July 11, 2013

Creme Patissiere flakey tarts with Winter & Summer fruit

I love a good tart. Short crust, flakey crust, graham cracker crust, filled with cream, filled with berries, filled with chocolate, topped with fruit, topped with chocolate, topped with meringue, any kind of tart fills me with joy.
This is my cheats way of making a basic flakey tart at home. Ideally, you'd want to control the flakiness of your pastry by making your own... but unfortunately, with time not always on my hands, getting store bought pastry will just have to do sometimes (hey, even Jamie Oliver says its ok! :) ). Here is my take on a basic flakey tart with Creme Patissiere, topped with either a Wintery fruit or a Summer fruit :)

For these tarts, I deciding to top them with a Corella Pear and Strawberries.... you can top with whatever you like! How about banana and chocolate chips? Stewed cinnamon and rhubarb and fresh mint?

Creme Patissiere is quite easy to make, and if you like, you can flavour it with melted chocolate or really good cocoa for extra decadence.

Creme Patissiere Flake Tarts recipe


  • Block puff pastry (comes frozen in the supermarket)
  • Egg, lightly beaten (to be used as egg wash)

Filling - Creme Patissiere
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, halved with seeds scraped out (or half tsp of vanilla paste)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 60gm sugar
  • 25gm cornflour
  • Small knob of butter
  • Corella pear thinly sliced at degree 2 (I used a mandolin)
  • Strawberries, sliced thinly
  • 2TBSP honey, slightly warmed
  • Toasted flaked almonds
  • Icing sugar (optional)
Choose whatever topping you like (stewed rhubarb, banana and chocolate chips, anything!)! For this recipe, I chose to do two tarts and had one with a Corella Pear, and the other a punnet of strawberries, an ode to winter and summer!


1.     Preheat oven 220 degrees celcius
2.     Thaw out your block of puff pastry. 
3.     Make Creme Patissiere *
4.     As I was doing two tarts, I cut this block in half and rolled them out to my desired shapes, ensuring the pastry was evenly rolled out, at around 1.5-2cm thick. For the Pear tart, I rolled out the pastry to be a rough oblong shape. For the Strawberry tart, I rolled this out to be a 15cmX15cm square. (You can roll the pastry out to whatever shape you like, just make sure its mostly symmetrical and consistent thickness. You can do one giant tart, or even have three small ones, the variation is up to you!)
5.     Spread out your desired amount of cooled Creme Patissiere on your rolled out pastry with a small palette knife, ensuring an approx. 1cm perimeter of pastry left clean of creme patissiere, so you get a flakey risen border
6.     If you are using winter fruit as your topping, you can place this fruit on your creme patissiere. For my pears. If you're using soft summery fruit, leave this out.
7.     Brush the pastry edge with eggwash
8.     Place both prepared pastries on a prepared baking tray, then into the oven at 220degrees celcius for 20-25mins (or until fully flakey and golden brown (on the underside of the pastry base too). Keep an eye on your tart baking in the oven. 
9.     Assemble the strawberry slices on the creme patissiere of your naked tart. The naked tart will have puffed up in the oven, but once you take it out of the oven, the creme patissiere part will sink.
10. Once the tarts are slightly cooled. Brush the tart with warmed honey as a glaze (this is optional). Top with toasted flaked almonds and icing sugar to decorate.
11. Devour and eat immediately!

* Creme Patisserie
1.     Place milk and vanilla bean pod and seeds in a small saucepan, place on stove on a medium heat to reach nearly boiling point. Once reached to that point, take off the stove and remove the vanilla bean pod.
2.     Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until pale yellow and silky (I use a standing mixer for ease).
3.     While whisking, gently pour in a small amount of your hot vanilla infused milk, whisk thoroughly. Then continue to whisk in the remaining milk into the whisked egg mixture, in a thin stream, until fully incorporated.
4.     Pour the mixture back into the small saucepan and place on medium heat on the stove. Whisk the mixture until it starts to slightly thicken, take off the stove and continue whisking until smooth. Place in a small bowl to cool. (If your mixture becomes too thick or starts getting lumpy, don't worry! Just strain it through a sieve!)
Rub the top of your creme patisserie mixture with a knob of butter or place a piece of gladwrap (saran wrap!) right against the creme to ensure that it doesn't form a skin whilst cooling.

Hope you're having a great week you little lovelies!

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