Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart – Recipe by Ina Garten.

The great thing about Strawberry Tart is that most of it can be prepared well ahead of time! I made the pastry cream well in advance of our planned get together with friends and refrigerated and baked the tart just the day before. On the day of the party, I assembled and glazed the fruit.

I adapted this recipe from Ina’s book which taught me how to make  9-inch tart shell and fill it with pastry cream. She has these in individual tart shells which look really beautiful. I was surprised at how easy it really was to make. I love Ina!

I also love the flaky crust and rich pastry cream topped with fresh fruit. Tarts look beautiful, elegant and so sophisticated. I guess you can make it look as beautiful as you want, depending upon the level of detail (and work) you’re willing to put in. I generally go for easy and simple arrangements.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cold Crisco
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Method:

Combine the flour, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Put the flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

Add the butter and Crisco and pulse about 10 times until the butter is in small bits. Add the ice water and process until the dough comes together. Dump on a well- floured board and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out the dough and fit into a 9-inch tart pan with removable sides. Don’t stretch the dough when placing it in the pan or it will shrink during baking.

Cut off the excess by rolling the pin across the top of the pan. Line the tart shell with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, butter side down, and fill it with dried beans or rice.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and foil and prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork to allow the steam to escape. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Note: To make ahead, wrap the cooled tart shell and store at room temperature. Store the pastry cream in the refrigerator.

PASTRY CREAM (recipe can also be found in The Barefoot Contessa cookbook)

Makes 2 1/2 cups

  • 5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups scalded milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Cognac
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.

With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture.

Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously.

Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding.

Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.

 

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