Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart

Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart

Lovely, tasty, awesome strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries have been in season for while now. I love going to the market and seeing all of these berries laying on the table, beautifully arranged making it impossible to go home empty handed. There are so many types and varieties here in Paris it amazes me. I especially love the French gariguette strawberry (which weren’t available, so they are not the ones you’ll see on the pictures), so tasty, and bright.
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
Unfortunately the bliss of going to the market and have a huge selection of berries to choose from is not going to last for ever, only until the end of the summer! So I thought we should take advantage of this scenario and make as many desserts as possible using berries. So there will be other recipes coming your way.
I decided to make a tart, using an almond "pate sablée" (short crust pastry) as a base. It makes for a great summer dessert and for a teatime treat! And everybody likes berries, everybody. So if you are having people over, this would be a good dessert to prepare.
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
In Argentina, if you say strawberries, you might as well take out the "dulce de leche" (milk jam in English, it has a resemblance to caramel, but it is not caramel, because it’s made with milk!), so normally, a strawberry tart would be composed of a bottom layer of "dulce de leche", followed by a layer of whipped cream, and finally the strawberries on top. I went a different way.
I like it when in a same dessert (or dish, it applies to cooking as well) one element is presented in different forms. In this case, the main character being the berries, I also made berry jam, so you would end up having the fresh fruit as well as cooked berries (marmalade) all in one bite!
And to break the tartness, and trying to balance the flavors I added a layer of vanilla/mascarpone cream. Berries and vanilla is always a good idea!
Happy Baking!
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
Assorted fresh red berries (for decor) 300 g

For the Sablée Dough
This was adapted from the Pate Sablée recipe I learned at Ecole Lenotre in Paris! The best pate sablée I ever tasted.

Butter 80 g
Salt 4 g
Powdered sugar 45 g
Almond flour 20 g
Egg 30 g
All-purpose flour 33 g
All-purpose flour 100 g
Vanilla Bean 1/2 u

For the Berry Marmalade

Assorted berries 250g
They can be fresh or frozen. It’s better when they are fresh off course. I used, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries
Sugar 100 g
Lemon Juice 2-3 drops
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
For the "Crème Anglaise" / Vanilla Custard

