Choose the smallest and most fragrant berries for this delicious classic tart.
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3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons beaten egg (see Note)
2 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 pints strawberries, hulled
How to Make It
In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, sugar and egg; pulse just until the dough begins to come together. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 12-inch round. Fit the dough without stretching it into a 9-by-3/4-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim the overhang to 3/4 inch; fold in the overhang and press it against the sides to reinforce them. Prick the bottom several times with a fork and refrigerate until firm.
Bake the shell for 25 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Let cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
In a medium saucepan, combine the egg yolks with 3 tablespoons of the milk, the sugar, flour, vanilla and a pinch of salt; whisk until smooth. In a small saucepan, bring the remaining milk to a simmer.
Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream boils and thickens like pudding, about 4 minutes. Strain the pastry cream through a fine sieve set over a bowl. Whisk in the heavy cream. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.
Vigorously beat the cold pastry cream until smooth and spread it evenly in the pastry shell. Arrange the strawberries in the tart, tips up, in tight concentric circles. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Unmold the tart and transfer it to a cake stand or platter before serving.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 5 up to 1 day ahead. Wrap the pastry shell in foil and store at room temperature.
First beat 1 large egg in a small bowl, then measure 2 tablespoons.
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