Thursday, August 14, 2014

Strawberry Tart (Gordon Ramsay)

Eating strawberries always reminds me of part of my schooling days when I was living in Luton, a town which 50 km north from London.

As it is my first time living away from home, I assume that freedom is all that I need. Yeah! Freedom of doing and eating anything!!! I wasn't cooking at all and all I ate were strawberries, Tesco scones, all sorts of jams from Marks and Spencer, chocolates and nothing else!!! ... ok ok, I did drank milk everyday and seriously, these were all that I ate.

I remember... I walked home everyday with two punnets of strawberries in a brown paper bag on my hand and with £2 lesser in my purse. I sat on a dusty couch, lazying and enjoying these strawberries with scones and jam... Yeah. These were my dinner and next day breakfast everyday... Gosh! I missed these can't-be-bother kind of freedom.

When I saw this recipe from the book, Gordon Ramsay's Great British Pub Food, I tend to relate this strawberry tart to something very British. Something that I used to enjoy when I was living in Luton... Those never ending punnets of strawberries that I had consumed.

Instead of doing nothing but eating fresh strawberries, I have actually done a lot to produce this strawberry tart. And, I have also made it strictly according to Gordon Ramsay's professional ways of baking.

Professional??? Professionally, the pastry case and the pastry cream filling can be made separately on the same day or the day before. However, for its best texture, it has to be assembled an hour or two before serving. Plus, in order to avoid soggy bottom developing inside the tart, the inside of the pastry case is brushed with thin layers of melted white chocolate to moisture-proof the pastry.

Professional??? Personally, I think I have baked this tart professionally enough because I can never imagine a lazy-strawberry-eating person like me can bake a strawberry tart like this... LOL!

Professional??? If I examine this tart with critical aspects, I find that this tart is close enough to be flawless. Yeah... 1) The firm and sturdy tart has no soggy bottom! That's for sure! 2) The custard based pastry cream is awesome! With the minimal amount of sugar and reduced fat whipped cream added, it is very tasty, creamy and yet so light to eat. 3) With no doubt, the star of this dessert is obviously the strawberries and I reckon that the tart will be its best if it is made with the best seasonal sweet strawberries!

The only disadvantage that I encounter is that the pastry of this tart is too firm to slice. I guess it is really not easy to get the best of the both worlds if we are after 1) a firm pastry that won't go soggy, 2) tough enough to hold these generous amount of pastry cream and strawberries 3) not too firm to slice??? Kind of contradicting and tough, isn't it?

strawberry tart Gordon Ramsay
Strawberry tart made with Gordon Ramsay recipe
Yes! I can link this post with Little Thumbs Up (Flour).
This toughens the sides of the pastry case.
Yum... I like to feast on these trimmed pastry!!!
Cooking the custard based pastry cream
I know that I can't whip reduced fat cream and use the nozzle kind instead.
Spread thin layers of white chocolate on the bottom of the pastry case.
This is always my favourite! Strawberries!!!
Assembling all together!
Can't wait to feast on these now!!! Simply beautiful and sensational!

Here's the recipe mostly adapted the book, Gordon Ramsay's Great British Pub Food

Serves 4-6

For the sweet flan pastry, makes 300g:
75g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
50g caster sugar
1/2 egg, extra large (80g each)
150g all purpose flour

For the pastry cream:
1 cup (250ml) milk - You can use a combination of 175ml milk + 75g cream but I like to use all milk.
20g caster sugar - The original amount is 35g but I reckon 20g of sugar is just right for me.
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
3 large egg yolks
20g cornflour

More to assemble:
20g white chocolate, chopped
50g* whipped cream - Either light or regular works well too. If you are using reduced fat cream, it can't be whipped and you will need to use the ready-to-use-nozzle kind.
400g firm and ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
(You can cut strawberries thin slices but I like to eat mine as a whole)

*Weighing or measuring whipped cream in grams and volume can be quite difficult as they are soft and fluffy and so I continue to add until I'm happy with the consistency of the cream which is light and fluffy

For the pastry:
Place butter and sugar in a food processor and whiz until just combined. Add the egg and whiz for 30 secs. Tip in the flour and process for a few seconds until dough comes together. Do not over-process or it will become tough. Add a little cold water if the dough seems dry.

If food processor is not available, the dough can be made by hand. Using the finger tips of your hand, rub butter into flour and sugar mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and gather all crumbs to form a dough.

Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface and shape into a flat disc. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins before rolling out.

For the pastry cream:
Place milk (with or without cream) in a saucepan over low heat. Slowly bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl until mixture is smooth and pale.

When the milk is about to boil, gradually pour it into the egg mixture and whisking the mixture continuously. Whisk in vanilla paste or extract. Return mixture back into the pan and cook it at a gentle heat. Stir continuously until the mixture is thick and smooth. The pastry cream should be thick enough to draw a line across the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Transfer cream into a bowl to cool. To prevent a skin forming on the surface, wrap the cream with cling wrap clinging on its surface. Use at once, or chill and use within 3 days.

