Everyone is caught up in the spirit of the Olympics, Euro 2012 and the Bike Festival, but let’s not forget another annual sporting event – the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
The arrival of Wimbledon fortnight heralds the strawberry season. These delicious berries have a long association with Wimbledon and are served to thousands of visitors during the tournament. With this in mind I decided to bring a little bit of Wimbledon to your home with this delicious vanilla crème strawberry tart recipe. What better way to enjoy the great British summer – rain or shine!
The following recipe can be used to make individual tarts or one large one. This recipe will make 12 individual tarts.
For the Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (you can cheat by buying readymade sweet shortcrust)
- 115g plain flour
- 30g unsalted butter (cubed)
- 25g lard (cubed)
- 25g icing sugar
- 1 egg yolk
For the Vanilla crème
- 1 large egg yolk (beaten)
- 37g caster sugar
- ½ tbsp cornflour
- 125 ml milk
- 18g butter (room temp)
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste (or seeds from half a vanilla bean pod)
- 50ml double cream
For the topping
- 1 punnet of strawberries
- 2tbsp strawberry jam
- Start by making your pastry and rest it in the fridge for at least 30 mins:
- In a bowl add flour, butter and lard and rub into the flour with your fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gently combine with icing sugar.
- Add the beaten egg and combine (best with your hands) until the mixture comes together in a smooth ball – you may need to add a drop of water. Once the mixture has come together, give it a gentle knead on a lightly floured board and then wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
- Now make the Vanilla crème by mixing together the egg yolk, sugar, cornflour and vanilla bean paste in a small bowl.
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it just starts to boil, and pour onto the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time to keep it smooth. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat until the custard comes to the boil and thickens. Take off the heat and add the butter until it melts.
- Pour into a bowl and cover the surface with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming. Cool and put in the fridge until cold.
- Heat your oven to 170F, or 150 Fan or Gas 3
- Roll out pastry and line your tin/tins. You will need to blind bake the pastry by placing some greaseproof or parchment paper inside the pastry case and adding either ceramic baking beans or, as I do, some dried uncooked lentils or macaroni. Baking beans weigh the pastry down to prevent it rising in the oven. Bake like this for 10 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 -10 mins until the pastry is lightly browned and crisp. Leave to cool and gently remove from the tin/tins.
- Back to the vanilla crème. Whisk the double cream until it holds soft peaks and then fold gently into the cold custard.
- Fill your tart or tarts with the crème and decorate with the strawberries.
- Finish off by gently heating the strawberry jam. Brush on to the top of the strawberries to form a glaze.
Recipe by Pauline Mardel