This classic French dessert features luscious pastry cream topped with a layer of sweet strawberries. Enhance the flavor of your tart by adding a teaspoon of rose or orange flower water to the cream.
- 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
- Pulse first 3 ingredients in a blender or food processor 3 or 4 times or until combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper, and bake 3 more minutes.
- Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.
- 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.
- 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.