Berry Tart with Cheesecake Pastry Cream
Recipe type: Tart
Serves: One 9½-inch tart
  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1-in pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
Strawberry Coulis
  • ½ cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Cheesecake Pastry Cream
  • 1 cup (230 g) milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (14 g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz (113 g) cream cheese, softened
  • Fresh berries for decorating
  1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in bowl of a food processor, and process to combine.
  2. Add in the butter and process until mixture resemble coarse crumbs - don't let it turn into a solid ball of dough.
  3. Add the water, vanilla and almond extracts and process just until the dough starts to clump together.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a clean surface and form into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until it has firmed up and is no longer sticky. Refrigerate longer if needed, or you can also store the dough in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of a 9½" tart tin, trying to keep the thickness even. If the dough gets soft and sticky, you can put it back in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Refrigerate the tart shell for 30 minutes before baking.
  7. Prick the bottoms of the tart shell with a fork. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and dry. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the strawberry coulis:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Pour strawberries into a food processor. Purée until smooth. Chill in refrigerator until needed.
For the pastry cream:
  1. To make the pastry cream, place milk in a small saucepan. Heat on the stove over medium heat until bubbles appear on the edge of the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl.
  3. Pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking.
  4. Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Stir in the vanilla. Let mixture sit for about 5 minutes to let it cool slightly.
  5. Add in the butter and whisk until it is incorporated. Add in the cream cheese and whisk until it is fully incorporated and mixture is smooth.
  6. Scrape the pastry cream into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface, and refrigerate until needed.
To assemble the tart:
  1. Spread the coulis in an even thin layer at the bottom of the tart shell.
  2. Pour the cheesecake pastry cream over the coulis. If you have been chilling the pastry cream for a while it may have firmed to the point where it is difficult to pour. Loosen it up by whisking briskly or whirling it in a food processor for a few seconds. Note if you do this the pastry cream may become very soft and runny; you can refrigerate the filled tart for 20-30 minutes to let it firm up again.
  3. Decorate the top with additional fresh berries before serving.
Recipe by Dessert First at