Gosh, I just realised that I’ve been absent for almost a month. I kinda got into the holiday mood as I had some friends visiting. I’ve been very busy spending time on the beach and lazy afternoons under the palm trees. Of course I never stopped cooking or baking but had little or no time/energy for blogging. Anyway, I’m back with a delightful tart that consists of all my favourite things.
Strawberries, pistachio and sweet shortcrust pastry… some of my favourite things in this world. Just thinking about them individually or together makes my mouth water. A beautifully baked tart base, filled with a velvety pistachio pastry cream and topped with the sweetest and juiciest strawberries. What would you call this, if not “heaven”.
I love all kinds of pastry cream; from the most classic vanilla to lemon, chocolate, orange and so on. But this pistachio one is something special and it goes beautifully with fresh fruits.
Try pairing it with raspberries, a winning combo or blackberries and all sorts of forest fruits. Also great with stone fruits like apricots and peaches.
Once again I’ve used my go to pâte sucrée recipe. I’m gonna type in the recipe below but if you have little or no experience in making this kind of pastry please refer to my “Fresh Fruit Tart & Tips for the Perfect Pâte Sucrée” post.
- SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY - PÂTE SUCRÉE
- 250 gr flour
- 150 gr butter, at room temp
- 75 gr powdered sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- PISTACHIO PASTRY CREAM
- 200 ml milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 40 gr granulated sugar (about 3 Tbs)
- ½ cup ground pistachio, unsalted
- 25 gr corn starch (3 Tbs)
- 20 gr butter (a generous Tbs)
- TO FINISH
- fresh strawberries
- ground or chopped pistachios
- To prepare the pastry beat soft butter with powdered sugar in your stand mixer until pale and fluffy.
- Add in the egg yolks, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and continue beating for a couple of minutes.
- Add the flour and mix on the lowest speed just until the flour disappears.
- Toss it all on a piece of plastic wrap and bring it together. Divide the dough and form two disks with the help of the plastic as it will be too soft to handle. Remember NO KNEADING! Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- To make the creme patisserie bring milk to boiling point.
- Whisk egg yolks with sugar using an electric whisk for a few minutes until pale. Then add the corn starch and mix well.
- Pour the hot milk slowly into the egg mixture while whisking continuously.
- Pour it all back into the sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat until it thickens for about 5-6 minutes, stirring all the time.
- Remove from the heat and mix in butter, beat until smooth and completely blended.
- Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming, making sure that the plastic is in contact with the cream.
- When it comes to room temp, refrigerate.
- Butter and flour the sides of an 8 inch tart tin and place a piece of parchment on the bottom.
- Roll the chilled dough between two pieces of parchment paper to a thickness of an ⅛ of an inch (3-4 mm) Gently place on the prepared tart tin and remove excess. Rest in the fridge for about 45 minutes or in the freezer for 20.
- Preheat oven to 170 C (340 F).
- Prick the base of the crust with a fork and line with parchment. Fill with baking beans and blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and the paper and bake for a further 10-13 minutes until golden and fully cooked.
- Let cool in the tin.
- Fill the tart crust with the pistachio cream pat and smooth with a rubber spatula. Top with the strawberries and chill for a couple of hours.
- Sprinkle some ground or chopped pistachios and serve.
Don't assemble the tart before the crust is fully cooled and the cream well chilled.
The crust and the creme pat can be prepared a few days ahead but bake the crust on the day you want to serve it. I wouldn't assemble the tart too early either, a few hours is plenty. If you have no choice but prepare it a day ahead you should brush the fruit with unflavoured gelatine so they don't dry out and keep their vibrant colour. This is especially important if you have large strawberries that you need to halve or slice.