Strawberry Cream Tart

Christy Rost

1 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup sifted cake flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Place flours, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Slice the butter into 5 pieces and add it to the flour mixture with the shortening. Pulse until the butter is pea-size. Add water and process until the pastry forms a ball. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and chill it at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pastry on a floured pastry cloth to fit a 10-inch round tart pan. Transfer the pastry to the pan, trimming it to overhang the pan by ½-inch. Fold the excess pastry over, forming double-thick sides, and prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Cool and set it aside while preparing the filling.

1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 quarts fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
½ cup plum jelly

In a medium saucepan, scald the milk over medium heat just until bubbles form around the edges. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.

In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar, flour, and cornstarch until it is thick and pale in color. Whisk a small amount of hot milk into the egg mixture to temper the eggs; then pour the tempered mixture into the remaining hot milk in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens, remove it from the heat, and stir in the vanilla. Do not boil.

Pour the pastry cream into a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until it is cold. To assemble the tart, remove the tart shell from the pan and transfer it to a serving tray. Spoon chilled pastry cream into the shell and garnish with whole strawberries.

Melt the plum jelly in a small saucepan over low heat and brush it over the berries. Chill the tart until ready to serve. The tart may be assembled one day before serving.

Yield: 1 10-inch tart

Category: Desserts