Strawberry Pistachio Tart

Strawberry Pistachio Pie

When I was 19, I moved out of my dorm room into a house with a few girls from my rugby team. Because I didn’t have access to the cafeteria anymore, I had to learn how to cook. I remember thinking I would never learn how to cook properly. That summer, I went back to my grandma’s house in France and asked her to teach me how to make the strawberry pie she made for us every summer. Strawberries have always been my favorite fruit and I used to go pick fresh ones out of my grandma’s backyard every summer. My Ninnin taught me how to make the perfect crème pâtissière, but I remember putting way too much my first time, to the point that the strawberries were drowning!

Strawberry Pistachio Pie
Since that year, I have learned how to pair fruits and vegetables better and one of my favorite pairings is strawberry and pistachio. I was trying to decide whether to put the pistachio in the crust or in the pastry cream and decided on the latter, so that the crust didn’t look like it had been tainted by a leprechaun. Strawberries are starting to appear at the farmers market and we lay them out raw on top of the pastry cream, making this pie a very refreshing dessert!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

1 single dough:
2 cups (250 g) of flour
1/2 cup (125 g) of sugar
1 egg
3.5 oz (100 g) of butter
1 lemon zest
1 pinch of salt

Pastry cream (Crème pâtissière) :
50 cl of milk
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup (75 g) of sugar
1/3 cup (40 g) of flour
1 oz (30 g) of butter, room temperature (definitely not liquid!)
1/2 vanilla bean
3/4 cup of pistachio paste

1 large pack of strawberries, cut into halves or slices, you choose how to decorate!
1/2 lemon zest
1 cup of pistachios, crushed

For the crust:
In a bowl, stir the egg with the sugar and a pinch of salt.

Put the flour on the work surface, make a well in the center and pour the egg mixture and the lemon zest, then the room temperature butter.
Mix everything together until you get a homogeneous dough and roll out a disk that is about 1/2 inch thick and big enough to cover the pie mold. Add parchment paper on top and weigh it down with pie weights, or lentils or barley. Bake for 12 to 15 min. Set aside to cool.

For the pastry cream:
In a pot, mix the egg and sugar until it starts foaming a little. Add flour little by little and mix well until smooth. In a separate pot, boil the milk with the vanilla bean then, after removing the vanilla bean, pour the milk into the egg mixture. Cook on low heat and mix with a wooden spoon until the cream starts thickening. Add the butter then the pistachio cream and mix. Set aside and layer a piece of parchment paper on top of the pastry cream so that it doesn’t form a crust.
Once the pie crust has cooled, add a good layer of pastry cream, as much as you want though I like to leave about an inch of crust showing. Add the strawberries in whatever pattern you want. I start from the outside and spiral inward.
Sprinkle the crushed pistachios and the lemon zest and serve!

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