Sometimes I find myself with a craving, and the thing that I'm craving doesn't officially exist. It only exists in my dreams. This is how I felt when I made my Chocolate Peanut Butter Angel Food Cake and Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies. I can imagine--no, FEEL--a recipe in my head, but I can't find an actual, published recipe. At least not in the way that I had imagined. Well, here's another for the list: Strawberry Peach Tart.
At first glance maybe this Strawberry Peach Tart doesn't seem all that inventive, but did you SEE that filling?? Inside that sweet pastry crust is a STRAWBERRY vanilla bean pastry cream. I searched high and low for a strawberry pastry cream recipe, and apparently it's not a thing! Well, it *wasn't* a thing, but it is now! The recipe is an adaptation of my vanilla bean pastry cream recipe (used in both my Classic Fruit Tart and Peach Rose Tart).
As though sweet pastry and strawberry pastry cream weren't enough, of course this tart is topped with both fresh strawberries and peaches. My kids were gathered around my cutting board like vultures...it's a wonder that any fruit ended up on the tart!
The pastry flour in the recipe ensures a very tender crust! If you can't find it in your local grocery store, you can find it online (link [here]). If you choose not to use pastry flour, you can use all-purpose flour, but the crust will not be as tender.
I always have vanilla bean paste on-hand and prefer it's flavor to extract, so that's what I use in the pastry cream. If you can't find it at your local grocery store, you can find it online (see link [here]). If you don't want to use vanilla bean paste, you can add vanilla extract at the end of cooking the pastry cream. There's also a tiny bit of strawberry extract to the pastry cream. I love the little added punch of flavor that it provides. I use the strawberry extract by Beanilla, and extra bonus points that it's all natural. You can find their strawberry extract [here].
I used a 4" x 14" rectangular tart pan with removeable bottom for this tart (like this one [here]). The recipe can also be made into a 9" round tart without any alterations to the recipe.
Pie weights help when blind-baking a crust, helping to keep the dough from rising/getting bubbles as it bakes. This makes sure that you have the room that you need for filling. You can buy actual pie weights if you'd like (like these [here]), but I just use black beans. They're cheap and you can use them over and over again.
If you won't be serving the tart within a few hours, you're best off to wrap the crust tightly in plastic, store the pastry cream in the refrigerator, and assemble closer to time to serve. The pastry cream will make the crust soggy over time.
I always love baking and sharing recipes. It's extra rewarding when the recipe is something I dreamed up and made into reality. I hope I do more of that soon (I'll let you know)!! 😉
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Strawberry Peach Tart
- 8 oz strawberries, quartered
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon sugar
Strawberry Pastry Cream:
- fresh strawberries, sliced
- fresh peaches, sliced
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, and salt. Mix on low speed just until combined, then increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add egg, mixing to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the pastry flour. Mix just until the dough starts to come together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times (the more you handle the dough, the less tender it will be!) until the dough is smooth. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Spray pan (see note) with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- After the dough has chilled, place on a lightly floured surface. Roll to desired shape (see note). The dough should be about ⅛" thick and about 1" larger than the pan you are using.
- Roll dough up onto the rolling pin, position next to pan, and then unroll the pastry into the pan. Avoid stretching the dough, as it can cause it to shrink while baking. Trim the edges of the dough. Patch any tears or holes in the dough with the excess.
- Dock the dough with a fork and freeze 20 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat oven to 375° F.
- Remove crust from the freezer, line with foil or parchment paper, and fill with pie weights (see note). Bake crust 18 minutes, then remove the foil/parchment and pie weights. Return to the oven to bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until golden.
- Allow crust to cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a medium saucepan, combine strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar. Cook over medium heat until juice simmers and berries have softened.
- Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture until smooth. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the berry mixture, returning the juice to the saucepan.
- Cook juice over medium-low heat until reduced to about ¼ cup. Remove from the heat and set aside.
For Pastry Cream:
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, ¼ cup sugar, and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream, ¼ cup sugar, vanilla bean paste (see note), and salt. Cook mixture oven over medium heat until it reaches a boil. Remove from the heat.
- Using a measuring cup, pour about one cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This step tempers the eggs. Once the mixture is combined, pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan with the cream mixture.
- Cook pastry cream over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it just starts to boil. Mixture will thicken as it cooks.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk the pastry cream until it cools slightly. Beat in butter, strawberry extract (see note), and strawberry reduction.
- Pour the pastry cream into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic, pressing the wrap to the surface of the pastry cream to ensure it doesn't form a skin. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
- Fill cooled crust with pastry cream, smoothing the top. Tope with fresh strawberries and peaches as desired (see note on preparing in advance).Enjoy!