The tarts that line the bake case shelves in Paris all displayed gorgeously divine fruit tarts. I noticed they all had a beautifully shiny glaze over the top. This recipe definitely yields the same thing. I was so happy with the finished tart! It was almost too pretty to eat...I've never let that stop me in the past, though...hah.***
Tarte Aux Fraises
(Fresh Strawberry Tart - cold)
Recipe by Julia Child
Source: Mastering the Art of French Cooking; Volume I
A 10-inch fully baked pastry shell (see "Sugar Crust" recipe below)
1 quart large, ripe, handsome strawberries
1 cup red currant jelly (apricot jelly can be substituted if you have trouble finding red currant)
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. kirsch or cognac (I used Frangelico hazelnut liqueur)
1 1/2 to 2 cups chilled creme patissiere (custard filling...recipe below)
Hull the strawberries. If necessary to wash them, do so very quickly, and drain them on a rack.
Boil the currant jelly, sugar, and liqueur in a small saucepan until last drops from spoon are sticky. Paint the interior of the shell with a thin coating of the glaze and allow to set for 5 minutes. This will give the shell a light waterproofing. Reserve the rest of the glaze for the strawberries. Warm it briefly if it has hardened.
Spread a 1/2-inch layer of creme patissiere in the bottom of the pastry shell.
Arrange a design of strawberries over the cream. Put the largest strawberry in the center, and graduate down in size, placing the berries closely together, their stem ends in the cream. Spoon or paint over them a thin coating of the glaze, and the tart is ready to serve. Because of the glazed waterproofing in the bottom of the shell, the filled tart may wait an hour or so.
1 1/3 cups flour
3 to 7 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. double-action baking powder
7 tbsp. fat: 5 tbsp chilled butter and 2 tbsp. chilled vegetable shortening
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Place the flour, sugar, butter, vegetable shortening, and baking powder in the mixing bowl. Rub the fat and dry ingredients together rapidly with the tips of your fingers until the fat is broken into bits the size of small oatmeal flakes. Blend in the egg and vanilla, and knead the dough rapidly into a ball. Place on a pastry board and with the heel of your head, not the palm, rapidly press the pastry by two-spoonful bits down on the board and away from you in a firm, quick smear of about 6 inches. The dough will be quite sticky if you have used the full amount of sugar. Form again into a ball, wrap in waxed paper, and chill for several hours until firm.
1 cup granulated sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup flour
2 cups boiling milk
1 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks and continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and forms "the ribbon".
Beat in the flour.
Beating the yolk mixture, gradually pour on the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets.
Pour into saucepan and set over moderately high heat. Stir with a wire whip, reaching all over bottom of the pan. As sauce comes to a boil it will get lumpy, but will smooth out as you beat it. When boil is reached, beat over moderately low heat for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour. Be careful custard does not scorch in bottom of pan.
Remove from heat and beat in the butter, then vanilla extract. If the custard is not used immediately, clean it off the sides of the pan, and dot top of custard with softened butter to prevent a skin from forming over the surface. Creme Patissiere will keep for a week under refrigeration, or may be frozen.