It’s Spring time……….which means it’s time to get berrilicious.I can have strawberries any time of the day, so I sure am making most of the berry season.Back home in India,we would travel to Mahabaleshwar,a hill station located in the Western Ghats, just for the strawberries..There was never enough of the strawberry jam,jellies,the ice creams!
Back to the tart story, I along with my hubby was invited to a friend’s dinner party and decided to present them with a beautiful summery berry tart.It seemed like a good idea to take a break from all the chocolate desserts,a breather for my dear hubby as he is not into chocolates.Who can hate chocolate!
Well,I had picked up a lot of strawberries,raspberries and blackberries and ta da….here is a sweet,fresh,light, tangy dessert which will have you wanting for more.
220 g pâte sucrée (Sweet pastry)
250 g fresh strawberries
250 g fresh raspberries
250 g fresh blackberries
300 g chantilly cream
150 g Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)
a few mint sprigs
Pâte sucrée (Sweet pastry) :
250 g plain flour
100 g butter, cubed and slightly softened
100 g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
Chantilly Cream :
250 ml whipping cream, well chilled
50 g icing sugar
vanilla essence or seeds scraped from a vanilla pod
Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream) :
4 egg yolks
65 g caster sugar
15 g plain flour
15 g cornflour
350 ml whole milk
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
icing sugar, for dusting
For the Pâte sucrée (Sweet pastry):
Put the flour in a mound on a work surface and make a well.Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt, and mix these ingredients together with your fingertips.
Gradually draw the flour into the centre and mix with your fingertips until the dough becomes slightly grainy.
Again, make a well and add the eggs.Work them into the flour mixture, using your fingertips, until the dough begins to hold together.
When the dough is well amalgamated, knead it a few times with the palm of your hand until smooth.
Refrigerate for an hour or so.
Roll out the pastry to a round,2- 3 mm thick, and us to line an 18cm diameter tart tin.Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 5.Prick the pastry base with a fork.Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with a layer of beans to weight the pastry down and prevent it from rising unevenly.Bake for 30 minutes removing the beans for the last 10 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the tin and cool.
Chantilly Cream :
Put the chilled cream,icing sugar and vanilla into a chilled bowl and beat using an electric beater at medium speed for 1-2 minutes.
Increase the speed and beat for another 3-4 minutes until the cream starts to thicken to a light ribbon consistency,do not overbeat.
Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream):
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they turn a pale gold colour.
Whisk in the flour and cornflour and set aside.
Place the milk and vanilla bean paste in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 30 seconds.
Slowly pour half of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then return the mixture to the remaining milk in the pan.
Bring the mixture back to the boil and simmer for one minute, whisking continuously, or until smooth.
Pour the cream into a clean bowl and dust with icing sugar to prevent a skin forming. Cool as quickly as possible, by sitting the bowl of pastry cream in another larger bowl of ice water. When cooled, refrigerate until needed.
Assembling the tart:
Halve the strawberries if they are large.
Delicately fold the chantilly cream into the pastry cream and fill the pastry case with this mixture.
Arrange the berries on top, heaving them up slightly in the centre.
Decorate with mint sprigs and serve.