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Saturday, January 8, 2011
When delectable strawberries start to find their way into grocery stores, it is difficult to fend off their draw. Those little red gems are trickling in from the North - Japan and Korean. Albeit still a little pricey as it is still not the peak season for these strawberries but they are too alluring to ignore.
I think I will need to officially proclaim the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook as my favourite cookbook of 2010 moving into 2011. I find myself flipping through it every other day, drooling over the rustic,scrumptious treats.For the third time, I am drawn again to their tart recipe... yes, I am that boring but trust me, dear folks, they are truly delicious.
Less work than the Ginger Brulee Tart or the Passion Fruit Meringue tart, this one works with a classic creme patissiere filling. I, have, for some reason always feared the pastry cream. I have a tendency to either overcook or undercook it. Stirring the custard in the pot, I am always unsure if I have already reached the 'end point'.
Bourke Street Bakery handles the creme patissiere a little differently and for the first time, I feel that I have really achieved a successful custard! First whisking the sugar and plain flour into the egg yolks, a smooth base is already created before the warm milk was added. Cooking the custard without corn flour, allows it to thicken gradually, hence the custard continues to stay smooth and light. For this tart, the custard was further aerated with the addition of whipped cream. The overall texture was silky smooth,creamy yet light with just the right level of sweetness - a perfect combination with the tart pastry and the juicy berries.
I can't wait to use this custard again and again...!
1 quantity of short crust pastry (see here)
750g creme patissiere (see below for recipe)
20ml Grand Marnier
80ml Pouring (whipping) cream
500g Strawberries (original recipe features a mixture of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
1. Prepare tart cases as demonstrated here.
2. Whisk creme patissiere with Grand Marnier on high speed until smooth.
3. Whip whipping cream into soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into (2) and place in the refrigerature for an hour to chill.
4. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the custard mixture into each tart case and arrange berries on top. Serve immediately.
Creme Patissiere (You need to triple this recipe for the above tart recipe)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
50g castor sugar
3 egg yolks
15g all purpose flour
1. Into a saucepan add milk and vanilla seeds and bean. Heat up until just boiling point. Remove from heat and pour into a container to cool. Refrigerate at least 6 hours to allow vanilla to infuse.
2. Gently reheat milk over low heat. Put egg yolks in a metal mixing bowl. Gradually whisk sugar into egg yolks until completely combined. Continue whisking while adding flour until a smooth mixture is obtained.
3. Pour warm milk through a fine sieve into (2). Whisk until smooth.
4. Pour (3) back into saucepan and bring to boil. Stirring it continuously with a wooden spoon. Once the custard boils, reduce heat to a simmer for another 5 minutes. Stirring must be done throughout.
5. Cool down and refrigerate.