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Strawberry tart

It's got the wow factor!

This tart is definitely dressed to impress, with a crumbly buttery tart case spread with melted chocolate then filled with homemade crème patissiere and the very best of British strawberries, glistening with strawberry jelly – what’s not to like?

Serves 6

Preparation time: 1 hour
Chilling time: 1 hour 35  minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

100g (4oz) plain flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar
50g (2oz) butter, diced
2 egg yolks

Crème patissiere
3 egg yolks
50g (2oz) caster sugar
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
250ml (8fl oz) semi skimmed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

To finish
100g (4oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
½ a 35g strawberry jelly tablet
1kg (2 ¼ lb) strawberries, hulled and halved
Dark and white chocolate curls to decorate – see cook’s tip, optional


  1. To make the pastry, add the flour, sugar and butter to a bowl and rub in the butter with fingertips until fine crumbs. Add the egg yolks and mix to a smooth dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until large enough to line a buttered 20cm (8inch) plain tart ring set on a baking sheet or fluted loose bottomed flan tin.  Press into the base and sides of the tin and trim the pastry a little above the tin to allow for shrinkage. Prick the base and chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190oC (375oF), Gas Mark 5,  then line the tart case with non-stick baking paper and baking beans. Cook for 10 minutes. Carefully remove paper and beans and cook tart for 5-10 minutes more until just tinged golden brown around the top edges and the base is crisp. Leave to cool.
  4. To make the crème patissiere, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for 4 – 5 minutes until very thick and pale. Sift the flours over the surface then gently fold together. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan, bring just to the boil then gradually whisk into the egg mixture until smooth. Return milk mixture to the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until very thick. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cover the surface with a piece of crumpled and wetted non-stick baking paper to stop a skin from forming and leave to cool.
  5. Take the tart case out of the tin and set on a plate or cake stand. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water then spoon over the inside of the tart case. Leave for about 20 minutes or until set.
  6. Make up the jelly as the pack directs using half the water.  Cool then chill for about 20 minutes in the fridge until just beginning to coat a spoon thickly.
  7. Spoon the crème patissiere into the tart case. Pile the strawberries into the tart case, carefully mounding up in the centre. Brush generously with the cooled jelly (you will have quite a lot left, so pour this into a small plastic container for the kids packed lunches) and chill for 30 minutes until the jelly has set.  Sprinkle with chocolate curls, if liked. Serve cut into thick slices.


Cook’s tip

To make chocolate curls, run a swivel bladed vegetable peeler over the underside of a block of white and dark chocolate, keeping the bottom edge of the peeler blade near the edge of the block of chocolate. If the curls are very tiny then warm the chocolate for 10 seconds in the microwave on full power and try again. Depending on the size of the chocolate bar, you may need to give it a second burst in the microwave.  When you have enough curls to decorate, rewrap the bars of chocolate and store the remainder in the fridge.


Cook’s tip

If you are celebrating, simply add some small party sparklers to the top of the tart and light just as you take the tart into the room.