I was going to post this yesterday, but never got around to it. I have felt especially busy the last few days. Plus, my husband, who is a baseball fanatic, has been watching the College World Series and has gotten me into it as well…..so, too much time watching baseball and not enough time doing other things!!
This tart was made from 3 recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. This is quickly becoming my baking bible. I knew I wanted to make something with strawberries, and I thought about doing a cheesecake, but I wanted to use a tart pan that I had purchased awhile back and have never used. So I thought about doing a lemon tart topped with strawberries (that I still want to do sometime) but I didn’t have the 4 hours that the lemon filling needed to be refrigerated for. What else goes better with strawberries??? Chocolate, of course!!
These strawberries are from my in-laws garden. They are the sweetest, juiciest strawberries that I have ever eaten. We had already gone through 2 batches of them, and this was the third. They weren’t quite as ripe as the previous ones were, but they were still wonderful!! They are a lot smaller than the berries that I usually purchase, but the size worked very well for the tart.
I usually try to give away a lot of our desserts when I make them. We’ll each have a piece, save one for later, and give the rest away. That didn’t happen with this tart!! My husband and I finished the whole thing (minus one piece given to my brother in law.) Maybe that’s why my pants feel tighter this week!!
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch, sifted
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk, stirred slightly
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped finely
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- about 1 lb fresh strawberries, stemmed
- Place the milk in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. While the milk is heating, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Slowly whisk about ¼ cup of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Slowly pour in the remaining milk, whisking constantly and vigorously. Bring the mixture to a boil, still whisking, for 2 minutes and then remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then start whisking in the butter, whisking in until they are fully incorporated and the cream is smooth is silky.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover with a piece of plastic wrap, placing the wrap right on the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until fully chilled.
- Butter a 9-inch tart pan.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the pieces of cold butter and pulse just until the butter is coarsely cut in. (You will have pieces about the size of peas.) Add in the yolk and pulse just to combine, then process in long, 10 second pulses. The dough will start to form clumps.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and lightly knead the dough, just to incorporate any dry ingredients. Press the dough into the prepared tart pan, then freeze for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- When you are ready to bake the crust, preheat the oven to 375ºF. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and place buttered side down on the surface of the pastry, fitting the foil tightly against the pastry. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, use the back of a spoon to press it down. Let the crust cool completely.
- Place the into a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan (or microwave safe bowl) combine the cream, sugar and water and bring to a full boil. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds. With a whisk or rubber spatula, stir the mixture in small circles until it is completely combined and smooth.
- Spread the vanilla pastry cream in the crust. Arrange the strawberries on top of the pastry cream. (You can slice the strawberries, or if they are smaller, you can leave them whole like I did.) Drizzle the chocolate ganache on top of the tart. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream, sugar and water to a full boil, then pour the liquid over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds. Working with a whisk or rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting at the center of the bowl and working your way out in increasingly larger concentric circles.