Old Time Strawberry Cream Tart

July 3, 2019 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas

As a child, I looked forward to the beginning of summer for the usual reasons: The end of another school year. The beginning of long, lazy, hot days of doing nothing but swimming, jumping rope and riding my bike. No schoolwork! But, most importantly I looked forward to it for THE return of THE Strawberry Cream Pie at The College Hill Bakery in Beaver Falls, PA.

I loved that pie more than any other summer dessert and I still remember patiently waiting for my mother to serve it to my father, brother and me at the end of our family meal. I slowly ate it, savoring every wonderful sweet, creamy, crunchy bite and praying that Mom would allow me to have seconds.

I consider myself fortunate to have many food memories from my childhood but that pie from that small bakery in that small town, remains at the top of my list. This is my homage to that pie made, I hope I did it justice. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Summer!

PS. If you don't feel like turning on your oven...this tart works really well with a graham cracker crust too!

Old Time Strawberry Cream Tart
Yields: 1 9-inch Tart

Crust
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar (or ¼ cup granulated sugar)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes)
1 large egg mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
1.Process flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor for a few seconds until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture becomes crumbly and resembles coarse meal. Add egg and keep pulsing until the dough is no longer dry and starts to clump together, about 10-15 seconds.
2.Turn dough to a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Flatten ball slightly with your hands to form a thick disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and up to 1 month in the freezer.
3.Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into an 11-inch circle, then place gently into a 9-inch tart pan a removable bottom); With a sharp knife or rolling pin, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the tart pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 375F degrees and place rack in the center. Press parchment paper or aluminum foil tightly against the crust, covering the edges to prevent them from burning. Fill with pie weights /dried beans/uncooked rice, making sure they’re fully distributed over the entire surface.
5. Bake crust for 15 minutes, until foil no longer sticks to the dough. Transfer crust to a wire rack and remove weights and foil. Bake for about 10 minutes longer until golden brown and dry. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling with the pastry cream.

Pastry Cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1.In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt; gradually stir in milk. Cook and whisk over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook and whisk for 2 minutes more.
2.Remove from the heat and stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg to temper it; return all to the saucepan. Cook and stir until almost bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 1-2 minutes more (do not boil).
2.Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and then fold into the filling; pour into tart shell. Chill for at least 3 hours

Glazed Strawberries
½ cup cold water
1/3 cup sugar
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 cup chopped overly ripe strawberries (good to use the ones in the container that are bruised and overly ripe)
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons cold water
20 to 25 fresh, ripe, strawberries halved lengthwise (depending on how big your berries are, try to use the same size if possible)

1.Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over high heat and cook until the sugar melts. Add the lemon juice and strawberries and cook until the berries become very soft and completely break down, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the cornstarch slurry, bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is thickened and clear, about 2 minutes. Strain the glaze into a small bowl and let cool to room temperature, about an hour.
3. Lay the strawberry halves on a sheet, cut side down. Liberally brush with the glaze (use any leftover glazed drizzled over the tart when you serve it or over vanilla ice cream.
4. Arrange the berry halves over the filling and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.