To bake and assemble:

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large round, the thickness of 5mm. Use to line a 19cm or 20cm round shallow tart tin, with removable base, leaving some excess pastry overhanging the rim. Leave to rest in the freezer for at least 30 mins. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, then take off the heat and cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5/170°C fan forced. Line the pastry with baking paper and dried or ceramic baking beans and blind bake for 15-20 mins (I baked mine for 20 mins) until the sides are set. Remove the paper and beans and cut off the excess pastry to level with the rim of the tin. Return to the oven and bake for another 5-15 mins or until slightly golden (I baked mine for 15 mins). Remove from the oven, and while still warm, brush the base and the edges of the sides with melted chocolate and leave to cool and set.

For the filling, whip cream (you can add some icing sugar if you wish but I didn't) in a large bowl until just stiff. You can omit this step if you are using the ready-to-use-nozzle kind of whipped cream. Fold through the pastry cream. Pastry cream might be lumpy at this stage. Spoon the filling into a large piping bag with a small 1-2 cm hole at its piping tip. Pipe the cream on the cooled pastry base uniformly to fill the entire pastry case.

Arrange strawberries over the cream and dust with icing sugar. Best served on the same day.

Happy Baking
Please support me and like me at Facebook...


  1. Zoe, this looks so yummy! Would love a slice of this anytime! :)

  2. Hi Zoe, I love strawberries too but we hardly get sweet ones here unless the Korean ones are in season. Yes, your tart is done professionally and it looks so pretty and inviting!

  3. OMG, your strawberry tart looks so pretty! I will be "mm seh tak" eat leh.. Oh my, look at those cute little strawberries resting on the custard cream, I love it so much.. If I'm to make these, I think I'll just use ready-made frozen puff pastries.. Lazy ma, hehe.. Oh dear, I can't help looking at the first picture!

  4. i so envy your beautiful strawberries... in beijing, you can't find good ones (if any) during this season as they are into this "eat what's in season" attitude...

    love your tart... reminds me of a super classy hi-tea treat!

  5. I love strawberries .... the recent strawberries i bought were not sweet ... love your strawberry tarts ^-^!

  6. I love strawberries. Your tart looks mouth watering.

  7. yummy yummy zoe,this is such a virtual treat dear.berries looks so cute and please parcel the whole tart here

  8. Strawberries are my all time favourite fruits! This berry tart looks so beautiful indeed :)

  9. yumm! I love fresh strawberry tarts! yours looks delish! I'm coveting that ceramic strawberry basket.

  10. I buy strawberries wherever I see one. Not that I like to eat strawberries, it just makes me happy. This tart just brightens me up too:)

  11. Zoe, your strawberry tart is too pretty to be sliced up! I'll be dreaming of strawberries tonight :)

  12. Omigosh..this looks heavenly... ♥ ♥

  13. Super gorgeous strawberry tart indeed!

  14. Hi Zoe,
    I made this on Tuesday. It was for my mum's birthday. But not from Gordon Ramsey's recipe as I didn't know he has this recipe.

  15. Ciao carissima amica..come va li da te? E' un vero spettacolo il tuo dolce..bellissimo come da pasticceria. I dolci con le fragole fanno sempre la loro figura e il sapore è assicurato.
    Ti abbraccio forte..
    Passa un 15 agosto alla grande!!

  16. I love pastries but I never make them because my kitchen is too hot. So I will admire your very beautiful tart..

  17. Hi Zoe, your tart so sweet! Gordon Ramsay recipes look good to try too :)

  18. Strawberries are too expensive to be used in baking here lol, best eaten fresh:D Although I must say your tart definitely look worth baking with those strawberries on the top!

  19. What a really beautiful tart - a delicious treat!

  20. Hi Zoe ... deliciously yummy , pass the plate ... all heck ... give me the whole tart ;-D

  21. Hi Zoe,
    Wow! What a stunning and beautiful tart! You have done a superb job with the pastry, the cream and the presentation! I would admire from all angles before I slice it! :)

  22. Strawberry tarts are always so gorgeous. You did not let me down. I know it tasted great, too!

  23. Strawberry is my favourite fruit so your recipe has me grinning like crazy :D
    It looks wonderful!

    Choc Chip Uru

  24. Wow what a beautiful tart! I wish I could have a slice.

  25. Zoe , simply beautiful indeed ! Strawberry season here is during winter but it's rather hit and miss , and I've got loads of misses last winter , sour or no flavor at all ugh !

  26. Lovely strawberry tarts , look so inviting . Would love to have some now ;)

  27. Complimenti è davvero una delizia!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Zoe, your strawberry tart looks more than perfect. I love the looks of it and I'm very sure it tastes as good or even better. I can totally get what you mean about the tart being too firm to cut through easily in one go. But that is the price we have to pay for a non-soggy tart which is still great especially with the custard and strawberries :)

  29. Gorgeous tart. When we arrived in UK for our holidays this time,first thing we did was visit the supermarket and strawberries was definitely in our shopping trolley. We ate strawberries almost everyday during our trip and I certainly would love to devour this strawberry tart.