Although the weather where I live is about as miserable as it gets at the moment, I still think that warm days are approaching which means... summer baking! Here is the first (of many) new bakes that may not give you that beach body but will 100% get you in the mood for sunshine, picnics and parties!
For the sweet shortcrust pastry
500g Plain flour
250g Unsalted butter
240g Icing sugar
3tsp Vanilla extract
4tbsp Whole milk
4 Large egg yolks
For the Crème Pâtissière
250ml Double cream
250ml Whole milk
2tsp Vanilla bean paste
120g Caster sugar
6 Large egg yolks
1tbsp Plain flour
For the topping
1kg Fresh strawberries (hulled and halved)
4-5tbsp Apricot jam
- Lightly grease a 23cm square fluted pastry case and dust with a little flour.
- Prepare the pastry by gently rubbing together the flour, butter and icing sugar until it loosely resembles breadcrumbs.
- Using a fork, gently mix in the vanilla, milk and egg yolks until the pastry starts to come together.
- Using your hands, bring together the pastry to form a smooth ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to approximately 1/2cm thick before using a rolling pin to gently drape the pastry over the pastry case then carefully ease it into the edges and corners.
- Use a sharp knife to carefully trim the excess pastry from the case.
- Place the pastry case in the fridge for 1 hour before baking.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- To blind bake, prick the base of the pastry case all over with a fork before taking a sheet of greaseproof paper larger than the tin and fill with ceramic baking beans.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes before removing the greaseproof paper and baking beans and returning to the oven for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is a light golden brown all over.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare the crème pâtissière.
- To make the crème pâtissièregently heat the cream, milk and vanilla in a saucepan until nearly boiling. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and flours to form a smooth paste.
- Slowly pour the cream mixture into the paste, whisking constantly, before returning to the saucepan and heating gently until the mixture is nearly boiling (but not burning!).
- Pour the crème pâtissière through a strainer and leave to cool slightly before pouring into the pastry case.
- Using the back of a metal spoon, spread the crème pâtissière evenly across the whole of the pastry case.
- Refrigerate the tart for 1-2 hours.
- Take the hulled & halved strawberries and line them in rows across the crème pâtissière layer (which should now be set completely) until every inch of the tart is covered.
- Heat the apricot jam until it is a nice thin consistency before using a silicon pastry brush to lightly glaze the strawberries.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.