Puff Pastry Strawberry Tarts are a simple summer dessert. Make these individual desserts with ready-made puff pastry, then fill the pastry cases with a creamy custard and top with sweet strawberries. Finish the Puff Pastry StrawberryTarts with a glossy, sticky glaze and they are so delicous.
What are Strawberry Tarts?
Strawberry Tarts are very much part of a British summer. Every bakery and supermarket in Scotland and most in the rest of the UK sell strawberry tarts from the middle of May until the end of August. Traditional Strawberry Tarts have a sweet shortcrust pastry case, filled with whipped cream with a large strawberry on top. The strawberry is covered in a simple strawberry glaze that usually ends up on your face as you eat the tart!
Why make Puff Pastry Strawberry Tarts?
The Puff Pastry Strawberry Tarts are more robust. That is, they hold together better than the more crumbly shortcrust pastry. The baked puff pastry tartlets have a great texture, it is flaky and crunchy and this contrasts really well with the sweet creamy custard and the fresh juicy strawberries.
What kind of strawberries should I use to make Puff Pastry Strawberry Tarts?
Use the best strawberries you can find. I choose local strawberries, they are always sweeter and likely to be more freshly picked. I only make these tarts in the summer months when British and, for me, Scottish strawberries are at their peak.
What Is Puff Pastry?
Classic puff pastry is a light and flaky pastry that you make by alternating layers of butter and dough. The many layers of fat and dough are what make it puff up. As the pastry bakes the water in the dough creates steam that expands and makes air pockets between the pastry layers.
Great British Bake Off Judge, Paul Hollywood says “To ensure success, you need to make sure that both the dough and butter are cold before you put them together – it’s even worth chilling the flour. Precision with the initial rolling out of the dough and butter is important, to ensure there are no bits of dough without butter in them. And chilling the pastry between each subsequent roll and fold allows the butter to harden so you can build up clean, even layers of dough and butter.” From Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake, published by Bloomsbury
Can I use Rough Puff Pastry?
Yes, rough puff or flaky pastry is simpler to make than classic puff pastry. You make rough puff pastry with smaller pieces of butter or even grated butter. This is easier than working with a large slab of butter.
Can I use a ready-made Puff Pastry?
Yes, you can. Puff Pastry is a very versatile pastry. If you have time, you can make your own classic puff pastry or rough puff pastry, it is a little time-consuming but the results are well worth it. However, ready-made puff pastry is readily available to buy, very easy to use, and tastes great. Here are some of the ready-made options:
- Block puff pastry is less expensive, you need to roll it out to an even depth to get good results.
- Ready-rolled puff pastry is the easy option, it’s ready to cut out into tartlets.
- ALL BUTTER ready-rolled puff pastry, this is the ideal option for Puff Pastry Strawberry Tarts. This pastry is very close to homemade puff pastry. It has a delicious buttery flavour that really takes the Strawberry tarts to another level.
Can I use ready-made puff pastry cases for the Puff Pastry Strawberry Tarts?
Yes, if you are really short of time, buy puff pastry vol au vent cases. You can buy these ready to bake or already baked. Vol au vent cases are exactly what I make in the recipe, simply just pop out the pasty in the middle and continue with the recipe.
What is Creme Patisserie?
Creme Patisserie (Pastry cream) is a rich egg custard that is thickened with flour or cornflour and flavoured with vanilla. Creme Patisserie, or Creme Pat, is perfect for pastries. And you can make it thick enough to hold its shape when piped. The recipe for Creme Patisserie is included in the Recipe Card for Puff Pastry Strawberry Tarts.
Can I buy Creme Patisserie ready-made?
I have not found ready-made creme pat but it may well be availabe. However, I suggest that you use a good quality vanilla custard (pudding) which is readily available to buy.
Why do you sieve the strawberry jam?
I use strawberry jam as a glaze for the strawberries in the Puff Pastry Strawberry Tarts. Most strawberry jam has large pieces of strawberry in it and that would not be suitable to make a glaze. The best way to get a smooth glaze is to push the jam through a sieve, that way you get all the goodness without any pieces.
You can also buy strawberry jam without pieces of strawberry, or you can make your own using this recipe for Small Batch Seedless Strawberry Jam.
More Strawberry Recipes from Farmersgirl Kitchen
Puff Pastry Strawberry Tarts
- 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
- 8 large strawberries plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoon strawberry jam
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoon caster sugar
For the Creme Patisserie
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 50 grams caster sugar
- 15 grams cornflour
- 175 grams milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 15 grams butter
- Using a large pastry cutter, cut out 8 circles of puff pastry. Using a small cutter, mark the centre (do not cut all the way through).
- Place the circles on a non-stick tray lightly dusted with flour or on a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar.
- Carefully cut the centre circle out of the baked pastry circles and remove the centre of the shell.
- Make the creme patisserie: Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy, add the cornflour and mix thoroughly.
- Heat the milk in a pan until nearly boiling, pour slowly over the egg mixture beating all the time, return the mixture to the pan and add the vanilla extract.
- Heat gently until it comes to the boil, continue to cook for 2 minutes until it has thickened, add a knob of butter to add a little gloss to the sauce
- Pour into a bowl, if you have any lumps, you can sieve it into the bowl.
- Cover with cling film and chill.
- Sieve the jam to make a smooth glaze.
- Put a teaspoon of jam in the bottom of each of the cases.
- Add 3 tsp of creme patisserie into the case
- Place a large strawberry on top of the creme patisserie. Spoon over more strawberry glaze.
- Slice a strawberry into a fan to garnish (optional)
This post was first published in June 2012 and has since been updated.
I’m linking this recipe to #CookBlogShare hosted this week by Sew White.