Japanese Strawberry Fruit Tart

May 10, 2015



Happy Mother's Day to all the selfless mums out there, and especially to my amazing mother who has done so much for me. Everything in my life would not have been possible if not for her and my dad, including baking.

Today's session of baking therapy is dedicated to my mum, who loves Japan, fruits, tarts, and things to be arranged neatly! The best dessert that incorporates the above elements is the Japanese strawberry fruit tart, with sliced strawberries arranged in concentric circles.

I always remember the scene where Monica Gellar from FRIENDS was nagging at Rachel Green to put the marshmallows for dessert in concentric circles. 

To those who don't watch FRIENDS (P.S. you are missing out on the best sitcom ever), Monica is known to have slight OCD tendencies and she has to keep everything neat.

So I think she'd be pleased with how the strawberries spiral beautifully in my tarts.

Monica: Uhh... Rachel? You want to put the marshmallows in concentric circles.
Rachel: No, Mon. YOU want to put them in concentric circles. I want to do this. *stuffs marshmallow in mon's nose*
Monica: Every. Year.

This is my original recipe, created with reference to other sources and tweaked accordingly. Inspiration was drawn from the Fruit Paradise fruit tarts, which contain fluffy sponge cake sandwiched between the tart crust, lightly sweetened cream, and fresh fruits. Their tarts are pretty pricey, but now you can create one at a fraction of the cost!


Mummy Strawberry Fruit Tart

Baby Fruit Tart!

I made two tarts - a large and mini one as I had some spare dough remaining. It was my first time creating this recipe and I overestimated the ingredients required; I must say, it's better to have too much than too little! At least I got to sample my mini tart before serving the large one. 

Here's my recipe, adjusted and scaled correctly!


Japanese Strawberry Fruit Tart
Servings: 8 
Equipments: 9.5 inch tart case + 9 inch cake pan + Baking beans

Ingredients

[For Tart]
250g of Plain Flour
125g of Unsalted Butter (Cubed)
1 Beaten Large Egg
90g of Caster Sugar

[For Sponge Cake]

2 Eggs at room temperature
60g of Caster Sugar
60g of Cake Flour
20g of Melted Unsalted Butter

[For Syrup]

20ml Hot Water
1/2 tbsp. of Caster Sugar
1 tsp. of your favorite liquor (optional)

[For Custard Cream]
225ml of Fresh Milk( 225cc milk )
60g of Caster Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
15g of Cake Flour
12.5g of Unsalted Butter (melted)
7.5g of Cornstarch
Vanilla essence 

[For Whipped Cream]

200ml of Heavy Cream
1 tbsp. of Caster Sugar
A few drops vanilla extract
1 tbsp. of your favorite liquor (optional)

[For Jam Coating]

1 tbsp. of Raspberry/Strawberry Jam
Syrup Water

[For Decorating]
Approximately 15 strawberries
Blueberries


Directions

[For Tart]
1. MASSAGE BUTTER INTO FLOUR: Massage the cubed butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
2. STIR IN SUGAR AND EGG: Add the sugar and beaten egg, kneading gently until a soft dough ball is formed. (Don't overwork or else the pastry will be tough when cooked)
3. CHILL DOUGH: Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to chill for at least an hour.
4. MOULD DOUGH TO TART CASE: On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to approximately 5mm. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin, and lay it out onto a tart case. Trim off any excessive pastry.
5. BAKING THE TART: Place a piece of parchment paper over the pastry and pour the baking beans above it. Leave it to chill for 15 min before baking in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper to cook for another 5 mins. Leave to cool

[For Sponge Cake]

1. BEAT EGGS AND SUGAR: Over a water bath, beat eggs with whisk in a metal bowl. Add the sugar and mix until it dissolved (temperature should be around 27C). Remove from the water bath and beat the batter on high speed with an high speed with an electric mixer until white and fluffy. Then on low speed, beat for about a minute to set the texture.
2. SIFT IN FLOUR:  Sift in flour little by little and gently cut through the mixture with wire whisk until somewhat combined.
3. ADD BUTTER: Add melted butter, and use a spatula to quickly lift up the batter to mix.
4. BAKE THE CAKE: Line the round cake pan with parchment paper and pour the batter from heights of 30cm so that it drips into the pan like a ribbon. Drop the pan lightly on the counter to raise the air bubbles out of the batter and bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 20-25 minutes. Chill in fridge.

[For Syrup]


1. Mix granulated sugar and hot water until dissolved, then add your favorite liquor if you wish.

[For Custard Cream]
1. Whisk the egg yolks, then add sugar.
2. Sift in the cake flour and cornstarch
3. Warm the milk and vanilla essence in a pot until it starts to simmer.
4. Gradually pour the warm milk to the egg yolk and sugar mixture, mixing with a whisk continuously. (Be careful not too add too much in one go as it might cook the eggs!)
5. Strain the mixture using a sieve and heat it on low fire while mixing continuously with a spatula.
6. When the mixture starts to curdle, add in the butter and mix well.
7. Let it cool.

[For Whipped Cream]
1. Beat the ingredients on high speed for approximately 3-5 minutes until soft peaks form.

[For Jam Coating]

1. Mix jam and a bit of syrup (from above) to thin down the jam. Using a pastry brush, coat strawberries with jam to give a shine.

[PUTTING THE TART TOGETHER]

1. MAKE FILLING: Mix the custard cream with half the whipped cream. 
2. LAYERING THE TART: Coat the tart with a layer of custard and whipped cream mixture, add some sliced strawberries. Place the layer of sponge cake above, and use a pastry brush to coat the sponge cake with syrup (to add moisture to the cake). Coat the sponge cake with a layer of whipped cream and even out the surface.
3. ADD FRUITS: Arrange the strawberries in any way you desire (in this case, I went for concentric circles hahaha). Add some fresh blueberries.
4. COAT WITH JAM: Coat the fresh fruits with a layer of jam coating to give the fruits a nice gloss and sheen.

Now you're done! 

Baking Therapy: A highly fulfilling process of baking a geometric beauty. So to those who have a mini Monica in them, believe me when I say that making a tart and arranging the sliced fruits is therapeutic. Please give this recipe a go! 

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