Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pastry Cream Tart with Strawberries

Ok, I know the title is misleading because the strawberries are glaringly absent from these photographs, but trust me, they were there. I made this for a Shabbat lunch a couple of weeks ago and I topped the tart just before serving so Shabbat+topped-a-la-minute= no strawberries in the picture. This tart is just another in my line of cream filled pies/tarts because even though I'm no fan of creams and custards, they are just fun to make! This recipe comes from the Israeli Ben Ami cookbook. The cream here is vanilla flavored; I used vanilla bean paste instead of a vanilla bean and the specks were nicely present in the finished tart. You can use any seasonal fruit that looks good- strawberries are just at their end and I personally love them. I macerated them overnight in a bit of sugar and orange liqueur. To keep things parve, I used soy milk and non dairy whipping cream. My tart shrunk a slight bit so make sure to thoroughly freeze it. Don't let it get too dark or else it will be hard to cut... I know :) This tart not only looked impressive but was gone pretty quickly. Considering this dessert features the winning combination of strawberries and cream, that comes as no surprise.

Pastry Cream Tart with Strawberries
from Ben Ami

One recipe, your favorite sweet tart crust, fully baked

2 egg yolks
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk or soy milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2/3 cup whipping cream

One small container strawberries
1 tbsp orange liqueur
1 tbsp sugar

To make the cream: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla paste until it starts to simmer. Do not boil. Pour some of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking the whole time. Pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the milk in the pan and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Immediately remove from the fire. Transfer the cream to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Wash and slice the strawberries and place in a small bowl. Toss with liqueur and sugar. Cover and chill overnight.

The next day, place the custard into the bowl of your mixer with the whipping cream. Beat with the whisk attachment until the cream reaches stiff-ish peaks. Scrape into the prepared tart shell. Before serving, strain strawberries and spoon over cream. If not serving right away, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

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