Strawberries Tart

I've always like the fruits tart at Delifrance :) The crust is the best - crunchy :) I've been staring at tart recipes for some time, but did not have the courage to do it cos there are so many steps. I have never make custard before, neither have I bake a tart :p so I was also apprehensive about the outcome. Finally, 2 days ago, I gathered enough courage to bake strawberry tarts after finally purchasing 2 11cm diameter removable bottom tart pan :p

There are 2 ways of making the crust as I can see from recipe books and on the internet - the creaming and the rub-in method. Rub-in method looks easier after I read Eugenie's recipe :) I didn't know that an electric chopper can help prepare the dough :) This method seems to produce crumbly crust. I was so tempted to just do that :D But what I really like is a crunchy crust - and this creaming method in the 甜点新手零失败教室 book has a recipe on a Banana Custard Tart, which uses creaming method. Finally, I decided to follow the book and instead of banana, I decorated with strawberries :)

#Note: I adopted half of the Banana Custard Tart recipe, and the Custard cream recipe from this book


For crust (2 x 18cm diameter tart pan)*
- 150g unsalted butter, soften
- 80g castor sugar (I used 70g)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 250g cake flour
- 60g ground almond (as I only have 50g left, I used 50g ground almond & 260g cake flour instead)

For custard*
- 300ml fresh milk
- 5cm long vanilla bean or some vanilla essence (I used a drop of vanilla paste)
- 3 egg yolk
- 60g castor sugar (I used 50g)
- 25g cake flour

* As my tart pan is 11cm diameter, I made 3 x 11cm diameter tart, 4 x 5cm diameter tart (using cupcake cups), and one rectangle tart size of approximately 11 x 9 cm. As for the custard, I could fill all except the rectangle tart and one 11cm diameter tart.

- Bring butter and egg to room temperature (remove from fridge for 30mins)
- Sift cake flour together with ground almond


For crust
1. Using a spatula, cream butter in a mixing bowl. Once the butter is creamy, add sugar and continue creaming until the mixture turns pale.
2. Add egg a bit at a time to the mixture, and mix thoroughly each time.
3. Add sifted cake flour & ground almond to mixture and mix evenly. It will come together to form a dough.
4. Once there is no more trace of flour, gather the dough and distribute into 2 even portion. Wrap them up with cling wrap and roll them into 1.5 to 2cm thickness. Place dough into fridge for about an hour (so that it will be easier to work on the dough). Keep the dough in the fridge until you need to use it.
5. Dust the table top with some flour and roll the dough into desired thickness (mine is thick as I love eating crunchy crust :D, also I am lousy at rolling the dough). Actually, I would suggest that you watch some videos on YouTube or Eugenie's video, you will have a better idea on how to line the pan ;)
6. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the crust. Lay a piece of aluminum foil on top of the crust and put weight (can be beans etc) on the foil. Bake at 180 degree celcius preheated oven for 20 mins. Remove the weights, and bake for another 15 mins, or until crust is golden.
7. Let tart cool in pan.

For custard
1. Pour milk into a heavy bottom pot, remove paste from vanilla bean (I use vanilla paste instead) and add to the milk. At medium heat, heat until bubbles form at the sides of the pot. Turn off heat.
2. In another bowl, add egg and sugar, mix with a whisk until mixture turns pale, add flour, roughly mix.
3. Pour 1/4 of  #1 into #2, keep mixing, gradually add in the rest. Turn on medium heat and keep mixing with the whisk or wooden spoon to prevent mixture from getting burnt.
4. Once big bubbles start to form in the pot, heat for another minute. Once the mixture turns thick and shiny, turn off heat.
5. Prepare a big pan with ice cubes. Pour mixture into a separate plate immediately, covering the top of the custard with cling wrap (to prevent a layer from forming on top), and immerse the plate into the big pan with ice cubes. According to the recipe, this is to speed up the cooling of the custard, as it custard takes a long time to cool down in room temperature, this prevents the custard from turning bad.
6. Place custard into fridge until ready to assemble.

I am never good at rolling dough, so I experienced some problem rolling them :p I ended up pressing them into the pan most of the time. Fortunately, it appears to be a very forgiving dough. And after the custard cream, you can't really see the ugly crust haha :D

For assembling, fill the crust with custard cream with a spatula, smooth the surface, and add cut strawberries on top. I didn't glaze the strawberries.

I like the not-too-sweet custard. We all love the crust as it's crunchy and smells buttery :) In fact, one of my nieces told me that strawberries are unnecessary in the tart, she is happy with just the crust and custard :D But fruits are good for you sweetie! :)

Once again, the joy comes from watching my kid and nieces enjoying the tarts :) All efforts are not wasted! :)

I used up the custard, so I had to fill this rectangle crust with Nutella :D Not sure how it tastes as I have given it to my nieces :p Hope it tastes as good as the custard one :)

As advised in the recipe book, the custard can only last for 2 days in the fridge, so make sure you finish them asap :)

Happy Baking & pigging out :)


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