How to make a French strawberry tart from scratch with lush pistachio pastry cream. It's also a useful recipe for using up 5 egg yolks.
This recipe was one of my sources of inspiration for my book, Teatime in Paris, where you'll find the original recipe for tartlets with their step-by-step instructions in more detail.
French Strawberry Tart
French strawberries (Mara des Bois, Plougastel, Gariguettes) cheer us up no end with their sweet, candy-like flavours. Every Spring and Summer we have the treat of fresh strawberries from the market, simply on their own, with our morning maple granola - or with homemade ice cream.
However, at home we love making berry tarts in summer.
How to Make a French Tart Shell
This is an easy homemade recipe for making a French tart shell with sweet pastry.
Sweet pastry is much easier than Pâte Sablée, as there's less butter and no need to control temperature of butter, egg etc.
If making one big tart shell, then I suggest blind baking using baking beans. However, there's no need to blind bake if making 8 individual tartlets.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle beater (or simply by hand), mix the butter, salt and sugar until pale and creamy. (If making the dough by hand, use cold butter). Gradually add the other ingredients and stop mixing immediately as soon as the dough forms into a ball.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a 28cm/11 inch circle with 5mm thickness and transfer to a 24cm (9 inch) non-stick tart tin.
- Press into the tart tin and trim off excess pastry with your fingers or roll over the edges with a rolling pin (any extra dough can make another tartlet so no waste).
- Prick the pastry with a fork and top with baking paper (cut to size – I use the same one several baking sessions for convenience) and fill with washed coins, rice or dried beans to blind bake the pastry.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown then remove the baking beans. Leave to cool, remove from the tin and set aside.
What Kind of Flour is Best for French Sweet Pastry?
I prefer using French plain flour (cake/pastry flour) called 'Farine fluide Type/T45', as it's extra fine for making sweet pastry. However standard plain all-purpose flour (Farine de Blé Type 55) is good if you can't find it - just sift the flour first before baking.
See my glossary of UK and USA baking terms.
More step-by-step instructions are in my pâtisserie recipe book, Teatime in Paris, with a whole chapter devoted to Tarts.
Pistachio Tart Filling
Those of you who love making desserts that use egg whites (to save up for macarons, chocolate mousse and tuiles), pastry cream is another handy recipe to use up egg yolks.
What's best about pastry cream? You can adapt the flavours for many classic French desserts. Strawberry tarts are delicious with classic vanilla pastry cream (crème pâtissière) but when combined with pistachios, it's an extra luxury. Take the association of strawberries with this pistachio, vanilla and wasabi ice cream. It sounds scary with wasabi but believe me, you need to try their strawberry and pistachio flavour combinations together.
This pistachio filling was inspired by a teatime goûter at the Jacquemart André Museum's café, with its Tiepolo ceilings and Belgian tapestries to fit this lush dessert. From the legendary trolley of Parisian patisseries, I chose a sumptuous slice of their Tarte aux fraises à la pistache. As a result, I recreated a homemade version of this as a reminder of a perfect way to spend an afternoon in Paris. For more, see my list of Best Tearooms in Paris.
So here's my Strawberry Tart with a lush, yet subtle, pistachio pastry cream. It's berry good indeed.
Also delicious topped with raspberries. Serve as one large tart or 8 small tartlets.
Love pistachio or almonds as a filling? See my other recipes:
- a strawberry tart with almond frangipane filling - it's disguised upside and glazed as a cake!
