Recipe: White Balsamic Custard & Strawberry Tart

The “play” between the two vastly different flavours in this tart are what make it so delicious.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

Filling:

  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, cut open
  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter

Topping:

  • 1 ½ pints large strawberries, hulled and sliced

Directions:

Crust:

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut butter into small cubes and with your fingers, “smoosh” butter pieces into flour mixture until pea sized granules form. Add ice water and mix lightly until dough forms a ball. Wrap plastic and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Roll out pastry and fit into 10″ tart pan.
  2. Dock pastry with a fork and allow to rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Bake crust until golden, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 22 minutes. Cool.

Filling:

  1. Stir cream and cornstarch together in a medium bowl until cornstarch dissolves. Add eggs, egg yolks, scrapings from vanilla bean and pod; whisk to blend.
  2. Boil vinegar in heavy medium saucepan until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add water, sugar, and butter. Stir until butter melts and then return to the boil.
  3. Gradually whisk the hot vinegar mixture into the cool egg mixture to temper and then return all to pan. Whisk until custard thickens and boils, about 1 minute. Strain into bowl,and set aside to cool. Spread custard in prepared crust. Cover and chill tart at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

Topping:

  1. Arrange strawberry slices in concentric circles on top of tart. Cover loosely and chill until ready to serve. (Can be made up to 6 hours ahead.)

Recipe Origin:

Based on a July 2004 Bon Appétit recipe.

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