the egg mixture and whisk quickly to combine.

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Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened significantly into a stiff custard.  Allow the wobbly custard to cool slightly, then chill it in the fridge while you prepare the pastry case.

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If you’re making the pastry by hand, rub the cubed butter into the flour and sugar with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. If you’re using a food processor, blitz all the pastry ingredients until they resemble breadcrumbs.

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Add the cold water until the pastry comes together into a ball of dough. If too sticky, add more flour, if too dry, add more water. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

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Once chilled, roll the dough out until it reaches the thickness of about a £1 coin. Lightly wrap the dough around the rolling pin, lift it up and unroll it straight into your pie/tart dish.

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(Shoutout to my socks)

Use your fingers to gently press the dough into the dish.

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Roll the excess pastry off the edges using your rolling pin and prick it all over with a fork. This prevents it from rising in the oven.

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Chill the pastry in the fridge for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven.

You will then need to blind-bake the pastry. Use either a scrunched-up piece of greaseproof paper or some clingfilm to line the chilled pastry, fill it with either some dry rice, pasta or (if you’re a baking nerd like me) ceramic baking beans and bake for 15 minutes.

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Remove the filling and paper/clingfilm and return the pastry case to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Allow the pastry to cool for a while. Patience, children.

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To assemble and decorate this glorious strawberry tart, whisk the cold thick custard vigorously to smooth out any lumps before tipping into and smoothing out in the cooled pastry case.

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Decorate the tart with sliced, halved or whole strawberries – or whatever fruit you like – and dust with icing sugar before serving.

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Now slice it up and tuck into this yummy taste of Summer!

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Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

Gorgeous summer time strawberry tart with sweet crumbly shortcrust pastry and smooth creamy vanilla créme patissiere filling!

Ingredients

    For the créme patissiere filling:
  • 500ml full fat milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 130g sugar
  • 45g cornflour
    For the shortcrust pastry:
  • 200g plain flour
  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold water
    To assemble and decorate:
  • Strawberries (or any other fruit you like)
  • Dusting of icing sugar

Instructions

    For the créme patissiere filling:
  1. Heat the milk and vanilla in a saucepan until just simmering.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk eggs, sugar and cornflour together in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. Once milk mixture is hot, pour it into the egg mixture and whisk quickly to combine.
  4. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened significantly into a stiff custard.
  5. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then chill it in the fridge while you prepare the pastry case.
    For the shortcrust pastry:
  1. If making by hand, rub the cubed butter into the flour and sugar with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. If using a food processor, blitz all the pastry ingredients until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the cold water until the pastry comes together into a ball of dough. If too sticky, add more flour, if too dry, add more water.
  3. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  4. Once chilled, roll the dough out until it reaches the thickness of about a £1 coin.
  5. Lightly wrap the dough around the rolling pin, lift and unroll in your pie/tart dish.
  6. Use your fingers to gently press the dough into the dish.
  7. Roll the excess pastry off the edges, prick the pastry all over with a fork and return to the fridge for another 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat your oven - 190 degrees for conventional ovens or 170 degrees for fan ovens.
  9. Use either a scrunched-up piece of greaseproof paper or some clingfilm to line the chilled pastry, fill it with either some dry rice, pasta or ceramic baking beans and bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the filling and paper/clingfilm and return the pastry case to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool.
    To assemble and decorate:
  1. Whisk the cold thick custard vigorously to smooth out any lumps before tipping into and smoothing out in the cooled pastry case.
  2. Decorate with sliced, halved or whole strawberries and dust with icing sugar before serving.
  3. Enjoy!

*Feel free to use any other fruit you like in place of strawberries!

*You can add any other flavourings or liqueurs you like to flavour your créme patissiere!

http://maverickbaking.com/strawberry-tart/

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