So, confession time: I made this tart over 3 months ago and am only getting around to posting it now. Oops. Luckily I was smart enough to write down the recipe! More or less… It was a bit fragmented, but between that and my memory, I think this recipe was saved.
I love strawberries and I love pastry cream – and so does my mother, so it was great to make this tart for her birthday. To give it that extra little kick of freshness, I added the zest of one lime to the dough of the pastry, which turned out lovely. If I could, I would add lime to just about anything. Perhaps I should start doing that.
Fifteen steps might seem like quite a lot, but this recipe is really not that difficult, as long as you have a bit of patience and enough time. The dough needs to rest for over an hour in total, but in the meantime you can do different things like making the pastry cream or cleaning up your work surface. I’d go for the first one, and avoid the second one as long as possible.
Anyway, enough babbling – onto the recipe!
For the pastry
- 260 g plain flour (and a little bit extra for dusting purposes)
- 125 g butter (cold, in cubes)
- 90 g white caster sugar
- 2 medium sized eggs, beaten
- pinch of salt
- zest of one lime
For the pastry cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 25 g plain flour
- 250 ml whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla flavouring
- 55 g sugar
For the topping
- 400-500 g strawberries
- optional whipped cream
- parchment paper
- baking beans
- flan tin (24 cm)
- rolling pin (although a wine bottle works just fine as well)
- and an oven, of course! The pastry needs to be baked at 180 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)
So, let’s get baking!
Preparing the dough
1. Mix butter and flour together Put the butter and the flour in a large bowl, and rub them together with your (preferably cold) hands. Keep doing this until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
2. Add sugar, eggs and lime zest Add the sugar, the zest of one lime and the beaten eggs to the mixture, and gently stir it through. Now you have to knead the mixture into a ball of dough (but don’t overwork it). The dough will be quite soft, but don’t worry, that’s fine! Wrap the ball of dough in clingfilm, and put it in the fridge. Cool it for one hour.
Making the pastry cream
3. Mix egg yolks and flour Take a (heat resistant) bowl and mix the egg yolks and the flour together with a whisk until it’s nice and smooth.
4. Cook milk and vanilla Take a sauce pan and cook the milk together with the vanilla over medium heat until starts to simmer.
5. Add milk to egg mixture Once the milk has started to simmer, you need to gradually add it to the egg mixture. It is very important that you keep stirring the egg mixture in the meantime, otherwise you’ll get lumps in your mixture.
6. Cook the mixture After everything’s well-combined you need to pour the mixture back into the saucepan and put it over medium heat again until it’s simmering. Keep stirring the mixture the entire time. Once it’s simmering, let it simmer for about 2 minutes before moving on to the next step.
7. Add sugar to mixture Add the sugar to the mixture and stir until it’s entirely mixed through.
8. Pour mixture in bowl and cover with clingfilm Once your pastry cream is done, pour it into a bowl and cover the bowl with clingfilm (this way the pastry cream won’t develop that nasty little layer on top of it). Leave the pastry cream to cool for a few minutes (with the clingfilm on top already!) and then put the bowl into the fridge to let it cool completely.
Back to the dough!
9. Roll out dough After you’ve let the dough chill for one hour, take it out of the fridge again. Lightly dust a (clean!) surface with flour, and roll out the dough until it’s about 3 mm thick. Make sure it has a round shape so it completely covers the tin.
10. Transfer dough to tin Now it’s time to transfer your dough to a greased and floured flan tin. Let’s hope it doesn’t stick to your work surface! To easily transfer the dough, carefully roll it around your (floured!) rolling pin, lift it, and then roll it out again over the tin. Be very careful while you do this, since the dough might stick to your surface, and you don’t want it to rip. Once you’ve succesfully rolled out the dough over the tin, press into the edges (gently), and trim off any excess dough around the edges. Prick with a fork into the bottom a few times.
11. Add flour and baking beans To make sure the baking paper doesn’t stick to your pastry while baking, divide some flour over the base of your tin (on top of the pastry). Then, line the tin with parchment paper (so, again, on top of the pastry), and fill it with baking beans. Put the whole thing in the fridge for another 15 minutes (at least).
12. Bake the pastry! After another 15 minutes of letting the pastry chill, put the tin in your preheated oven (180 °C) and bake it for 15-20 minutes. Then, take out the baking paper and baking beans and bake the pastry for another 5 minutes (or until the bottom of the pastry just starts to brown slightly here and there).
13. Fill pastry with pastry cream Once the pastry has cooled down completely, transfer the pastry cream to it and evenly divide it over the entire pastry. I recommend taking the pastry cream out of the fridge about 10 or 15 minutes before using it.
14. Add halved strawberries Slice your strawberries in half and place them neatly on top of the pastry cream until the entire tart is covered.
15 (optional). Add whipped cream The tart tastes fine without whipped cream, but for that extra little something, prepare the cream and then pipe it onto your tart whichever way has your preference.
And that’s it! Your own delicious strawberry and lime tart is done – enjoy!