Strawberry tart

Strawberry tart
Strawberry tart Photo: Marco del Grande

My local fruiterer is selling three punnets of strawberries for $5. He reckons there's an oversupply coming into the markets from Queensland because its growers have more plants in the ground this year than ever.

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups of milk

5 tbsp of sugar

a split and scraped vanilla bean or a teaspoon of essence

1/3 cup of milk

1/2 cup of cornflour

1 whole egg

5 egg yolks

1/4 cup of sugar

50g of butter

2 tbsp of grappa (or other liqueur)

strawberries

Method

Make the pastry cream first by combining 12/3 cups of milk, 5 tbsp of sugar and a split and scraped vanilla bean (or a teaspoon of essence) in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar. Whisk together a 1/3 cup of milk with a 1/2 cup of cornflour.

In another bowl, whisk together 1 whole egg and 5 egg yolks with a 1/4 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornflour and mix well. Add in a cup of the hot milk and whisk, then add the rest of the milk.

Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and heat on a moderate heat. Whisk continually until it thickens. Don't worry about the lumps, just keep whisking. When very thick, place in a bowl and whisk out any lumps. Place aside to cool for two minutes then whisk in 50g of butter and 2 tbsp of grappa (or other liqueur). Place in the refrigerator.

Bake a shortcrust tart shell 24cm wide. Once it is cool, arrange the cold pastry cream to 2/3 capacity.

Fill with washed and hulled strawberries, dust with icing sugar and serve.