- gâteau Saint-Germain almond tart
Strawberry & Pistachio Tart
Strawberry and Pistachio Tart
- 24cm (9 inch) non-stick tart tin/ring or 8 individual tartlet tins/rings
Classic Sweet Pastry
- 125 g (4½oz) butter, unsalted softened
- 75 g (3oz) icing/powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt (fleur de sel)
- 1 egg organic
- ½ teaspoon vanilla powder (or extract)
- 240 g (8½oz) plain (all-purpose) flour Type 45
Pistachio Pastry Cream
- 400 ml (14fl oz) whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod/bean
- 5 egg yolks organic
- 60 g (2.5oz) sugar
- 2 tablespoon cornflour/cornstarch
- 1-2 teaspoon pistachio paste (see NOTES)
- 15 g (1 tbsp) butter (unsalted)
- 1 punnet fresh strawberries hulled and halved
Sweet Pastry Base
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle beater (or simply by hand), mix the butter, salt and sugar until pale and creamy. Gradually add the other ingredients until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.Form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Remove from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes for ease of use. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas 4.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a 28cm/11 inch circle with 5mm thickness and transfer to a 24cm (9 inch) non-stick tart tin.Press into the tart tin and trim off excess pastry with your fingers or roll over the edges with a rolling pin (any extra dough can make another tartlet so no waste).Prick the pastry with a fork and top with baking paper (cut to size – I use the same one several baking sessions for convenience) and fill with washed coins, rice or dried beans to blind bake the pastry.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown then remove the baking beans. Leave to cool, remove from the tin and set aside.
- Boil the milk with the vanilla pod in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse covered for about 10 minutes. Remove the pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the milk.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the yolks with the sugar and gradually add the cornflour. Whisk until light and creamy. Pour on the hot milk and transfer back to the saucepan, whisking continuously over a medium heat until thickened then whisk in the butter.
- Take off the heat, whisk in the pistachio paste and leave to cool. Place some cling film directly on to the pastry cream, to avoid a film forming on top (you don't want to whisk this in later, otherwise you'll end up with a lumpy bumpy cream!) Cover with the film again and chill in the fridge.
- Cut the strawberries in half. Fill the pastry base with the pastry cream then place the strawberries on top.
for more accuracy and better, consistent results
This recipe was first published 30 June 2013 but has now been completely updated with new images and more explanations of the recipe, with thanks to my publishers at Waverley Books.
Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to know how it turned out from the blog or my book. Please let me know by leaving a rated review below. It means so much to have your support. On Instagram? Share a photo and tag @JillColonna and hashtag it #madaboutmacarons. À bientôt!
Making this tomorrow. I bought the most beautiful strawberries at Aldi's today and this was the only recipe that come to mind. I love it so much with the pistachio pastry cream. Will # you a pic. Thank you Jill .
How wonderful Bea. And the recipe is better presented with step-by-step instructions in 'Teatime in Paris', as I know you have the book. Enjoy this - we adore the pistachios and strawberries together. Lucky you on finding strawberries. We're missing them in Paris just now!
I was in Paris last spring and had the yummiest pistachio tart at Mamie Gateaux! I purchased a jar of pistachio paste to bring home. Wanted to try and duplicate the tart but have not been brave enough. Until now thanks to you! The tart I had was VERY green, can I add a few more tablespoons of the pistachio paste to the pastry cream? Looking forward to trying your recipe. Thank for the inspiration
So happy to inspire you and please let me know how you get on making the recipe. It's so good!
Careful on adding too much pistachio paste. That's why I make my own, as it's easily 'controlled' - difficult to know what they put in the jarred stuff at times. I'd stick to this recipe and you judge for yourself on adding more, although would suggest adding an extra teaspoon rather than tablespoons. Enjoy!
P.S. If you're looking for many more tarts and French treats, you'll find many Parisian favourite recipes in my book, Teatime in Paris.
Christina @ Christina's Cucina
I'd call this tart, "perfection"! Looks brilliant and I'm sure it tasted even better!
Oh thank you Christina. Yes, it was good x
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
What a beautiful tart and the perfect beginning to strawberry season down under!
I made this tart several days ago. It was absolutely delicious! I had to make my own pistachio paste - thanks for the recipe. I have a lot left, so will think of something creative to use it for.
In the directions for the pastry cream, it says 'remove pod". I assumed you meant a vanilla bean pod? It's not in the ingredients list. I didn't have that so added a tsp. of vanilla.
