When I was a little girl, we used to live near a bakery that had the best strawberry tarts, they were my favorite! To tell you the truth, I don't even know for sure if anything else was good there, because I always got the same thing lol! My dad would take me sometimes and I would get 2 tarts, 1 to eat right then and then 1 to take home. I loved how simple the flavors were, the sweet, rich pastry cream, fresh strawberries... yum! As I got older, I never really had another one once we moved away. Earlier this week when I took the kids to the farmers market, we got a bunch of real yummy fruit...
and some gorgeous strawberries were my favorites of the day...
I originally wanted to make some individual tarts with them, but couldn't for the life of me find my tart shells with the bottom that pops out! All I could find was my large 9" one, so that had to do because my mouth was already watering from just thinking of that sweet pastry cream!
So here we go:
12 graham crackers (about 1 1/2 sleeves from a box)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 tablespoon of water
5 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pint fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sliced toasted almods
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or semi sweet baking chocolate
1/4 orange marmalade (heated slightly)
Preheat over to 375 degrees.
1. Add graham crackers to food processor and break down until you have a fine powder
2. add melted butter and sugar
3. Check consistency of mixture and if it is still loose and dot holding any shape, add the water. Mixture should look like this:
4. Place the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up side of a 9" tart shell (or individual shells).
6. While the milk is heating up, separate eggs and add egg yolks to a bowl of stand mixer.
7. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale yellow. This will take a few minutes.
8. Add cornstarch 1 tablespoon at a time until well combined.
9. Add hot milk to egg mixture VERY slowly. Start with about 1/4 cup to temper, then add the rest.
11. Cook over low heat, constantly stirring, making sure to scrape the bottom and edges. Mixture will thicken up after a couple of minutes. Once it begins to bubble, stir hard with a wire whisk. Turn off heat, and add the heavy cream and vanilla.
12. To ensure you don't get any lumps, put cream through a sieve.
13. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly over the top of the cream to avoid it forming a skin!
Put bowl in refrigerator for at least 1 1/2 hours to cool completely.
14. Once pastry cream is cold, you are ready to assemble your tart! Right when I was done putting the cream on the shell and after I had decided I wanted to drizzle this with chocolate, I thought it might be neat to add MORE chocolate into this. If I could have gone back 5 minutes, I would have melted some semi sweet chocolate and pour that right on top of the crust, let cool to harden and then continued... can't get enough chocolate right? Anyways, I didn't get to do it, but you could :) Otherwise,begin slicing strawberries!
15. Arrange sliced berries on top of the tart. Starting on the outside edge, lay strawberries down in a circle. Do the same with the next round until tart is filled.
16. Melt chocolate in a small glass bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, then heat for another 45 seconds to 1 minute. Keep your eye on it and stir until smooth! After all of your strawberries are laid out, drizzle your melted chocolate over the top. Using a circular motion, just take a fork, grab some chocolate on the tips and swirl around the tart.
I actually added my almonds BEFORE I did the chocolate, but if I could go back, I would switch the order!
17. Go ahead and sprinkles the top with your toasted almonds :)
18. To make your tart nice and shiney and to "preserve" it a bit, I thought it would be good to add some preserves to the top of it. It will also give another layer of flavor, so that can't be that bad! Heat your marmalade in the microwave for about 20 seconds, just until thinned out a bit. Brush this on top of tart with a pastry brush