Serves 6–8 people
Prep time 30 mins
Cooking time 40 mins, plus chilling
Equipment Small heavy-based saucepan; heatproof bowl; electric mixer; balloon whisk; bowl; plastic wrap; food processor; rolling pin; baking paper; 23cm loose-based tart tin; baking beads, dried beans or rice; baking tray; small saucepan; sieve; pastry brush; airtight container
80g strawberry jam
500g strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
LIQUEUR CRÈME PÂTISSIÈRE
375ml full-cream milk
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthways, seeds scraped
55g caster sugar
1 free-range egg
1 free-range egg yolk
35g plain flour
2 tbsp Framboise or Cointreau
80ml thickened (whipping) cream (35% fat)
PÂTÉ SUCRÉE (SWEET PASTRY)
150g plain flour
55g caster sugar
60g cold unsalted butter, chopped
2 free-range egg yolks
1 tbsp iced water, approximately
1 LIQUEUR CRÈME PÂTISSIÈRE Combine milk, vanilla bean pod and seeds in small heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, beat sugar, egg and egg yolk using an electric mixer, until thick and pale. Beat in the flour.
2 Remove vanilla pod from milk. While whisking, slowly pour hot milk into egg mixture, whisk until combined.
3 Return mixture to saucepan and cook, whisking constantly with balloon whisk, for about 5 minutes, until mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Remove from heat and stir in liqueur.
4 Transfer to bowl, cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, until well chilled. The crème pâtissière can be made 2-3 days in advance and kept in the fridge.
5 PÂTÉ SUCRÉE Place flour, sugar and butter in food processor and pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolks and iced water and process until the ingredients just come together, adding a little more iced water if necessary. Press dough into a flat disc shape, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
6 Roll out pastry between two sheets of lightly floured baking paper to about 3mm thick, large enough to line 23cm loose-based tart tin.
Ease pastry into tin, gently pressing it into the side, then trim the edge. Refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.
7 Preheat the oven to moderate, 170°C, meanwhile.
8 Cover pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beads, dried beans or rice. Place on baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove paper and weights and bake for a further 10-12 minutes, or until pastry is cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
9 Whisk chilled crème pâtissière until smooth just before serving. Beat cream until soft peaks form, then fold into crème pâtissière in two batches. Refrigerate until required.
10 Heat jam and 2 tsp water in small saucepan over low heat until jam has melted and mixture is combined.
Strain and discard seeds.
11 Brush inside of cooled pastry case with jam, then fill with crème pâtissière. Arrange strawberries decoratively in concentric circles over filling, pressing them lightly into the crème.
12 Transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until your picnic. Tart is best enjoyed the same day.
Portable feast Recipes from Le Picnic: Chic Food For On-The-Go by Suzy Ashford, Smith Street Books, $29.99. Out September.