Strawberry Tartelette

Years ago I had the pleasure of studying abroad in France for a few months, and since then Paris has always held such a special place in my heart. I lived in a small hostel, right in the heart of the Latin Quarter. My tiny home was located just around the corner from Eric Kaiser, one of the loveliest bakeries I have ever been to. The bakery store front is quite unassuming, and is located off a main street, nestled in between fellow merchants. It doesn’t seems to stand out if you are walking down the street, but once the alluring aroma of freshly baked bread fills the streets, people begin to flock to the their doors. The lines would ofter pour into the street,  no matter what the weather was like. I always made sure to stop at this bakery when I was in need of a fresh baguette, or if I had a sweet tooth that needed to be subdued. My favorite go-to dessert was their  “Tartelette Aux Frasises”, or their “Tartelette Aux Frambroise”,  which when paired with a fresh cup of coffee equaled just a bit of heaven for me.

Since strawberries are starting to fill the markets, I decided to make a traditional strawberry tart as a way to re-live some of my lovely parisian memories. These tarts were quite fun to make, and the first bite opened up such a flood gate of memories for me. I decided to use honey instead of sugar, which gave the pastry cream such a full flavor that is not too sweet. I hope that you enjoy this dessert, and may it remind you of a piece of Paris with each bite!

For the Recipe, You will need:

 

Pastry Cream

~ Yields about 1 Cup ~

· 1 1/4 Cup Milk

· 1/2 Vanilla Bean

· 3 Egg Yolks

· 2 Tablespoons Honey & 1 1/2 Teaspoons Honey

· 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

· 2 Tablespoons Flour

· Pinch of Kosher Salt

· 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

· Small Basket of Strawberries

 

Equipment: saucepan, 2 medium bowls, whisk, spatula and sifter

Add milk and vanilla bean to a saucepan and place on medium heat until it begins to simmer.

While the milk is warming up, lightly whisk the egg yolks and honey in a medium bowl until smooth.

Sift the the flour, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt into the yolk mixture. Mix these ingredients together very well, use a spatula if you need to.

Once the milk begins to simmer, pour in a a small amount (like 1/3 of a cup) into the yolks and whisk well. Then, in a steady stream, pour the rest of your milk into the medium bowl and fully combine.

Now you can split your vanilla bean and add it to the bowl, whisk this for a few seconds and pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 30 seconds, or until the pastry cream thickens. * If you noticed any cooked bits of yolks turn up in your mixture, simply strain it as you pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

Once thickened, transfer the pastry cream to another bowl and mix in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge and let cool for a few hours before use.

(adapted from Joy of Baking)

 

Tart Crust

~ Yields 4 Tartelettes ~

· 1 Cup Unbleached White Flour

· 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

· 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil

· 2 Tablespoons Honey

 

Equipment: 4, 4″ Tart Pans

Pre-heat your oven to 325F

Mix together all of your ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the dough clumps together .

Turn out the dough onto a flat surface and kneed it a bit until the dough fully comes together.

Divide the dough into 4 small balls and press into your tart molds. Press the dough firmly into the molds and remove any excess dough if the tart seems too thick. An alternative way to do this would be to roll out each ball to about 5 inches in diameter and then transfer to the tart molds.

Be sure to grab a fork and puncture the crust a few times so that the crust doesn’t bubble up.

Put your crust into the oven and pre-bake it for about 12-13 minutes – or until the edges start to brown a little.

Once cooled, fill with pastry cream and top with sliced strawberries.

Bon appetite!