Square Strawberry Puff Pastry Tart
This has all the elegance of a Paris pastry shop. Try to find an all-butter puff pastry; the flavor will be much better. (Dufour makes an excellent one that is sold in many specialty foods stores.) The smaller the berries are, the more elegant the tart is, and it will also be easier to eat with smaller berries. You might add orange liqueur or light rum to the pastry cream instead of the vanilla—use about the same amount.
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Mealbrunch, dinner, tea
Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, fruity, light, sweet
Type of Dishdessert, tart
- 1 sheet (about 8 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed according to the package directions
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- ¼ cup strawberry jam
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 pints small ripe strawberries, hulled
STEP 1: Take the pastry: Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to 1/8 inch thick. Using a ruler and a sharp knife, trim the edges to make a 10-inch square. Transfer the pastry to the prepared baking sheet. Using a ruler and a sharp knife, cut a 1-inch border around the square, but leave about 1 inch each of two opposite corners uncut.
STEP 2: Whisk together the water and egg yolk in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg wash on the border, avoiding the cut edges and being careful not to let any drip down the sides. Pick up one outside point of the cut border and fold it across the square, aligning it on the opposite corner of the base. Pick up the other outside point of the cut border and cross over to the opposite corner of the base, aligning the edges. Press lightly with your fingertips to seal, and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Prick the base of the tart shell all over with a fork. Brush the rim with the egg wash. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
STEP 3: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
STEP 4: Bake the tart shell for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
STEP 5: To make the pastry cream: Beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a medium bowl until thick and pale, about 8 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour just until blended.
STEP 6: Bring the milk just to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return to the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly; boil for 1 minute. Transfer to a shallow bowl and stir in the vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the cream and refrigerate for about 3 hours, until thoroughly chilled, or for up to 1 day.
STEP 7: To make the glaze: Heat the jam with the water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
STEP 8: Brush the bottom of the pastry shell with some of the glaze. Spoon the chilled pastry cream into the center and spread it evenly. Arrange the strawberries on top of the cream, with the points up. Brush the strawberries with the remaining glaze. (The tart can be stored at cool room temperature for up to 3 hours.)
STEP 9: Cut the tart with a serrated knife to serve.
2006 Lori Longbotham