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Strawberry Tart

Yield 1 (9-inch) tart
A layer of pastry cream snuggles beneath a blanket of fresh berries in this classic French dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cold butter or margarine, cut up
  • 2 tablespoons cold shortening
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon rose water or orange-flower water (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprig

How to Make It

  1. Pulse first 3 ingredients in a blender or food processor 3 or 4 times or until combined.

  2. Add 1/3 cup butter and shortening; pulse 5 or 6 times or until crumbly. With blender or processor running, gradually add 3 tablespoons water, and process until dough forms a ball and leaves sides of bowl, adding more water if necessary. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour.

  3. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Line dough with parchment paper; fill with pie weights or dried beans.

  4. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper, and bake 3 more minutes.

  5. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.

  6. Whisk together half-and-half, egg yolks, and, if desired, rose water. Gradually whisk half-and-half mixture into sugar mixture in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove mixture from heat.

  7. Stir in 3 tablespoons butter and vanilla; cover and chill at least 4 hours. Spoon into prepared pastry shell; top with strawberry slices, and serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.