Wednesday, August 01, 2012

French Strawberry Hazelnut and Creme Patissiere Tart

French Strawberry Creme Patiserie Tart (0041) by Meeta K. Wolff 

Could these possibly be the last of the strawberries for the year?

It seems not too long ago that we were just getting excited about the start of the strawberry season. Spending quite a few days at our pick-your-own strawberry farm on the way home from work and school became customary.

However a couple of weeks ago as we made our way to the fields both Soeren and I were saddened by the sight of a small tractor turning the soil over and preparing the individual patches for the next season – next year!

Our favorite patch on the field had been trimmed and laid to rest, but the farmer’s wife pointed us to a lone patch at the far end of the field and told us we might be able to find a few there. Alas, although we did find a few, they were not enough to really bring home. Instead, we gathered what we found and then made our way back to the car where we sat with the boot open and munched the few fistfuls of the juicy fruit.

It did not take long for the tractor to make its way to that patch, working its way like a fierce giant treading all that came in its way flat. Simultaneously, Soeren and I let out a forlorn sigh. We both were recalling the lovely day we spent with 3 of his friends at the field just a few days earlier. 

Soeren Strawberry Field (0054) by Meeta K. Wolff

It was a hot and muggy afternoon and the house echoed with the giggles and squeaks of pre-teens. Soeren had three friends over and after spending most of the morning outdoors, were taking refuge in the coolness of his room. Usher played on the radio and the four kids seemed to be getting nosier by the minute. As I tried to concentrate on some paperwork, the combination of rising temperatures combatting against the rising pandemonium in Soeren’s room became impossible.

Shutting my notebook, I told the four to put their shoes on as we were going on a little trip. I revel at the sight of sparkles in the eyes of 10 year olds when adventure or mystery lies ahead and I piped on that tune like the Pied Piper to lure them into the car.

As we neared the fields I told them what their mission was.

A Tart – not just any tart but THE perfect strawberry tart is in the planning. As the best Strawberry Agents in Weimar, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find the juiciest and plumpest strawberries on the field. But be aware: there are other strawberries camouflaged as juicy strawberries but a closer look reveals them to be moldy, mushy and tasteless. Your weapons: bamboo strawberry baskets, your bare hands and your mouths. Make sure you devour as many of the strawberries before you use the baskets. Wish you all the best with your Strawberry Mission”

Diptych Strawberry Fields 2 by Meeta K. Wolff Diptych Strawberry Fields 1 by Meeta K. Wolff Diptych Strawberry Fields 3 by Meeta K. Wolff

Off they hastened giggling, but fully submerged in their new role of Strawberry Agents on their strawberry mission. I watched them chattering away, squealing at the sight of the right fruit.

“No! These are too big! Look here are so many!”
“Oh look these are so red!”
“No no – they do not taste good enough for the tart”

And in this way a few hours passed and we came home with about 4 kilos of the juiciest and sweetest strawberries of the season. In these few hours I was able to put together a couple of ideas I had whizzing in my head for a tart and our teamwork proved to be extremely fruitful.

French Strawberry Creme Patiserie Tart (0010) by Meeta K. Wolff French Strawberry Creme Patiserie Tart (0060) by Meeta K. Wolff Poppy 2012 (0079) by Meeta K. Wolff

Back at home I prepped the ingredients and the kids helped to weigh, cut and mix. Rolling out the pastry, whisking the filling and cutting the strawberries, the mission continued into the afternoon. Finally when I put the tart together, 4 pairs of gleaming eyes looked at me with big beaming grins.

Their mission was a success!

I simply adore strawberries with thick creamy custard and the idea for this tart is inspired from this. I add ground hazelnuts to the pastry as I find nuts give a pastry case that extra bite. The filling for the best strawberries was to be something luxurious and the creaminess of a smooth crème pâtissière just beckoned me. I did not go through the task of using a bain-marie for the custard though, with the kids all in the kitchen, I opted to heat it very gently in a saucepan. It’s a simple and easy to put together kind of tart without much hassle of a complicated pastry crust. Brilliant for Strawberry Agents waiting to devour the most perfect strawberry tart ever!

