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Strawberry Custard Tart

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Strawberry Custard Tart

Strawberry Custard Tart

Three of the most common tarts base you will come across when making tarts are Pâté Sucrée, Pâte Brisée and Pâte Sablée. All the three pastries are similar in terms of the ingredients used, which are usually: egg/yolks/water, sugar, flour and butter. So, let's go through some of the differences and best applications for each pastry.

Pâté Sucrée

Pâté Sucrée in French means sweet pastry and are often made with icing sugar or caster sugar. The butter and sugar are creamed to a smooth consistency before the eggs and flour are added to form in to a pastry dough. Pâté Sucrée can be really soft to handle compared to the other two type of pastries but gives a really delicate melt in your mouth finish for your tart base.

This pastry is perfect if you are after something that is tender. Perfect for dessert tart because of its sweetness.

Pâte Sablée

Pâte Sablée in French means "Sandy Dough". This dough in particular is more crumbly in texture compared to Pâté Sucrée and the method used in making Pâte Sablée is slightly different. Instead of creaming the butter and sugar together; cold butter, flour, sugar and salt are added in together at the very start and mixed with a paddle or can be "rubbed in" by hand until they resemble find bread crumbs. Eggs or any other type of liquid are then added last and mixed until they form in to a dough. By coating the flour granules with the butter fat during the "rub in", The fat coating prevents gluten from developing by making it hard for the protein to link to one another when liquid is added, which gives the pastry a most crumbly texture.

This pastry often also contains almond meal as part of the ingredients and can be rolled in to logs and cut in to individual shapes as biscuits as it does not spread as much as a Pâté Sucrée would. This dough can be used for both savoury and sweet cookie or tart base.

Pâte Sablée is probably one of my favourite pastry dough because of the extra flavour that the almond meal gives.

Pâte Brisée

Very similar to Pâte Sablée, Pâte Brisée is usually made with the "rubbed in" method as well. The only slight differences between the two is that Pâte Brisée are usually applied on savory applications and often sugar are not included and instead is replaced by higher percentage of salt to add savouriness to it. Another clear difference with Pâte Brisée is that instead of creating a fine bread crumb texture with the salt and butter, large lumps of butter are remained in the dry mix before eggs and water are added. This allows the dough to be more flaky with a similarity to puff pastry.

For more information, visit my post on the subject of Pâte Brisée.


One of the few tips in making short crust pastry dough is fraisage, which means brushing off. In terms of pastry dough, it involves the process of scraping the dough off the counter bench with the heel of your hands until you get a homogenous dough with no remaining lumps of butter or dry bits of flour. This step is crucial especially when you are using the mixer as it ensures that you have a well blended pastry dough that the mixer may not be able to do with the dry bits often catching at the base of the bowl. This process is particularly useful for Pâte Sablée and Pâté Sucrée but not so much for Pâte Brisée as you actually want the remaining lumps of butter still present in the dough for that extra flakiness.



Equipment: 230 mm diameter x 25 mm depth tart ring

Yield: 1 Tart

Serves: 8


100 g Unsalted Butter

80 g Icing Sugar

5 g Vanilla Bean Paste (1 teaspoon)

3 g Salt

50 g Egg

200 g Plain Flour


70 g Plain Flour

¼ tsp Baking powder

¼ tsp Fine Salt

50 g Eggs - room temperature

(reserve the egg whites for meringue)

85 g Caster Sugar

30 g Unsalted Butter

60 g Full cream Milk

5 g Vanilla bean paste

5 g Vegetable Oil ( 1 tablespoon)


250g Full cream milk

½ tsp. Vanilla bean paste

60g Egg yolks

60g castor sugar

20g Custard powder

20g Unsalted butter

2g powder gelatin 200 bloom

12g water (for the gelatin)

200g liquid whipping cream (35% fat)


45 g Egg Whites

60 g Castor Sugar

30 g Water

¼ tsp Cream of Tartar

3 punnets Fresh Strawberries


To make the Strawberry Custard Tart....


For the Tart Pastry

100 g Unsalted Butter

80 g Icing Sugar

5 g Vanilla Bean Paste (1 teaspoon)

3 g Salt

50 g Egg

200 g Plain Flour

1. sift the icing sugar and plain flours in separate bowls.

Place the room temperature butter (20 -22°C) together with the well sifted icing sugar in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the two together over low to medium speed until smooth and there are no lumps of butter remaining.

Note: Do not mix over high speed as this can aerate the mixture too much which can cause the pastry to puff up too much during baking.

2. Once the butter mixture are smooth, add in 1/4 of the sifted plain flour to the butter mix and mix on low speed until it just comes together. This process should only take a few seconds of mixing. Then add in the egg and mix to combine followed by the rest of the flour.

Note: By adding some of the dry ingredients initially to the butter mixture will prevent the mixture from separating as the water in the eggs is harder to combine with the fat in the butter without having to vigorously mix the mixture together. Because we are trying to minimize aeration and softening the butter too much, this technique can prevent that from happening. If you are multiplying the recipe that requires more than one egg, you will need to incorporate the flour followed by some eggs and repeat the process always ending with the dry ingredients.

3. Lightly dust the work surface with some plain flour, then transfer the pastry dough on top. Lightly knead the dough with you hands, dusting your hands and the dough with flour if necessary to avoid sticking, until the dough is smooth.

