This fruit and cream tart features strawberry flavored pastry cream, a unique and pretty twist on the classic filling. A layer of chocolate ganache makes it taste like chocolate covered strawberries, which as we all know, are the best.
One of my favorite movies ever is My Fair Lady. It's a musical, so you can't go wrong. There's a healthy dose of snark (Guttersnipe, anyone?), amazing costumes (the Ascot hats. Enough said), and of course, Audrey.
And every time I hear somebody mention strawberry tarts (which isn't often enough, now that I think of it), I remember the scene where Eliza gets excited because it seems that Henry Higgins is going to give her a tart, and instead he feeds it to... the bird. Saddest moment in the movie, if you ask me.
This is a kind of strawberry tart that is just extra in all the good ways. Underneath the layer of meticulously laid out berries and chocolate ganache, there is a layer of strawberry pastry cream. To be honest, the pastry cream surprised me. I was completely prepared to dislike and toss it if it tasted funny or had a weird texture, but I was excited when it was everything I had envisioned-- lightly sweet, creamy, and just enough of a pop of strawberry flavor.
As for the strawberry pattern on the top, I've detailed it in the recipe (spoiler: it's actually really simple), but this is something you could definitely put your own unique spin on. Whole berries, or and pattern of cut berries would be completely wonderful, so you do you!
And dedicate a bite or two to Eliza Doolittle when you cut in and enjoy it. After all, her tart went to the bird.
Chocolate & Strawberry Cream Tart
Recipe by Rebecca Neidhart
Makes one 9" tart
Prep Time: 1.5 hours || Chilling time: 4 hours
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tsp. all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/3 cup strawberry puree
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 crust's worth of pate sucree
- 4 oz. dark chocolate, plus more for shavings on top
- 4 oz. whipping cream
- 1 lb. strawberries, sliced very thinly
Prepare and bake your tart crust according to the directions in the recipe. Allow it to cool completely, the prepare the strawberry custard.
In a medium saucepan (preferably with a heavy bottom), combine 1 1/2 cups of the whole milk, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, making sure to stir occasionally so that the milk doesn't scorch.
While the milk is heating, in a small mixing bowl combine the egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup of milk, flour, and cornstarch. Mix until there are no lumps of flour or cornstarch, and slowly pour about half of the heated milk into the bowl, stirring as you pour. Return the egg & milk mixture to the saucepan, and heat over medium heat for another 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should thicken significantly to a soft pudding consistency. Remove from the heat and pour through a sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in the strawberry puree, butter, and vanilla until the butter has melted completely, then pour into the tart crust. Place a layer of plastic cling wrap directly onto the top of the cream and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Chop and place the 4 oz. of dark chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl. Heat the whipping cream in the microwave or on the stove until bubbling. Pour it over the chocolate and allow it to sit for 8-10 minutes, then stir until the mixture becomes smooth and cohesive. Pour carefully over the strawberry cream, and carefully use a spoon to smooth the chocolate over the top.
Allow the chocolate to set up in the fridge for at least 2 hours. To prepare the berries for the top, slice them as thinly as possible. Starting around the outside edge, lay the slices with the point out, slightly over lapping the edges. Complete the outside ring, then continue to make smaller rings, making sure that the ends of the strawberries are resting on the previous ring. To add the chocolate shavings, rub the back of a chocolate bar with your hand to warm it slightly. Then, take a chef's knife and, with the blade angled slightly downward, press firmly and scrape the chocolate bar, creating chocolate shavings to sprinkle over the tops of the strawberries.
Best if served immediately, or the strawberries may begin to weep. Store in the refrigerator.