French Strawberry Hazelnut and Creme Patissiere Tart

 French Strawberry Creme Patiserie Tart by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 10

Ingredients:
For the pastry

  • 140g all-purpose flour
  • 50g ground hazelnuts
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 50g fine granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
For the crème pâtissière
  • 350ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 25g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Additionally
  • 500g strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered depending on size
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry jelly

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees C.

  2. In a food processor add flour, hazelnuts and butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the sugar and mix briefly. Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tablespoons cold water, then pulse to a firm dough.

  3. Knead the dough briefly on a lightly floured surface, then roll out and line a 24cm tart form with the dough. Using a sharp knife, trim off the excess pastry, then chill for 15 mins.

  4. Line pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 mins, then remove the paper and beans and cook for a further 5-7 mins until the pastry is cooked and pale golden. Set aside to cool.

  5. Meanwhile, make the crème pâtissière placing the milk and vanilla pod in a large pan and bringing it to the boil. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar for 10 minutes until voluminous and thick, then beat in the flour and lemon zest. Strain the warm milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Clean the pan, then pour the mixture back in and gently bring to the boil on a low heat, stirring constantly until it has thickened. Take the pan off the heat, cover the surface of the crème pâtissière with baking paper and leave to cool.

  7. In a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar for 10 minutes until voluminous and thick, then beat in the flour and lemon zest. Strain the warm milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Clean the pan, then pour the mixture back in and gently bring to the boil on a low heat, stirring constantly until it has thickened. Take the pan off the heat, cover the surface of the crème pâtissière with baking paper and leave to cool.

  8. Spoon the crème pâtissière into the tart, then level the surface with the back of a spoon. Scatter the strawberries over the crème pâtissière until it is completely covered by the fruit.

  9. Gently warm the jelly with 2 tablespoons water until melted, brush over the strawberries and leave for 2 minutes to set. Serve.
Notes: Strawberries scream summer and in my Food Guide you will find great tips on selecting, storing and preparing strawberries.
A divine variation for all the chocolate addicts is a chocolate pastry cream by Pierre Hermé.
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