It turned out great!
Thanks again for the recipe for this delicious - and very pretty - tart!
Thanks so much for pointing out the vanilla pod bit. I've corrected it on the ingredients list, as forgot to add it there.
Thrilled you enjoyed the recipe. I made another one this weekend with raspberries, which disappeared a bit too quickly!
Nami | Just One Cookbook
I remember turning on heater in July last year in San Francisco. It was so cold and I wear sweater at home at night. The weather has been very strange everywhere. Here in Japan, it's rainy season but we rarely have rain. It worked well for our stay, but it's been very strange. Love your abundant strawberry in the tart. Pretty and delicious at the same time!
Can't believe your writing here while on your precious holiday in Japan, Nami. Thanks for popping by. Yes, so strange the weather all around but finally the sun is catching up as it should in Paris. It's wonderful here! Enjoy the rest of your family break.
Fran @ G'day Souffle'
Oh boy, this dessert looks so good. Funny about the French word 'Ouf'. If you ad an 'e', it becomes 'oeuf'- the word for 'egg.' I suppose one would have to be careful with pronouncing it correctly, so you're not saying 'egg' in French!
Hehe, eggsactly, Fran. 😉
Kim - Liv Life
We have had summers like that!! I remember on year when we celebrated Liv's birthday in late July with a swim party... it's sunny in late July, right?? Not that year. We had fog and chill from May to August and I was not a happy Southern California Girl. (the internet said something about 320 sunny days a year... when we moved here. Ooof!!!)
In any case... I'm wishing summer soon for you!
But it looks like you've brought a little bit of it home with that tart! Love the addition of the pistachio past, and love ever more that I can make it myself.
Well thank you, Kim, for popping by since you've obviously brought your Southern Californian sunshine and warmth to Paris. It's finally fabulous in Paris! Ouf.
Mmmm how perfect is this for summer? Chilled pastry cream and local strawberries? I want a slice! I also love pastry cream because of the endless variety of flavors one can create. I need to make this now.
Well I do hope you made it, Jamie. I also love the pastry cream varieties since made a rose tart with raspberries this weekend. Bliss. Isn't it lovely having the sun back here in France? Hope you're enjoying yourself!
Beautiful looking tart and a heavenly looking pastry crust. BTW, it's raining again here too! No surprise 🙁
Oh, Paula - I do hope the sun is finally with you now. Sending some Paris sunshine your way...
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
Jill, dessert heaven! Great idea to pistachio-up the filling (whether ready made or your handy tip). The danger is that if I make this, I may not share...
My brother is a fan of "Oof" after nearly 2 decades in France. It covers a multitude.
Aha - thanks for mentioning this as I don't understand where my other sentence on Ouf went on the site update. I've corrected it now. Yes, my daughter also uses 'C'est ouf' rather a lot, which is verlan (when words go backwards) slang for it's crazy ('fou'). As for the painting, I don't know about the spelling OOF but love it!
I love the combination of fraises and pistache. What a lovely early summer dessert!
Me too, Ann. Can't get enough of it!
My word, Jill. This Strawberry Tart with Pistachio Pastry Cream looks exquisite! Glad to know you've been finding a bright spot with the berries in what sounds like a gray summer. California strawberries remain prolific at this date in the season, so I've pinned this gem of a recipe for a test run soon. Much obliged my friend and happy baking!
Love this season too, Brooks. So glad to hear you'll be making this. Enjoy!
Mardi (eat. live. travel. write)
Oh Jill. This looks heavenly. So summery 🙂 Lovely!
Thanks, Mardi. Yes, summer is finally trying to break through in Paris! Must be with your arrival.
I'm just mad about the berries here. Nothing like this in the states! No taste and certainly not sweet. They must spray them with berry perfume so you think you're getting strawbs but they're not. Why do you have to live so far away? Actually it's a very good thing..
'Strawberries sprayed with berry perfume'- love it, Carol! I love preparing them and having hands that smell like candy floss afterwards...