Nothing smells of an English summer like strawberries. I have wanted to make crème patisserie for ages and thought it would be the perfect accompaniment to the strawberries in this classic, unfussy tart. For the base of the tart, of course, we are using our yesterday recipe ‘ pate brisee’ ….and now you probably know what I was talking about.
My earliest memory of crème patisserie has to be the Marks & Spencer choux bun.Like everything (except my waistline) they were definitely bigger in the past, and the creamy light custard filling tasted like heaven!It was the sort of treat that you almost ate too quickly in your desire to consume it, and then regretted that you hadn’t savoured it more. Well now we gonna do something similar in no time.
For the Crème Patisserie:
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
25g plain flour
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and the seeds scooped out
100ml double cream
For the topping:
3 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons water
I assume that you already know how to make the pastry case , so let’s go immediately onto making the Crème Patisserie. Just for the record this can also be made a day in advance and refrigerated until required.
Beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour, flour and vanilla together. Bring the milk to the boil in a pan. Slowly pour on the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Pour the custard into the cleaned pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until it has thickened.
If you find the crème patisserie becomes lumpy whisk it quickly, off the heat. Don’t panic though – you can always pass the mixture through a sieve. Some people are funny about this and think it’s a sign of failure – I always do this, just to be on the safe side, whether there are lumps or not – why be proud and risk it?
Return to a clean mixing bowl, cover the surface with a piece of clear film and set aside to cool. Whip the cream until thick, and then fold into the custard. Spoon the crème patisserie into the pastry case and spread out evenly.
Arrange the strawberries on top of the crème patisserie.Here I’ve also used some whipped cream for decoration.
Now make the glaze for the strawberries: place the sugar and water into a saucepan and bring them to the boil, stirring occasionally to ensure that the sugar dissolves.
Brush the glaze over the strawberries and refrigerate the tart until ready to serve.
Open a bottle of Asti Spumanti-the perfect summertime drink and the best companion to sweet fruit desserts,especially strawberries.