strawberry and pistachio cream tart

Strawberry Tart with Pistachio Pastry Cream

Ouf! Over the years, I’ve come to use this word just as the French use so often. It’s more than Oh-là-la; it’s just, well, ‘ouf’! It speaks for itself with an enormously liberating sigh of relief. ‘Cest ouf’ as well: meaning it’s fou (verlan speak which is back to front for ‘fou’, meaning crazy). We are, indeed, nearly there at the end of a crazy, mad term; finishing end-of-year school activities, exams, concerts and – last but not least -parties!

Last weekend we covered ourselves in flour with a make your own pasta early birthday party for Lucie and this weekend my eldest daughter, Julie, enjoyed a sugar candy bonbon rush with her class as they danced the night away. Oh, to be 13 again. They’re no longer referred to as parties, though: instead it’s a boum. Another Ouf! It gave me an excuse to clean out the garage, too. How much stuff can we accumulate over the years?

Meanwhile, as the weather has been less than summery in Paris lately (read: winter has been joining summer this year), at least the strawberries (Mara des Bois, Plougastel, Gariguettes, etc.) have given us some happy colours and cheered us up no end with their sweet, candy-like flavours. We’ve been simply eating them with morning cereal and with tons of ice cream, such as wasabi, pistachio and vanilla ice cream, but recently I can’t stop making berry tarts. It gives me a great excuse to use up egg yolks by making crème pâtissière.

What I love about pastry cream is that you can alter the flavours to alter classic French desserts. After visiting the Eugène Boudin exhibition at the Jacquemart André Museum, we couldn’t resist a sweet French fancy treat at 4 o’clock in their chic café: mine was a Fraisier à la pistache. Bingo with such blissful inspiration! Pistachios and strawberries are heaven together, so why not in a tart?

Berry good indeed.

Classic Sweet Pastry

Makes enough for 2 large tarts. I use half and either freeze the rest or save it up to 4 days in the fridge and make tarlets with the rest.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Baking Time: 20 minutes

120g butter, softened
90g sugar
1 large egg
250g plain flour, sifted
good pinch of salt

1      Using a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Gradually add the other ingredients until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

2      Knead into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

3      Remove from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes for ease of use. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

4      Roll out the pastry on a well-floured surface to a 28cm/11 inch circle with 5mm thickness and transfer to a 24cm (9 inch) non-stick tart pan.

5      Press into the mould. Prick the pastry with a fork and top with baking paper (cut to size – I use the same one several baking sessions for convenience) and fill with washed coins, rice or dried beans to blind bake the pastry.

6      Bake for 20 minutes then remove the baking beans.

7      Leave to cool, remove from the mould and set aside.

Pistachio Pastry Cream (egg yolk recipe)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes 

500ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod (or bean)
4 egg yolks
80g sugar
1 tbsp pistachio paste*
50g cornflour
20g single cream
3 drops of almond extract

(* if you don’t have pistachio paste, whizz 100g unsalted pistachios in a grinder. Mix together with 25g ground almonds, 50g sugar, 2 drops of almond essence and a tbsp water)

fresh strawberries, cut in half

1. Boil the milk with the vanilla pod and pistachio paste in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes. Remove the pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the milk.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the yolks with the sugar and gradually add the cornflour. Whisk until light and creamy. Pour on the hot milk and transfer back to the saucepan, whisking continuously over a medium heat until thickened.

3. Set aside and leave to cool. Place some cling film directly on to the pastry cream, to avoid a film forming on top (you don’t want to whisk this in later, otherwise you’ll end up with a lumpy bumpy cream!) After about 10 minutes, whisk in the almond essence and the cold cream. Cover with the film again and chill in the fridge.

4. Cut the strawberries in half. Fill the pastry base with the pastry cream then place the strawberries on top.

Don’t forget that there are plenty more recipes to use up your egg yolks
on the bonus recipe index.

Bon appétit!

29 replies
  1. Kathy Dean
    Kathy Dean says:

    Hi Jill.

