Hello my frosted fairies! Over the past few weeks I have felt inspired to create some delectable desserts for spring. I know that it may seem too early for this but I’m just longing for March and April to arrive. Spring is my favourite season and I just adore the abundance of cherry blossom, squidgy hot cross buns, pastel Mini Eggs, sweet Simnel cakes, baby chicks, lambs and bunnies that emerge during those glorious months! In April, my mother and I are going on a trip to London for my 21st birthday. So far we have booked tickets to see the ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ exhibit and The Royal Ballet’s performance of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. We are also going to do a lot of shopping, visit Ladurée and Peggy Porschen for afternoon tea and visit the prettiest Instagramable locations.
Today’s recipe is the perfect delight to make for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day and it would be a wonderful centre piece at any Spring celebration.
The tart consists of a crisp and buttery short crust pastry, a gloriously golden crème pâtissière filling and is topped with sweet strawberry jewels. It is very simple to create and scrummy for any bunny!
I chose to follow this recipe which uses shop bought pastry. You can make your own short crust pastry from scratch if you prefer but I found it much quicker this way.
The result you want to achieve with a classic strawberry tart is lightness and fragility. Of course you do not want it to completely collapse when you pick it up but the aim is to make it as dainty as possible.
The crème pâtissière filling can be substituted for a whipped double creme if you prefer. Furthermore, if you’re not sweet on strawberries you can switch to any combination that tickles your fancy! Blackberries, raspberries or blueberries all work wonderfully.
Be sure to relax, brew yourself a cuppa and grab a piece of strawberry shortbread!
375g pack all-butter short crust pastry
500g small strawberries, hulled and halved
4 tbsp red currant jelly
For the crème pâtissière:
350ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
4 large free-range egg yolks
100g golden caster sugar
25g plain flour
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Making the short crust pastry:
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin.
- Line a deep, 23cm fluted, loose-bottomed tart tin with the pastry.
- Trim the excess and prick the base all over with a fork. Leave to chill for 30 minutes.
For the crème pâtissière:
- Place the milk and vanilla pod in a large pan, bring to the boil, then turn off the heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar for 10 minutes until voluminous, then beat in the flour and lemon zest.
- Strain the warm milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Clean the pan, then pour the mixture back in and gently bring to the boil, stirring constantly until it has thickened.
- Take the pan off the heat, cover the surface of the crème pâtissière with baking parchment and leave to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/fan 160˚C /gas 4. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Place on a baking sheet and blind-bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the beans/rice and paper, then cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden. If the edges look too dark, cover with foil. Leave for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack cool.
- Spoon the crème pâtissière into the tart, then level the surface with the back of a spoon.
- Place a strawberry half in the centre of the tart, then arrange concentric rings of fruit around it until all of the crème pâtissière is covered.
- Gently warm the jelly with 2 tbsps of water until melted, brush over the strawberries and leave for 2 minutes to set.
Here are a few more pictures of the end result! ♡
I hope you enjoyed this post sweet peaches! Please let me know in the comments section if you have a favourite pastry? I would also love to know if you have any recipes you would like me to write about! 🌸🍰🌸
If you decide to try out this recipe, remember to send me a picture of your creations (my Instagram and Twitter accounts are @xxsophiebeth)
Lots of love from