It is not uncommon to be served a classic vanilla brûlée in a restaurant with fresh strawberries served on the side. This version is the classic brûlée piped into a tart shell with strawberry purée in the bottom containing the whole dessert in a neat and edible package. If you prefer, you can bake the custard on its own in ramekins and caramelise the top to make a classic crème brûlée. Much the same as the ginger brûlée tarts, this filling can be tricky to get right.
To make the strawberry purée, put the strawberries and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
To make the crème brûlée custard, put the cream into a saucepan, scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the cream and add the bean. Bring to the boil over high heat. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and set aside for about 10 minutes.
Place the egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl and use a whisk to combine. Add the sugar and continue whisking for about 30 seconds, or until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the slightly cooled cream through a fine sieve, discarding the vanilla bean, then pour the cream into the egg yolk mixture, stirring well to combine.
Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, and continue stirring with a whisk for about 10–15 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and thick, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly with a rubber spatula. It is important to keep stirring at all times or the mixture will curdle. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk briskly for about 2 minutes to cool it quickly. Over the next 1 hour, whisk the mixture every 10 minutes until cooled. Use a rubber spatula to clean the side of the bowl thoroughly and place plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture; refrigerate overnight to set.
Follow the instructions to roll out the pastry and use it to line twenty
To assemble the tarts, spoon about
To make classic crème brûlées,
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