Showing posts tagged with: strawberries
Can you believe it that I’ve never made pastry cream? I know, right. I used to eat these little tarts in Paris topped with kiwis and blueberries and strawberries, and I would just marvel at the mysterious bed of cream laid underneath. “What is this delicious soft pudding-like custard?” I’d say, to anyone who would listen (it’s Paris, nobody listens). Turns out that stuff is pastry cream, and Ina Garten has a recipe for some delicious pastry cream. Of course. You can always count on Ina.
The tart shell is from Dorie Greenspan, which you can find the recipe for here.
5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups scalded milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Cognac
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.
With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.
Yield: 2 cups
Take your cooked, cooled tart shell (click the link above! the instructions are elaborate!) and just dump all that beautiful chilled pastry cream in there. I can’t remember if I had too much pastry cream or not enough. It really doesn’t matter. You just wanna get some cream in that pastry. Then wash a bunch of strawberries (chances are you’ve got one of those big clamshells lying around, right?), dry carefully, then take their tops off. You heard me. Slice in half. Arrange artfully on top of the cream.
Mix 1/4 cup of apricot jelly with a teaspoon or so of water, and nuke it for about 15 seconds. Then get a pastry brush and brush over the strawberries. My pastry cream was pretty loose (you heard me) and so when you cut the tart it may spill out all over the place, but that means you get to mash it into your flaky pastry crust between your fork tines. Lovely!
Notes in the technical world: If you shoot in RAW format (.nef files) and use Adobe Bridge to process into JPEGs, make sure you also select “include ICC profile” in addition to checking off convert to sRGB. Pretty much explains why every single one of my pictures was desaturated.