COOKING WITH THE CHARLES: French strawberry tart
500g organic plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g icing sugar, sifted
250g good-quality butter, cut into small cubes
Zest of a lemon
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
Splash of milk
350ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
4 large free-range egg yolks
100g golden caster sugar
25g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Zest of a lemon
500g small strawberries, hulled and halved
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
○ 1. Sieve the flour on to a clean work surface and sieve the icing sugar over the top. Using your hands, work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar by rubbing your thumbs against your fingers until you end up with a fine, crumbly mixture. Mix in your lemon zest.
○ 2. Add the eggs and milk to the mixture and gently work it together until you have a ball of dough. Flour it lightly. Flour your work surface and place the dough on top. Pat it into a flat round, flour it lightly, wrap it in clingfilm and put it into the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.
○ 3. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Use to line a deep, 23cm fluted, loose-bottomed tart tin. Trim the excess and prick the base all over with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
○ 4. Meanwhile, make the crème pâtissière. Put the milk and vanilla pod in a large pan, bring to the boil, then turn off the heat. In a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar for 10 minutes until voluminous, then beat in the flour and lemon zest. Strain the warm milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Clean the pan, pour the mixture back in and bring to the boil, stirring constantly until it has thickened. Take the pan off the heat, cover the surface of the crème pat with baking paper and leave to cool.
○ 5. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Place on a baking sheet and blind-bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, then cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden. Leave for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
○ 6. Spoon the crème pâtissière into the tart and decorate with strawberries until all of the crème pat is covered.