French strawberry tart
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
For the crème pâtissière
300ml (10floz) milk
½ vanilla pod, split
50g (2oz) caster sugar
2 egg yolks
20g (¾oz) plain flour
20g (¾oz) cornflour
150ml (5floz) double cream, lightly whipped
For the strawberry tart
375g (13oz) home-made or a ready-roll sweet pastry
250g (9oz) strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
1 Place the milk and vanilla pod in a medium saucepan, gently heat to just below boiling point and then remove from the heat to infuse for 10 minutes. Cream together the sugar and egg yolks, add a splash of the infused milk and combine well. Sift in both the flours and combine well. Whisk in the remaining milk.
2 Clean out the pan and pour the egg and milk mixture back into the pan. Gently bring back to the boil, whisking constantly as you go in order to prevent it catching on the base. Boil for 1 minute to thicken and then remove from the heat.
3 Pass the thickened milk mixture through a sieve into a bowl – you’ll need a metal spoon for this job, as the mixture should by now be really quite thick. Discard the vanilla pod.
4 Level off the top of the mixture in the bowl and place a wet circle of greaseproof paper right over the top of it to prevent a skin from forming. When you’re ready to use the crème pâtissière mixture, whisk vigorously with an electric whisk or whizz it in a food processor before beating in the whipped double cream.
5 Reheat the oven to 190ºC/R5. Lightly oil a 23cm (9in) fluted tart tin and line with the sweet pastry. Prick the base with a fork, line with greaseproof paper and fill it with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans and then bake for a further 15 minutes or until it is crisp and golden. Allow to cool.
6 Spoon the crème pâtissière into the base, level off and layer with the strawberries. Warm the redcurrant jelly with a tablespoon of water, cool slightly and brush over fruit.