classic strawberry tart

By catherine margaret o'donnell
May 13, 2018
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Author Notes: this tart is an easy showstopper for any warm-weather dinner table.catherine margaret o'donnell

Serves: 8
Prep time: 1 hrs
Cook time: 20 min

tart crust (adapted from Kate Lebo’s, Pie School, for a 9-inch tart ring, you will have leftover!):

  • cups ap (all-purpose) flour (320 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (12 grams)
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks, 225 grams)
  • extra butter or oil to grease pan
  • 1 cup beans for blind bake
  1. preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. fill a spouted liquid measuring cup with about 3/4 cups of water, plop in some ice cubes, and place it in the freezer while you prep the following steps.
  3. in a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. drop 1-tablespoon pieces of butter into the flour and toss the fat with the flour to evenly distribute it.
  4. place your palms up and curl your fingers back to scoop up the flour and fat. rub, rub, rub it between your thumb and fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl after rubbing. make sure you reach into the bottom and around the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour into the fat, until the mixture is slightly yellow, slightly damp. it should be chunky—mostly cherry-size pieces, the smaller bits resembling clumping, wet sand.
  5. take the water out of the freezer. pour it (slowly!) in a steady thin stream around the bowl for about 5 seconds. toss to distribute the moisture. as you add a bit more water and toss, the dough will become a bit shaggy and slightly tacky to the touch. press a small bit of the mixture together and toss it gently in the air. if it breaks apart when you catch it, add more water, toss to distribute the moisture, and test again. if the dough ball keeps its shape, it’s done.
  6. split the dough into 2 and form each ball into a thick disk using your palms and thumbs. wrap both disks in plastic wrap. refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 days before rolling.
  7. butter or oil the tart pan. once rested, take the crust out of the fridge and roll to fit your tart or pie pan. roll dough to about 3mm and use rolling pin to help you transfer the dough to the mold. fit to mold by giving yourself enough room so that the dough hits every corner of the mold, filling it as tightly as possible. press along lower edges to make sure it sticks. use the rolling pin to run along the top of the tart pan in order to remove excess dough from the sides.
  8. layer a sheet of tin foil or oven-proof plastic wrap on the crust. pour the beans or rice onto the tin foil to prep the crust for par-baking.
  9. bake the crust for 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 15 more minutes. these cooking times may vary from oven to oven so keep watch on your tart crust!

assembly

  • cups milk (360 grams)
  • 4 medium-sized or 3 large-sized egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar (120 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (24 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (24 grams)
  • 1/3 cup butter (80 grams)
  • 1/4 cup good-quality strawberry jam (or homemade!)
  • basket of strawberries (at least 20 small to medium-sized)
  1. pastry cream (while tart is in the oven): whisk together egg yolks and sugar while putting milk onto boil. combine egg yolks with dry components: cornstarch, flour, sugar. once milk reaches a boil, pour gently over the other ingredients while whisking. transfer all ingredients back to pot and heat together until thickened and bloopy. take off heat and add the butter. mix well and transfer to the fridge to cool down. (this can be done up to 3 days ahead of time.)
  2. while tart is cooling (in fridge, freezer, or just at room-temp), hull strawberries and cut to ~1/2cm thick slices. for reference, i got about 4 slices out of each medium-sized strawberry.
  3. once tart is cool, fill bottom with a thin layer of strawberry jam. follow with a thick layer of pastry cream, spiraling from the inside out. make sure to fill any gaps with extra pastry cream.
  4. layering the strawbs: organize your strawberries from large to small before putting them on the tart. start by placing strawberries along edge of the tart. once the first row is complete around the tart, add a second layer that staggers the first. repeat until you fill the entire tart, leaving just a small hole in the middle to plop three strawberries in for garnish. voilà!
  5. store tart in a sealed container in fridge. it should keep for up to 3 days depending on when you made your pastry cream.

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