Blooming French Strawberry Tart

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August 14, 2018

finished Strawberry TartMany of my family members live in France. One thing I look forward to having every time I visit is the classic French fruit tart. It's got a delicate crust topped with a custardy pastry cream (crème pâtissière), with fruit arranged beautifully on top to resemble a blooming flower. I finally learned how to make it myself so I don't have to long for it between visits. It's worth the effort, and I hope you give it a try!


Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 oz cold butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 18 oz fresh strawberries


  1. Whisk together 2 cups flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
  2. mixing flour & sugar
  3. Chop the cold butter into little cubes and add to flour mixture.
  4. adding cut butter pieces

  5. Use two forks to crumble into the texture of coarse cornmeal. You can also pulse it a food processor.
  6. blending butter with flour
  7. Add 1/3 cup sugar and egg. Bring the dough together into a ball. Don't overwork it.
  8. adding egg & sugar to dough
  9. Flatten the dough a bit, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  10. ball of dough
  11. While the dough is in the fridge, work on the pastry cream. In a bowl, whisk together 2 egg yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1 tsp.lemon zest.
  12. Blending egg yolks & sugar

  13. Add 1/2 cup flour and a couple Tbsp. of the milk, beat until combined.
  14. egg yolk sugar added to flour
  15. Place the rest of the milk and other tsp. of lemon zest in a saucepan over medium heat until the milk comes to a simmer.
  16. adding milk
  17. While whisking, pour the milk into the egg flour mixture.
  18. adding milk
  19. Return entire mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens like pudding. Remove from heat to cool. Press a piece of plastic wrap on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled.
  20. mixing

  21. To finish the tart crust, preheat oven to 350 F. Remove dough from fridge and press into the bottom of your tart pan, getting up the sides.
  22. forming crust in pan
  23. Use a fork to prick holes into the bottom crust, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden.
  24. forking crust
  25. Transfer to a rack to cool before filling.
  26. forked crust on rack
  27. Hull the strawberries and slice them about 1/4 inch thick. Leave one strawberry whole.
  28. slicing strawberries

  29. Remove the pastry cream from the fridge, whisk until smooth, then spread onto the crust. Place strawberries around the tart, starting from the outside and working your way in, overlapping them.
  30. arranging sliced strawberries on dough
  31. When you make it all the way in, pop the whole strawberry in the center. What a beautiful bloom!
  32. arranged sliced strawberries on dough

*I used a 10 inch tart pan for this recipe.

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