Strawberry Tartlets with Crema Pasticcera

Makes 6

For the pastry
30g icing sugar
125g plain flour
75g butter, fridge cold and cubed
1 egg yolk

For the Crema Pasticcera
500ml milk
1/2 vanilla pod
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp plain flour
60g caster sugar

1/2 punnet strawberries, sliced, whole, doesn’t really matter!


Combine the icing sugar and flour in a bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour and sugar with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs – or blitz in a food processor to the same stage.

Add the egg yolk and using a fork, incorporate fully until the pastry starts to come together – don’t be tempted to add water, you don’t need it. It will get there – have faith.

When the pastry starts to come together, use your hands to gently bring it into a ball, ensuring there are no loose crumbs and it pastry is smooth (no kneading).

Roll into a log, wrap in cling film (or similar) and chill until firm.

– Preheat your oven to 130C –

When the pastry is chilled, grate some of the pastry in to the shell and press up the walls of the case, all around. It should be quite thin. Run a knife along the top of the shell and remove the excess pastry. Put this onto the base, and press it out, adding more if necessary. You will be left with a tart shell lined with sweet pastry.

If you run out before you finish your 6th shell, your pastry is too thick. Squeeze some out of your other shells and add it to the last.

Chill until firm.

Meanwhile make the crema pasticcera.

Scrape the seeds of the vanilla pod into a saucepan along with 3/4 of the milk. Add the scraped out pod and bring just up to the boil.

Combine the sugar, egg yolks, flour and the remaining milk using a whisk until smooth. Add the hot milk to the sugar mix, whisking all the while. Return to the pan and over a medium heat, keep whisking until the mix resembles the consistency of yoghurt. Add a small dash of cream, whisk through, and remove from the heat. Scrape into a wide bowl or onto a plate, cover with cling film (or similar) and allow to cool completely.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes (check at 25, everyone’s oven is different), until pale golden. Allow to cool completely.

To assemble, whisk the crema pasticcera until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag and fill the shells in a spiral motion. Smother with sliced strawberries, drizzle with icing sugar, and enjoy!