This beautiful tart from our patisserie tutor Will Torrent is a must for summer dining events to impress the guests. A crisp pastry shell, topped with silky creme patisserie then decorated with an impressive fan of succulent strawberries. Bonus is, it’s easier than it looks and you can make some parts of it in advance.
- Make pastry in advance and chill it until you need it. You can also freeze the pastry either raw or baked in the tin. Just don’t freeze it with the creme patisserie and strawberries.
- Don’t overwork the pastry or you’ll end up with a tough dough that is tricky to roll out and may shrink too much when being baked.
- You don’t need proper baking beans to cook the pastry with. Just use some dried lentils or rice, just don’t cook with these at a later date!
- The strawberries can be easily substituted for other seasonal fruit.
- If you don’t fancy using alcohol, replace the quantity with milk.
Champagne Strawberry Tart
Makes 1x 9 inch tart. A delicious summer tart that will impress guests. You can bake the shell in advance.
Ingredients for the pastry:
- 100 g butter softened
- 50 g icing sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 175 g plain flour
Ingredients for the crème patisserie
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or one vanilla pod
- 150 ml whipping cream
- 125 ml Champagne or other sparkling wine
- 50 g caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 ½ tablespoons of cornflour
- 1 knob of butter
Topping & decoration
- 50 g apricot jam
- 200 g strawberries the more seasonal the better
Method for the Pastry:
Cream the butter, icing and salt together in a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a handheld electric whisk until pale – this will take 3–4 minutes.
With the mixer running, gradually add the beaten egg with the vanilla bean paste, mixing until fully incorporated. Gently mix in the flour but do not overwork the dough. Bring the dough together into a ball, wrap in cling film, flatten into a disc and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until needed.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to an even thickness of no more than 2 mm. Neatly line the 9 inch tart dish with the pastry and trim off any excess from the top with a small sharp knife. Prick the base with a fork, line with a square of foil or baking parchment and fill with baking beans or rice.
Arrange the tart tin on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Bake the tart on the middle shelf of the oven for 10–12 minutes or until pale golden.
Remove the beans or rice and foil and baking parchment and continue to cook for 1 minute until the base is crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Method for the Crème Patisserie
To prepare the crème patisserie. Add the cream, Champagne and vanilla bean paste (or one split vanilla pod) and bring slowly to the boil over a low heat.
Combine the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour in a mixing bowl and beat until pale and smooth.
As soon as the cream mixture comes to the boil remove it from the heat and pour half into the mixing bowl, whisking constantly until smooth.
Using a rubber spatula, scoop the mixture back into the pan and return to a low heat, stirring constantly until the crème patisserie just starts to boil and thickens quite considerably.
Slide the pan off the heat, add the butter and mix until combined.
Spread the crème patisserie on the pastry case and spread level. Leave to cool for 10 minutes
Method for Assembly and glaze
Slice the strawberries and arrange on top of the tart.
Warm the apricot jam – either in a small pan over a low heat or in the microwave in short bursts. Pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps and gently brush over the top of the strawberries.
Leave for 30 minutes or so to allow the jam to set before serving
Will is an award winning pastry chef, has written three baking cookbooks and teaches our Patisserie and our Chocolate courses. As well as teaching here at Seasoned, he is consultant pastry chef for Waitrose and heavily involved with the Charity Tearfund.