If you need a showstopper dessert that isn’t hard to prepare, then look no further! Strawberry tarts look amazing and taste amazing too! And they are actually easy to make. No complicated techniques involved! All you need is pâte sablée (or pâte sucrée) for the sweet and crumbly base, a rich and luscious pastry cream and fresh ripe strawberries.
If you’ve been following the baking calendar, you’ve probably already prepared the tart shell and the pastry cream. Now all that’s left to do is assemble the tart! If you missed the calendar, no worries, you can go through the step-by-step posts on how to make pastry cream and pâte sablée (or pâte sucrée if you prefer).
What Are The Components Of A Strawberry Tart?
Let’s break it down into the different components so you can see how simple it is.
You can use any tart crust you like really. Most recipes will use pâte sablée or pâte sucrée. But you can even use pâte brisée if you like.
The crust will bring texture and you don’t want it to end up soggy. To prevent this from happening, there are two things you can do:
- Protective coating: Melt some chocolate (I use white) and brush it over the crust. You can also just use a spoon if you don’t have a brush. Another option would be to brush a little bit of beaten egg (egg white or whole egg) over the crust 5 minutes before the end of the baking time.
- Last minute assembly: Prepare the tart shell and the pastry cream but assemble just before serving.
The pastry cream
The right consistency of the pastry cream is important for a clean cut. You need the pastry cream to be thick enough so that it doesn’t leak everywhere when you cut a piece, but not rubbery. To get that consistency, you might need to add a bit more thickener (flour, cornstarch or even gelatin) to the pastry cream recipe you normally use.
How much should you fill the tart? Fill the tart shell almost to the top, just below the rim. Using a spatula or spoon, spread the pastry cream evenly.
The strawberries play a very big role in the aesthetics and flavor of your tart. So it’s best to use fresh, ripe strawberries.
How ripe should the strawberries be? They should be ripe enough for sweetness and flavor, but not so ripe that they just get mushy when you hold them!
Size of the strawberries: If you have a few extra minutes, try sorting out your strawberries by size. This way you can arrange them neatly on the tart.
Cut or not? That’s really up to you! You can cut the strawberries in two, or slice them up in multiple pieces. You can also just put the whole strawberry, which I found especially useful when making tartlets.
Arranging the strawberries
This really isn’t my strong point but I’ll just give you a few ideas to get you started. I’m sure you’ll do a better job!
For the large strawberry tart in this post, I sliced the strawberries into about 3 pieces (not too thin, or thick). Place a circular layer of strawberries slices, starting from the outside. For the next layer, place the strawberry slices in the gaps, between the strawberry slices.
Keep doing this until you get to the middle. Place a whole strawberry in the center of the tart. I had trouble doing this for a tartlet though. It was much easier and prettier when working with a large tart.
In the second example, I sliced the strawberries differently. It didn’t look great so I just ended up using whole strawberries for the small tartlets.
I have trouble finding the perfect strawberries to be honest. I end up buying more than I need so that I can sort through them. And sometimes it’s still not enough. If you have the same problem but want to make a fruit tart, you can simply replace the strawberries with other types of berries, kiwis, grapes, apricots…
Glazing the strawberry tart
This step is optional but it really adds something to the strawberry tart. The glaze serves two purposes:
- It adds a nice shine to your tart.
- It preserves the fruit used for longer.
You can just use some apricot jam for this purpose and heat it slightly in the microwave. If you don’t have any, you can use other types of jam. Just make sure to strain any chunks of fruits before brushing the warm jam on the fruits.
If you aren’t using jam, you can simply sift some powdered sugar over the tart.
And that’s it! Crust remains crisp: check! Tasty filling, shiny strawberries: check and check! I’m sure you’ll make an amazing tart! I can’t wait for you to try this recipe!
Felder, C. (2014). Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (4th ed.) Rizzoli.