Egg yolk 5u
Sugar 100
Whole milk 425 ml
Vanilla bean 1 u

For the Mascarpone/Vanilla Cream

Vanilla Custard 120 g
Mascarpone Cheese 80 g
Gelatin (powder) 2 g
Water 10 ml
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
For the Shortcrust Pastry
If you are using a stand mixer:
Using the paddle attachment, bring the butter to a consistency of mayonnaise or "beurre pomade" to use French terminology. Dissolve the salt in the egg. Mix together the powdered sugar and the almond flour and the vanilla bean scraped.
Add the powdered sugar mixture to the butter and mix it together at a low speed. Incorporate the egg and the small amount of flour, mix together. Make sure to scrape the bottom of your bowl!!
Finally add the big amount of flour, mix until it’s incorporated into the batter. You shouldn’t mix very long. We want to prevent the activation of the gluten in the flour, because we don’t want the dough to become elastic! (It will shrink when in the oven!).
Form a rectangle of about 2 cm tall (it’s easier to roll it our after); wrap it in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. If you can do it the day before, even better!
If you are using your hands:
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
In a bowl mix together all the dry ingredients and the scraped vanilla bean and add the butter (cold cold) cut into small cubes.
Using your fingertips, break down the butter, until you obtain a sandy, grainy consistency. There should be pieces of butter still visible, and the color of the dry ingredients has changed towards a more yellowy tone.
Add the egg and mix using one finger.
Transfer the dough onto your working surface and using the palm of your hand to smear the dough and obtain a homogenous mixture. (The technical French term is "fraiser"). You can repeat the operation up to 3 or 4 times.
Form a rectangle of about 2 cm tall (it’s easier to roll it our after); wrap it in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. If you can do it the day before, even better!
You can watch how to make a short crust pastry by watching this video:
For the Berry Mermelade
If you can do it one night in advance, so much better. If not, there’s no problem! Use a big pot, as the jam tends to make super big bubbles and it might spill onto your stove (not a fun job to clean this afterwards :)
Quarter your strawberries. In a pot mix in the strawberries, the raspberries, the blueberries, the sugar and the lemon juice. Mix well together. If you do this with time, you can let it macerate in the fridge overnight.
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
After maceration, or after no maceration (up to you), cook over a medium high heat. Bring to a boil, and continue to cook until you have little bubbles of the same size. Because it is not a big quantity, it shouldn’t take long, maybe 10 minutes. If you do a larger batch it will take longer.
Note: once it boils, it will make big uneven bubbles, then really big ones, and finally it should calm down. That’s when it’s done.
If you can, using a skimmer remove the foam, these are the impurities from the sugar. Your jam will be cleaner, and better!
Let it rest in the pot for 5 minutes and then using a hand blender, puree your jam.
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
Note: you can use it as it is. I pureed it. But this is totally up to you.
Transfer onto a hermetic container and cool down at room temperature. Continue to chill in the fridge before using on the tart.
For the "Crème Anglaise" / Vanilla Custard
Prepare a bowl with ice water. It will serve to quickly chill your custard and avoid the temperature to continue to rise!
In a pot bring to a simmer the milk with half the sugar, the scraped vanilla seeds and de vanilla pod (to add more flavor).
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. Important!! Once you add the sugar to the egg yolks, mix immediately, otherwise the sugar will cook/burn our yolk and that will have as a result grainy custard!
Once the milk has come to a simmer, pour half over the yolk/sugar mixture and whisk at the same time. Re-pour the yolk/milk/sugar mixture over the remaining milk.
Bring the pot back over a medium heat, stirring all the time with a plastic/wooden spoon or spatula, and cook your custard.
The key question is when is your custard ready? If it boils, that means you’ve gone too far, and you should re-start the operation. If you have a thermometer, once it reaches 82-83 degrees Celsius you can remove from heat.
If you don’t have a thermometer, your custard will be ready when it coats the back of a spoon, and when you run your finger through it, it leaves a nice mark, and your custard doesn’t run across from one side to the mark to another.
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
Place a clean bowl over the ice water bowl. Remove the custard from the heat and strain over a clean bowl. Stir from time to time.
While it’s chilling, add the 10 ml of warm water to the powdered gelatin and whisk until it is dissolved. Add to the "crème anglaise" and stir to combine.
Once it’s at room temperature transfer onto a hermetic container. Put it in the fridge until you are ready to use. It should be cold when you do.
Assembling the Cake Together
Pre heat your oven to 170 C.
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
Roll out your dough to 3 mm approximately and line your mold (this amount of dough has been thought for a mold of 20 cm in diameter).
Remember to make to dough bigger than the mold you are going to line. You can choose any mold you want, in any shape you want.
In order to prevent the crust from rising in the oven, line your crust with parchment paper and fill it with rice (beans can also do the trick, but they are more smelly!).
Blind bake: 10 minutes with the rice. Continue to bake without the rice or the parchment paper, until the crust is cooked and slightly colored.
Transfer onto a cooling rack.
Cut your strawberries in half, and prepare the rest of the berries you are planning to use.
Once it has cooled down you can proceed to assemble the cake.
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
Spread a thin layer of the berry jam (you will not use all of the berry jam you made!) using a small off-set spatula or the back of a spoon. Chill.
In the meantime, whisk the custard to make it smooth. Separately whisk the mascarpone cheese, just a little to break it down and smooth (the same texture as the custard is what we are looking for!).
Combine the custard and the mascarpone together using a whisk to mix properly and avoid lumps.
Spread over the layer of berry jam. I used all of the mascarpone/vanilla cream.
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
Decorate with the berries to your taste!
Chill a couple of hours before serving.
Dust with a little powdered sugar just before serving, if you like!
Bon appétit!
Red Berries & Vanilla Cream Tart
If you’ll be making a larger batch of jam, use sterile containers for storage. Fill your containers, close them tightly with the lid. Turn over, and let it cool upside down over the counter at room temperature.
Preparation Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
8 servings
Calories: 606 cal
Carbohydrate: 40 g
Fat: 30 g
Protein: 6 g
Sodium: 225 mg
Sugar: 27 g
Keywords: tart,strawberries,raspberries,blueberries,crème anglaise,vanilla custard,jam,berries,shortcrust,pastry,mascarpone,pâte sablée
Cuisine: French

Comments (1)

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by |
It looks delicious. Can't wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing.
Reply from Belula | Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hi Debbra,
I hope you got to try the recipe!
It's my pleasure to share my recipes with you. Just happy you like them!

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