Tarte aux fraises et crème au basilic


Strawberry tart with basil cream

This is perhaps the most popular tart in the world. It is the most plain as well, because with this tart the strawberry is the star. So it is very important to buy the best local strawberries you can find: very red, not too big and not too small. And please, only buy them when they are in season — your pleasure will double when you know it is for such a limited time.

Tip: This beautiful tart cannot be kept for more than a day —the pastry may turn soggy and the strawberries would look sad!

250 g pastry cream, infused with basil leaves

(from 2 bunches), see below, cooled

300 g sweet pastry, prepared a day ahead – room temperature

egg wash (1 egg and 1 egg yolk beaten with 50 ml milk)

125 g Chantilly cream

24–30 strawberries, stemmed, washed, halved and dried on a tea towel

2 tablespoons apricot jam

2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface into a circle about 3 mm thick and 30 cm in diameter, to line a 25-cm diameter tart pan. Trim the edges and cover the inside and edges of the pastry with aluminium foil. Bake for 6 minutes, then take the tart out of the oven and gently remove the foil. Brush some egg wash over the inside of the tart. Bake for a further 6–8 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Mix the Chantilly cream and pastry cream together in a bowl with a wooden spoon, then spread into the tart shell until it is ¾ full. Place the strawberries cut side down, starting from the outer edges of the tart and working towards the centre, covering the cream filling completely.

Dissolve the apricot jam in the water in a small saucepan over low heat. Using a pastry brush, cover the strawberries with the apricot glaze. Refrigerate the tart until ready to serve.

Serves 8.

 

Recipe by Emmanuel Mollois from Chous cafe.

Photographs by Karin Calvert-Borshoff from Et Voila! French pastries from Choux Cafe published by Fremantle Press.

 

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