Side of the road Strawberry tart

This lovely tart came about because of a boy. Sitting on the side of the road selling glorious Wexford strawberries. Every summer there are horse boxes, trailers, and car boots brimming with wexford strawberries and new potatoes parked on the roadside all over the country. When you see the handwritten signs advertising this seasonal wonder you just have to stop as it’s a traditional herald of summer. I know I’m such a brat because I was eating strawberries way back in March! These strawberries were nicer though, sun ripened and plump and also they cost a fortune. Funny how those cute handwritten signs never have any price and how you have abandoned the car on the side of the road with the hazard lights on so have to justify your risky detour by grabbing 4 punnets…

I used a Martha Stewart recipe for Buttermilk pastry cream. It’s a real find. Any other recipes from Creme patisserie I’ve found have 8 egg yolks or something ridiculous and I can never justify that! But this recipe was easy and had lovely lemon zest in it too which was gorgeous with the strawberries. I’ll definitely make it again. It would be gorgeous in a sponge cake, or as a filling for mille feuille.

Strawberry Tart
If you have a favourite recipe for shortcrust pastry then use that, I used this one and it really is so quick & easy:

The Pastry:
150g cold butter, cubed
240g plain flour
30g icing sugar
1 egg

The Strawberries:
Slice one punnet of strawberries and sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar and a tablespoon of good balsamic vinegar over. Mix and leave for half an hour before using.

The Creaminess:
One batch of Buttermilk pastry Cream folded into one carton of softly whipped cream. Amazing.

  • Put the butter, flour & sugar into a bowl and mix with your fingertips until it’s like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg and gently work to a dough. Don’t knead it.
  • Cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out to fit your tart tin and line neatly. Leave to rest again for another ten minutes.
  • Line the pastry case with a sheet of greaseproof paper,foil, or I use old butter wrappers, and fill with baking beans or lentils. Bake at 180 for about 15 mins until golden.
  • Remove the foil & baking beans and leave to cook for another 5 mins until the entire case is golden.

  • When the pastry case is cooled completely fill generously with the pastry cream. Drop the strawberries on top and serve immediately.

Of course you could use plain old whipped cream for this instead of the hassle of making the pastry cream. It really is a treat though. The balsamic vinegar is gorgeous with the strawberries and somehow brings out the sun ripened berriness of them! Balsamic Strawberries are really lovely with Greek yogurt too.

Lilly x

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