Fresh berry tart with pastry creamBobby R. Presents Thursday, February 17th, 2011
I usually reserve this recipe for my annual Easter Brunch, but present it here because it fits the bill so well. You will want to use the freshest berries in the market.
For the pastry cream:
3 cups of milk
12 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons cognac
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Over low heat in a saucepan bring 3 cups milk to just under the boiling point (scalded).
In a kitchen stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 12 large eggs on low speed until the membranes have been broken. Add in 1 1/2 cups sugar and beat on medium high until thick and pale yellow (about four minutes).
Reduce speed to low and add in 1/4 cup cornstarch until combined. Keeping the speed on low, slowly add in (temper) the scalded milk.
While the kitchen appliance stirs, rinse and clean the saucepan. Return the tempered yolk mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium low. Constantly stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom diligently until the mixture separates.
Do not panic! Swap to a whisk and beat the mixture until it comes to a thick homogenous “pudding” consistency (about 2 minutes). Remove from the heat.
Stir in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons cognac, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Push through a fine mesh sieve and chill.
For the tart shell:
I used to make my own pâte brisée, but have found that store bought raw pastry dough works just as well and leaves the kitchen without a fine layer of flour. I use a tart pan, with a removable bottom, that is approximately 13.5 by 4 inches. This recipe will make two of these tarts.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to fit in the pan. The dough should fit about 1⁄4 inches above the rim without stretching or it will shrink. Butter some aluminum foil and fit it directly on the dough in the pan. Fill the aluminum with dried beans or rice to weight down the dough.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the aluminum weight and prick the bottom of the pastry shell over with a fork. Return to the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing the finished pastry shell from the pan.
Filling the tart:
Cut 2 pints of strawberries in half or in quarter depending on their size.
Fill the tart shells with the pastry cream and line the perimeter with the cut strawberries. Fill in the inside with blueberries then top the center with bright red raspberries.
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