French Strawberry Creme Patiserie Tart (0012) by Meeta K. Wolff

Recipe: French Strawberry Hazelnut and Creme Patissiere Tart

Printable version of recipe here

 French Strawberry Creme Patiserie Tart by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 10

Ingredients:
For the pastry

  • 140g all-purpose flour
  • 50g ground hazelnuts
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 50g fine granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
For the crème pâtissière
  • 350ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 25g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Additionally
  • 500g strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered depending on size
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry jelly

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. In a food processor add flour, hazelnuts and butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the sugar and mix briefly. Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tablespoons cold water, then pulse to a firm dough.
  3. Knead the dough briefly on a lightly floured surface, then roll out and line a 24cm tart form with the dough. Using a sharp knife, trim off the excess pastry, then chill for 15 mins.
  4. Line pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 mins, then remove the paper and beans and cook for a further 5-7 mins until the pastry is cooked and pale golden. Set aside to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, make the crème pâtissière placing the milk and vanilla pod in a large pan and bringing it to the boil. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar for 10 minutes until voluminous and thick, 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 on a low heat, stirring constantly until it has thickened. Take the pan off the heat, cover the surface of the crème pâtissière with baking paper and leave to cool.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar for 10 minutes until voluminous and thick, 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 on a low heat, stirring constantly until it has thickened. Take the pan off the heat, cover the surface of the crème pâtissière with baking paper and leave to cool.
  8. Spoon the crème pâtissière into the tart, then level the surface with the back of a spoon. Scatter the strawberries over the crème pâtissière until it is completely covered by the fruit.
  9. Gently warm the jelly with 2 tablespoons water until melted, brush over the strawberries and leave for 2 minutes to set. Serve.

Notes: Strawberries scream summer and in my Food Guide you will find great tips on selecting, storing and preparing strawberries.
A divine variation for all the chocolate addicts is a chocolate pastry cream by Pierre Hermé.


Verdict

French Strawberry Creme Patiserie Tart (0008) by Meeta K. Wolff

A rich buttery hazelnut pastry embracing luscious strawberries and creamy custard filling for an unbeatable summer feeling, this tart is for connoisseurs who like to indulge in a bit of luxury. Although it’s an easy tart to create, it provides some extravagant flavors. Only the best strawberries will make this worthwhile as the tart is loaded with the fresh fruit. Hold on the last of the summer … it’ll be gone before you know it.

Strawberry Link Love
Honey Balsamic Strawberry Galette by Hannah of Honey & Jam
Strawberry Shortcakes by Naomi of Bakers Royale
Strawberry Hues Design Seed
Strawberry Music Festival at Yosemite National Park
Monochromatic Monday: Strawberry Shortcake by Camille Styles
and of course the divine
Strawberry Mascarpone Whipped Cream Tart by Jamie of Life's A Feast

I’ve started to long overdue and much needed blog maintenance - its going slowly - very slowly but one of the first things I wanted to tackle was to add a designated page for all the workshops I am teaching and have taught. You’ll find the Workshops page on the navigation bar above for easy access. This page will be updated to add all the upcoming workshops and for an easier overview of all the past workshops and their reviews,

Monthly Mingle 

Don’t forget you can still join us for the A Taste of Yellow - A Tribute to Barbara Harris till August 11th, 2012. Our August Mingle will be announced shortly over at the lovely Zizi’s Adventures , who has chosen a fantastic and fun theme. Make sure to keep yourself updated.

Hold-on-to-summer tart ideas from WFLH:

Apricot and Pistachio Frangipane Tart (0050) by Meeta K. Wolff Bakewell Tart (02) by MeetaK Peach Goat Cheese Tart (01) by MeetaK
Apricot and Pistachio Frangipane Tart Bakewell Tart with Thyme Infused Cherry Preserve and Cashew Frangipane Minty Peach & Cardamom Goat Cheese Tart


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2012 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

31 comments :

  1. Oh wow, this is stunning! Makes me want to make one right now. Bookmarked for this weekend!

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  2. You are a rocket, my dear! I want to shout out loud - if you have kids send them to Meeta, she can manage every bunch of preteens or like I would say - "einen Sack Flöhe hüten"!
    Your tart is looking mouthwatering and it is such a pity that strawberry-season is over now. But there will be another season - the mushrooms are growing and during september we should go picking them.
    hugs, Sandy

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  3. That is one of my favorite summer tarts! As a matter of fact, tonight we are having berry tartlets with pastry cream... ;-P

    Amazing clicks! I really love this series.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. Oh..and I am feeling the same for the receding mango baskets from the shops. Have been reading a lot about berry picking on various blogs..wish I could do it once..sounds fun.
    The tart with those gorgeous red berries look yum!

