Tarte Aux Fraises

Ooh things are rather fancy around here today aren’t they?
A Tarte Aux Fraises was on the menu earlier this week, but it really isn’t as fancy as it sounds. It is a simple strawberry tart with a delicious french cream, or creme patissiere, if you will.
Honestly, I just wanted an excuse to make some pastry dough. For whatever reason, I have a soft spot for pastry dough. Or maybe I should say pastry dough has given me a soft spot.
Regardless, I love it.

And there aren’t many prettier ways to use a fresh batch of pastry dough than in a lovely little tart.  I decided to keep to the classic strawberry tart this time, but may try experimenting with some other flavors later in the summer. In my head a lavender infused tart with a peach compote sounds incredibly delicious, but I’m not exactly sure how that would translate over in real life.

Tarte Aux Fraise
Slightly modified from this recipe

1 batch pastry dough
8 strawberries, chopped
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 tbsp water

For the creme:
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks
3 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll our the pastry dough and fit it into a greased pie tart.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tart is a nice golden brown color.

To make the cream: In a medium sauce pan, add milk and cook until milk is steaming. Do not let it reach a boil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth.  Add in flour and corn starch and continue to whisk until combined and very smooth.

Slowly add hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking continuously to prevent eggs from scrambling.  Once all the milk has been incorporated, pour mixture back into the sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Once it is very thick, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cover the cream with a piece of plastic wrap patted down so that it touches the cream and let sit for about 20 minutes.  You can also refrigerate the cream for a later use.

Pour the cream into the cooled tart shell.  Place the chopped strawberries on top of the cream.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine strawberry jam and water.  Microwave until the jam has melted down some (about a minute). Stir together, then using a pastry brush, brush the jam over the top of the strawberries to create a glaze.

Serve this immediately. The tart always looks the prettiest on the day you make it. Unfortunately, I do all of my baking at night after work, so am not able to photograph until the next day.  As you can see, the tart isn’t in the best shape, but it gives you a basic idea of what it once looked like. Oh the difficulties of loving to write about food but also having a 9-5 job.

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