This tart reminds me of summer! I used a classic sweet tart dough that I’ve adapted from Dorie Greenspan (a very reliable source when it comes to all things desserts) for the crust. For the custard I used honey instead of sugar, which gives a fantastic flavour. The baby’s breath garnish is not edible, it just looked beautiful and therefore is completely optional. You can always speed up the process and buy a pre-made tart shell. I won’t tell.
Strawberry Honey Tart
Prep time: 45 minutes + 2.5 hours inactive
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes + 2.5 hours inactive
Yield: One 9-inch tart
For the Dough
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 9 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 large egg yolk, gently stirred to break it up
- 1-2 tbsp. ice water (optional)
For the Honey Custard
- 1 ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup raw creamed honey (I used Three Foragers Bee Co. Brand)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp. salt
For the Topping
- 1 ½ lbs. strawberries, sliced
- ¼ cup raw creamed honey, thinned with hot water
- baby’s breath for garnish (optional)
To make the dough, put the flour, icing sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse until combined. Scatter the pieces of frozen butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely ground into no bigger than pea-sized pieces. Add in the egg yolk a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Once the egg yolk is combined, pulse the dough for 10 seconds at a time, until the dough starts to form clumps. If no clumps are forming, slowly add in ice water until you can form the clumps into a ball if you squeeze it together with your hands. At this stage turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and taking a few tablespoons of dough at a time, smear it across the counter with the heel of your hand, repeating until all of the dough has been smeared. This action is called frisage and will help to incorporate the butter more evenly in the dough and will catch any dry ingredients that may have escaped mixing.
Shape the dough into a disk and place it between two large pieces of wax or parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough between the paper until it is around 1/8th to 1/16th of an inch thick. Place the rolled out dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours. You can make this ahead and refrigerate the dough overnight if you like.
While the dough is chilling in the fridge, it’s time to start on the honey curd. Place the milk and the scraped vanilla pod in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until small bubbles start to firm, stirring occasionally.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks, vanilla bean caviar (the insides of the scraped pod), honey, cornstarch and salt.
Remove the vanilla pod from the warmed milk and discard. Slowly pour the milk, a little at a time, into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Pour the custard back into the saucepan and place over low to medium low heat. Whisk continually until mixture has become very thick.
Remove the custard from the heat, and pour it through a fine mesh sieve, pushing the mixture through with a rubber spatula into a heatproof bowl. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface and put in the fridge for 2 hours to cool.
Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and let rest on the counter for approximately 10 minutes so that it does not crack when placing into the tart pans. Butter a 9-inch tart pan and place the dough into the pan, trimming any excess dough around the edges. The dough should be flush with the edges. Prick the tart all over with a fork and freeze for minimum of 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Butter the shiny side of a large piece of aluminum foil slightly larger than your tart pan, and press the buttered side down into the crusts. Fill the tarts with dried beans or rice. Bake for 25 minutes, remove the foil and press down on the crust with the back of a spoon if it has puffed at all. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until firm and golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before removing the tart crusts from the pans.
Pour the cooled honey custard into the tart shell. Ensure it is even and smooth and top with sliced strawberries. Brush the strawberries gently with the thinned out honey for shine. Top with baby’s breath (optional) and either serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.