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  5. I wish we were in Florida in time for the strawberry picking season. Just returned from Arizona.

    Lovely tart, Meeta. Almost too beautiful to devour. Almost :D

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  6. That was some mission and they sure did had fun accomplishing it. The picture says it all and the tart looks perfect.

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  7. Your tart looks stunning Meeta! We are in the middle of strawberry season here, and took my stepsons strawberry picking a few weeks ago and came home with a couple of kilograms too. I don't think there is anything better than fresh strawberries.

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  8. Stunning photos and tart, Meeta. The essence of summer!

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  9. It's so, so beautiful!!!
    You're amazing! I love to make tarts!!
    Thanks !!!

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  10. Love all the strawberry pics and the account of a lovely day. But love the poppy pic most of all :)

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  11. Wow. Gorgeous post. Kids scare me. I couldn;t be their guide. I had an opportunity to teach a kid's cooking class while in Israel but bowed out. This tart looks fantastic. Will be catching up with the rest of your posts now that I am back.

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  12. I would be so sad if we couldn't get more strawberries this summer... but I guess if they were the last of the crop, this dessert would be the most beautiful way to have them.

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  13. What a fantastic mission you set them on Meeta! I bet they were loving the results of their picking with this gorgeous tart! Gorgeous pics!

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  14. What?! You didn't link to my Strawberry Mascarpone Cream Tart? Oy!

    I love this: you mention Soeren being in the house giggling with friends and they turn out to be girls! He's a ladykiller, isn't he? I love the photos of them picking strawberries. I loved doing that as a kid. The tart is perfection! Now I need to make another before our own strawberry season ends!

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  15. Love this gorgeous red post! Bright vibrant colors and an equally beautiful tart!

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  16. picturesque field for strawberry picking, and how I would love a slice of that gorgeous tart!

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  17. The strawberry season ended here almost two months ago, next year seems so far away.
    The tart looks amazing Meeta, You gave the kids a mission and seems like they accomplished it very well!

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  18. Amazed by your picture..
    Congratulation for your blog!
    Warm regards fron Italy
    Barbara
    www.mugitaly.com

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  19. Meeta, this looks like such a lovely way to use summer's finest strawberries! I would love to try this same tart with blackberries or blueberries... which are just coming into season here in Portland, OR. I've also never made pastry cream before... but this might be the occasion to do it :o) Hope you've had a lovely weekend!

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  20. This tart is perfect! I love the classic strawberry tart with gorgeous berries nesting in a creamy custard...and yours looks brilliant!

    You are the best mom ever for thinking up of strawberry missions!! :) I am taking notes ;)

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  21. The end of strawberry season always makes me a little sad. Yes we have them year round but they're only good during summer. And your tart looks absolutely perfect!!

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  22. Strawberry season is already over here but thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe I could still have a taste of this yummy tart! miam

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  23. Other than making perfect Tart Strawberries make gorgeous photographs too.. Love to use fresh fruits a lot in baking or cooking... Alas strawberry season is over in India may be I can replace them with peaches in that beautiful pie case.

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  24. Yum! I could have slice after slice of this! And again that first shot is magical.

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  25. LOL - strawberry agents - brilliant! And Yes, I did notice that at least 2 of the friends are girls. he's gonna be a heartbreaker, for sure! The tart looks awesome - stunning pics as always :)

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  26. Thank you all so much for your comments. The tart was really good but I enjoyed the little trip to the fields with the kids so much. With regards to Soeren being a ladies man ... I am buying double locks for the doors!! Also he also had a "boy" friend with him but he was forever running off!
    Glad you all liked this post. It was fun writing it too.

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  27. It seems like the season for berries comes and goes so fast. Cooking recipes using your own hand-picked berries probably makes it all worth it.

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  28. Beautiful, beautiful looking tart. I feel your sadness that strawberry season is over for you, but I confess to a sneaky smile crossing my face, because it means that strawberry season lurks just around the corner for me.

    Lovely blog - I just found you via Mairi at Toast - I'll definitely visit again.

    Sue :-)

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  29. i made this tart and it was gorgeous both looks and taste!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta