These are a timeless classic and taste absolutely gorgeous! I lost the original recipe for these tartlets but the one below should work just as well if not even better.
For the pastry
- 200g (7oz) plain flour
- 125g (4oz) unsalted butter
- 30g (11⁄4oz) icing sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
For the crème pâtissière
- 350ml (12fl oz) full-fat milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 100g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
- 15g (1⁄2oz) plain flour
- 15g (1⁄2oz) cornflour
- 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
- 600g (1lb 31⁄2oz) strawberries
- 3 tbsp apricot jam, sieved
Blend the pastry ingredients in a food processor until the mixture first forms clumps and then comes together in a ball. If you need to add water, 1 tsp will be enough. Roll the pastry onto a lightly floured board, to 5mm (1⁄4in) thickness, and use to line a 25cm (10in) loose-based tart tin or tartlet tins. Chill for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, 170°C fan. Line the tart with nonstick baking paper and baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for 5 more minutes. Leave to cool.
To make the crème pâtissière, heat the milk almost to boiling and then leave to cool for a few minutes. Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Add the flour and cornflour and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk.
Return the mixture to a clean pan and stir over a medium heat until it begins to thicken. Stir vigorously, turn the heat to low, and simmer, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the crème pâtissière into the tart case and spread level. Chill for 4 hours, or until set.
Hull the strawberries and arrange snugly on top of the crème pâtissière, pointed ends up. Gently heat the jam in a pan with 1 tbsp water, stirring. Remove from the heat and cool. Brush over the fruit.