The perfect summer dessert - lush Irish strawberry tart with vanilla crème patissière. Thanks to www.vanillahugs.ie for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 25 g icing sugar
  • 125 g cold butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • little ice cold water
  • crème patissière
  • 1 pint milk
  • 6 free range egg yolks
  • 2.5 oz vanilla caster sugar
  • 3 oz plain flour, sifted
  • 1 oz corn flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large punnet strawberries
  • redcurrant or strawberry preserve

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180c.
  • Make your pastry by placing all of the dry ingredients into a food processor, add the butter and blitz until it looks like fine bread crumbs. Add the egg yolks and enough cold water to just bring the mix together. Stop pulsing when it gets to this stage - you don’t want to over-work the pastry. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins.
  • To make the crème patissière, heat the milk in a small saucepan until just coming to a boil, whisk the yolks and sugar with the extract in a bowl until pale, add the flour, and pour the milk on to the egg mix while whisking. Strain into small pot and return to a low heat, whisking until thick and glossy, for about 3 minutes. Place in a bowl with the surface covered in cling film to prevent a skin from developing. Leave in the fridge to cool completely before using.
  • Line a loose-bottommed 11" tin with pastry and bake blind in preheated oven, remove the baking beans and brush the surface with beaten egg yolk, then return it to the oven for about 4 minutes until the base is golden and crisp. Leave it to cool completely.
  • To assemble the tart, fill it with the crème patissière, levelling it with a spatula. Slice the strawberries in half lengthways and arrange nicely, slightly overlapping along the tart in a circle, and finishing with a small inner circle.
  • To make the glaze, heat a large spoon of preserve with a little water and strain. Glaze the tart all over with the berry glaze.
  • The tart is best chilled before slicing, but can be devoured straight away!

Notes

Making your own pastry is easy, especially with a food processor. It takes about 5 minutes and is so worth it. Just make sure you use cold butter and water, don't over-work the pastry, and rest the pastry in the fridge before rolling and after lining the tin.