French Strawberry Tart
PÂTÉ SUCRÉE (SWEET DOUGH)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons, cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar, divided
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scrapped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the Tart Topping:
2 pints whole strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup apricot jelly
2 teaspoons cold water
3 tablespoons cold water
PÂTÉ SUCRÉE (SWEET DOUGH)
In the bowl of a food processor, such as a Cusinart, fitted with a blade attachment, add the flour, sugar, and salt, pulse to blend.
Add the butter and pulse until it resembles a coarse sand-like mixture. Add the cold water and pulse a few times to blend, be very careful not to over mix.
Transfer dough to a large work surface. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead 4-5 times to incorporate. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about at least 1 hour.
For the Pastry Cream: In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla bean (and seeds) to a simmer over medium heat till the sugar dissolves and mixture begins to simmer.
In the meantime, using a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until pale yellow in color. Add the cornstarch to the yolks and whisk well to incorporate.
In a slow, steady stream add the milk mixture to the eggs while whisking constantly.
Discard the vanilla bean an place the mixture back into the saucepan you were using. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick, do not allow to boil and is thick enough to hold whisk marks. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and butter.
Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium size mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skim from forming. Chill the pastry cream until set, about 2 hours.
Baking the Tart Shell: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, Roll out the dough slightly larger than the tart pan you are using and gently mold into a tart pan with removable sides. Cut off any excess dough by rolling the rolling pin across the top of the pan.
Line the tart shell with a piece of lightly oiled parchment paper (oil side down) and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the tart shell until beginning to set, about 10 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment, gently prick the bottom of the tart shell bottom all over with a fork, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the tart from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
Assembling the Tart: Right before serving, fill the tart shell with a good amount of the chilled pastry cream. Arrange the strawberries decoratively on top of the cream.
In a small microwave safe bowl, heat the apricot jelly with 2 teaspoons of water till melted, about 30 seceonds. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the strawberries with a thin coating of jam. Serve immedietly.