Happy Valentine's Day!
Tarte Aux Fraises: Strawberry Tart
How deliciously beautiful, with a touch of Spring with fresh, large strawberries! A delightful dessert for Valentines Day. While the directions seem long, this is actually 3 parts that are made separately, with the crust and custard able to be made in advance. I have included a crust recipe, although you can use your own or buy a commercial one (homemade does taste better!!) This custard is fabulous and fortunately can be used in other recipes—eclairs, cream puffs, Boston Cream Pie or Trifle. The fresh strawberries are a slightly tart contrast with the sweet custard and buttery crust—each bite scrumptious! I used a glaze a marmalade—you can use Apricot, Strawberry or Raspberry Jam as well. Make the large tart for serving family style or make small ones, just right for an individual. C’est si bon!
After finding out her husband is unfaithful, cookbook writer Genna McGraw takes off for Paris for 6 months with a small advance from her publisher to write a cookbook with recipes paired with famous places, a “crossover cookbook/guidebook” such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre or Notre Dame Cathedral, which Genna pairs with a Tarte Aux Fraises.
The loves of author Carol Cram are evident, from her wonderful descriptions of art, food and, of course, Paris. What a perfect read for Valentine’s Day!
Tarte Aux Fraises: Strawberry Tart
Yield : 1 large, 4 small tarts; 2 medium tarts; 12 small tarts
1 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup cold, sliced butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons cold water
8-9” pie pan, 6" small tart pans; mini muffin size tins
In a food processor, blend flour, salt and sugar.
Add butter and pulse until the texture is like cornmeal.
Mix egg and water together. Add to the food processor while it is running. Pulse until a dough begins to form.
Remove dough from food processor and wrap in plastic wrap, flatten a bit, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Roll dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper, adding a sprinkle of flour, if needed.
Preheat oven to 375F (200C)
Roll out crust into pie pan. Press gently into pan, trimming off excess. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Line with aluminum foil and add beans or rice to weigh down.
Bake for 15 minutes, turning midway.
Remove from oven. Remove beans and foil. Return to oven for 5 additional minutes. Remove and cool.
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups milk of choice
Pinch of salt
In a bowl, whisk together yolks, sugar and cornstarch.
Heat milk in saucepan. When hot, pour milk into bowl with egg mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour back into pan. Over low heat, stir until mixture thickens. If the mixture doesn't thicken to be pudding like after 5-8 minutes, add more cornstarch mixed in water. Mixture should be pudding like for it to be used on the tart. This is especially true with the nut and seed milks. Remove from heat and stir for 1 additional minute to make sure custard is completely smooth. Place plastic wrap over custard to prevent skim from forming.
Cool and the refrigerate until chilled.
When ready to use, stir again.
Strawberries and assembly.
3 cups strawberries
4 tablespoons marmalade or apricot jam
Wash and hull strawberries. Slice evenly length wise.
Fill crust with custard. Arrange strawberries attractively on top, using more or less to your taste.
Heat marmalade until liquidy and brush over the fruit. Allow a few minutes to set.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until you wish to serve it.
Dairy Free: Use dairy free margarine in crust. Use a seed or nut milk in the custard (I generally used Almond Milk)
Gluten Free: Use Potato Starch in place of Cornstarch in the custard.
No added sugar: Use a sugar substitute in place of sugar (I use Stevia)