    I made this tart several days ago. It was absolutely delicious! I had to make my own pistachio paste – thanks for the recipe. I have a lot left, so will think of something creative to use it for.

    In the directions for the pastry cream, it says ‘remove pod”. I assumed you meant a vanilla bean pod? It’s not in the ingredients list. I didn’t have that so added a tsp. of vanilla.
    It turned out great!

    Thanks again for the recipe for this delicious – and very pretty – tart!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Thanks so much for pointing out the vanilla pod bit. I’ve corrected it on the ingredients list, as forgot to add it there.
      Thrilled you enjoyed the recipe. I made another one this weekend with raspberries, which disappeared a bit too quickly!

      Reply
  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I remember turning on heater in July last year in San Francisco. It was so cold and I wear sweater at home at night. The weather has been very strange everywhere. Here in Japan, it’s rainy season but we rarely have rain. It worked well for our stay, but it’s been very strange. Love your abundant strawberry in the tart. Pretty and delicious at the same time!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Can’t believe your writing here while on your precious holiday in Japan, Nami. Thanks for popping by. Yes, so strange the weather all around but finally the sun is catching up as it should in Paris. It’s wonderful here! Enjoy the rest of your family break.

      Reply
  3. Fran @ G'day Souffle'
    Fran @ G'day Souffle' says:

    Oh boy, this dessert looks so good. Funny about the French word ‘Ouf’. If you ad an ‘e’, it becomes ‘oeuf’- the word for ‘egg.’ I suppose one would have to be careful with pronouncing it correctly, so you’re not saying ‘egg’ in French!

    Reply
  4. Kim - Liv Life
    Kim - Liv Life says:

    We have had summers like that!! I remember on year when we celebrated Liv’s birthday in late July with a swim party… it’s sunny in late July, right?? Not that year. We had fog and chill from May to August and I was not a happy Southern California Girl. (the internet said something about 320 sunny days a year… when we moved here. Ooof!!!)
    In any case… I’m wishing summer soon for you!
    But it looks like you’ve brought a little bit of it home with that tart! Love the addition of the pistachio past, and love ever more that I can make it myself.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Well thank you, Kim, for popping by since you’ve obviously brought your Southern Californian sunshine and warmth to Paris. It’s finally fabulous in Paris! Ouf.

      Reply
  5. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    Mmmm how perfect is this for summer? Chilled pastry cream and local strawberries? I want a slice! I also love pastry cream because of the endless variety of flavors one can create. I need to make this now.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Well I do hope you made it, Jamie. I also love the pastry cream varieties since made a rose tart with raspberries this weekend. Bliss. Isn’t it lovely having the sun back here in France? Hope you’re enjoying yourself!

      Reply
  6. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
    Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says:

    Jill, dessert heaven! Great idea to pistachio-up the filling (whether ready made or your handy tip). The danger is that if I make this, I may not share…

    My brother is a fan of “Oof” after nearly 2 decades in France. It covers a multitude.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Aha – thanks for mentioning this as I don’t understand where my other sentence on Ouf went on the site update. I’ve corrected it now. Yes, my daughter also uses ‘C’est ouf’ rather a lot, which is verlan (when words go backwards) slang for it’s crazy (‘fou’). As for the painting, I don’t know about the spelling OOF but love it!

      Reply
  7. Brooks
    Brooks says:

    My word, Jill. This Strawberry Tart with Pistachio Pastry Cream looks exquisite! Glad to know you’ve been finding a bright spot with the berries in what sounds like a gray summer. California strawberries remain prolific at this date in the season, so I’ve pinned this gem of a recipe for a test run soon. Much obliged my friend and happy baking!

    Reply
  8. Parisbreakfast
    Parisbreakfast says:

    I’m just mad about the berries here. Nothing like this in the states! No taste and certainly not sweet. They must spray them with berry perfume so you think you’re getting strawbs but they’re not. Why do you have to live so far away? Actually it’s a very good thing..

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      ‘Strawberries sprayed with berry perfume’- love it, Carol! I love preparing them and having hands that smell like candy floss afterwards…

      Reply

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