‘Tis strawberry time. I have an ever-expanding strawberry patch on my allotment, (they put out new runners every autumn), and they’ve begun to appear in all their glorious juiciness.
To be honest, there is no better way to eat a strawberry than to pick it in the late afternoon when it has been bathed in gentle sunshine, and just pop it in your mouth. Stand there, close your eyes, feel the light breeze and the warmth of the sun… and savour the strawberryness… of everything….
Eating a strawberry like this tends to lead to the eating of more strawberries in a similar fashion. It’s a very engaging activity 🙂
Nevertheless, some tend to make it back to the kitchen and sooner or later there will be jam, ice-cream, and who knows what else to come, but we had a picnic this weekend……. …so I made a strawberry tart.
Strawberry Tart with a Vegan Crème Pâtissière
or possibly just for 1
- 300gms. shortcrust pastry: (plain or sweetened…homemade or shop-bought)
- 350gms strawberries
- a little oil and non-dairy milk for basting
- 200ml. non-dairy milk (I used oat milk)
- 180ml. non-dairy cream (I used oat cream)
- 80gms. sugar (I used light muscovado)
- 1.5 tbs. cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1.5 scant tsps. agar agar powder.
- 150gms. strawberries
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to Gas Mk 6 / 200C
- Roll out the pre-chilled pastry to fit an oven-proof flan dish approx. 30cm. in diameter.
- Let the pastry hang slightly over the edges of the dish when trimming, to account for shrinkage.
- Line the pastry with baking parchment, and then fill with ceramic or dried baking beans.
- Bake the pastry case blind for 15 mins.
- Remove from the oven, remove the baking beans and the parchment paper and lightly fork the base of the pastry case 2 or 3 times.
- Mix a little oil and non-dairy milk together, and baste the inside of the pastry case lightly.
- Reduce the oven heat to Gas. Mk. 5 / 190C (or even slightly lower as ovens are variable) and return the pastry to the oven.
- Bake the pastry case for a further 10-15 mins. until the pastry is very pale golden in colour. The pastry must be cooked. The edges will be slightly darker.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
- Wash and trim 150gms. strawberries.
- Place 100ml. non-dairy milk in a saucepan and add the cornflour. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the rest of the milk (100ml.), the agar-agar powder and the sugar.
- Place the pan on a medium-high heat.
- Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
- Whisk if any lumps form.
- Allow to boil rapidly for 3-4 mins. to activate agar-agar. Don’t stir during the rapid boil.
- The sauce will become quite thick.
- Remove from the heat, and place the sauce in a blender with 180ml. non-dairy cream and 150gms. of washed strawberries.
- Blitz until smooth.
- Pour the crème pâtissière into the cooled pastry case.
- Take the remaining 350gms. of strawberries and trim, wash and slice them in half.
- Arrange the strawberry halves decoratively over the surface of the tart.
- Chill the tart in the refrigerator for a while…
This tart is best eaten on the day of making.
Remove from the fridge at least half-an-hour before serving…
You could add a glaze to this tart (possibly with a dash of lemon juice?) …but I like the strawberries naked !
Enjoy with or without non-dairy cream….icecream…etc.