These Strawberry Tarts With French Pastry Cream are easy to make yet elegant enough to WOW your guests.
Tip: Reserve your vanilla bean pod(s) to add to your granulated sugar. You’ll have vanilla-flavored sugar for coffee, desserts, or any recipe that calls for sugar.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Total Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 6 individual tarts
Equipment: 6 individual (4 1/2 inch) tart pans with removable bottoms, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, Stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, 1 pastry brush
Note: If making your own pie crust, the time of this recipe will vary (tip: make the pie crust the day before)
Homemade Pie Crust, (click the link below for recipe)
1 quart of whole milk
1 vanilla bean, seeded, reserve vanilla pod
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon heavy cream
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch of Kosher salt
24 to 26 strawberries, hauled and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup apricot jelly
1 tablespoon water
Fresh tiny sprigs of mint, for garnish
Directions For Pie Crust:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Start by adding a light sprinkle of all-purpose flour on your board. Roll out the dough and fit into the tart pans. Do not stretch the dough when placing it in the pans or it will shrink during baking. Cut off the excess by rolling the pin across the top of each pan. Line the tart shells with a piece of buttered foil, butter side down, and fill them with dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and foil, prick the bottom of the shells all over with a fork, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
Directions For Pastry Cream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks, Kosher salt, and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, add the cornstarch. In a saucepan, on medium-low heat add milk vanilla seeds and pod. Bring the milk up to the *scalding point.
With the mixer still on low speed, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour this mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Do this until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t worry 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, pudding-like.
Off the heat, add the pure vanilla extract, butter, and heavy cream, whisk to combine. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl to ensure there the custard is completely smooth. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.
Fill the tart shells with the pastry cream. Arrange the berries decoratively on top of the cream. Garnish with a small sprig of fresh mint.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the apricot jelly with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth and glaze-like. and brush the top of the tarts. There you have it, my Strawberry Tarts With French Pastry Cream.
*Scalded milk: Scalded milk is milk heated right before the boiling point. Bubbles appear around the outer edge of the liquid and stay there continuously.