Note: Do not be tempted to dust too much flour as this can cause the pastry to become too dry.

4. Flatten the pastry in to a square then wrap around cling wrap. Place in the fridge to rest for at least 2 hours or overnight.


For the Vanilla Cake (optional component)

70 g Plain Flour

¼ tsp Baking powder

¼ tsp Fine Salt

50 g Eggs - room temperature

85 g Caster Sugar

30 g Unsalted Butter

60 g Full cream Milk

5 g Vanilla bean paste

5 g Vegetable Oil ( 1 tablespoon)

1. Sift together plain flour and baking powder together then add the salt in a bowl. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the milk together until just warm and all the butter are fully melted. Leave the butter mixture to cool slightly at room temperature.

Pre heat the oven to 160 °C.

2. Place the egg, vanilla bean paste and caster sugar into a clean bowl and whisk until it starts to turn pale and increases double its volume. The mixture should feel thicker and airy at this point.

3. Gradually stream in the oil while whisking to combine followed by the cooled butter/milk mixture.

4. Lastly, sift in the dry ingredients to the mixture and mix until homogenous and the cake batter has no lump of flour.

5. Transfer the mix onto a silicone mat (280 mm x 240mm x 20 mm) and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Alternatively, spread the cake mixture over a similar size tray lined with non stick parchment paper.

6. Bake the cake sheet in the pre heated oven for approximately 12- 15 minutes or until when touched lightly at the top, it bounces back.

7. When the cake is ready, leave it to cool then cut a 160mm disc. Set aside until ready to assemble.


For the Crème Diplomat

260g Full cream milk

5 g Vanilla bean paste

50g Egg yolks

60g Castor sugar

20g Custard Powder

20g Unsalted butter

2g Powder gelatin 200 bloom

12g Water (for the gelatin)

200g Whipping cream (35% fat)

1. Mix the water and powder gelatin together and set aside.

Place the milk with the vanilla bean paste into a saucepan and bring to a mere boil. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, custard powder and caster sugar together until smooth.

2. Gradually stream in the hot milk over the egg mixture while continuously whisking then return the custard base back to the saucepan over low heat until it starts to thicken.

Turn off the heat and transfer the custard in to a clean bowl, whisk in the gelatin mix followed by the room temperature butter and continue to mix until the mixture is smooth. Cover the custard with a cling film touching the surface and allow for it to completely cool.

You can place the custard in the fridge to expedite the cooling process.

3. Once the custard have cooled, whip the cream to medium peak where it holds on to its form and is not runny but not overwhipped.

Fold the whip cream in with the cooled custard.

Transfer the custard in to a piping bag or simply pour the custard in to the tart shell as instructed in the "Assembly" section below.

For the Italian Meringue

Place the egg whites and Cream of Tartar in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk. Mix the water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the syrup starts to boil avoid stirring. Bring the sugar syrup to 116°C.

When the syrup has come reaches 114°C, start whisking the egg whites over medium speed. Once the syrup reaches 116°C, remove from the heat, decrease the speed of the mixer to slow and stream the syrup into the whisking egg whites. Continue to whisk over high speed when all the syrup has been added until the meringue reaches stiff peak.

Transfer the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and decorate.

Note: Italian meringue can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 days.



Pre heat the oven to 170 °C.

Dice 3 large strawberries and halve the rest of the strawberries with the stem trimmed.

When the dough have rested and is ready, remove from the fridge to bring slightly to room temperature or until it is able to be rolled.

With the help of a rolling pin, dust some flour on the pin and on both sides of the dough and start rolling the pastry out to approximately 5 mm in thickness (thinner if you like thinner crust). Dust with some flour whenever necessary to avoid sticking.

Alternatively you can roll the pastry in between two parchment paper.

Cut a disc that is larger than the tart ring which can allow you to line the tart ring with some excess overhanging the rim of the tart ring. Cover the top of the line tart and place it back into the fridge to rest for 1 hour. Once chilled, remove from the fridge and trim off the excess dough.

Crunch up a piece of parchment paper and sit it snugly on top of the pastry, fill the baking beans/rice all the way to the top pressing on to the edge to adhere to the side of the ring. Place in the pre heated oven and par bake the tart shells for 20 to 25 minutes until it turns light golden in color on the edges. Remove the tin from the oven then remove the baking rice/beans as well as the parchment paper. Return the par baked baking shells to the oven and continue to bake for a further 15 - 20 minutes until the base and the sides of the pastry are deep dark golden in color. (At this point the tart shell will shrink a little from the ring, do not worry, that is completely normal.

Cut the sponge to 160mm disc.

Pipe a spiral of the Crème Diplomate at the base of the cooled tart shell. Press down the sponge disc in the centre on the base. Brush the sponge with some sugar syrup.

For the sugar syrup mix 30 g of boiling water to 60 g of castor sugar and stir until the sugar are well dissolved.

Sprinkle the diced strawberries around the side of the sponge on top of the Crème diplomat then fill the top with the rest of the cream. Smooth out with a palette knife.

Cut strawberries in to halves and assemble them on top of the custards.

Transfer meringue into a piping bag fitted with a small star piping tip then pipe around the strawberries to decorate.


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