Real Living (Australia) - - EAT -

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


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)


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.

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