Apart from the best ripe strawberries, the other secret ingredient is thick, rich crème pâtissière, which needs to almost set before you place the strawberries on top. You can use the same recipe for a classic French raspberry tart and most other berry tarts that don’t require baking.
Whipped cream or Greek yoghurt, to serve
To make the crème pâtissière, slit the vanilla pod lengthwise with a small sharp knife and scrape out the seeds. Add them, along with the pod, to the milk in a suitable saucepan. Bring almost to the boil, being careful not to let it burn, then fish out the vanilla pod.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar until creamy. Add the cream, plain flour and cornflour, and whisk well until smooth. Slowly pour the hot milk into this mixture, whisking constantly.
Return the milk mixture to the saucepan and bring almost to the boil once more, whisking all the time to prevent any lumps from forming.
Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes over a very low heat, while continuing to whisk, then pour the mixture into a bowl and cover with cling film to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool.
When the crème pâtissière has cooled, pour into the pastry shell and spread evenly with a spatula until it is about three-quarters full. Be careful not to fill to the top. Cover with as many hulled strawberries as possible with their noses in the air.
For the glaze, place the raspberries in a pan with the sugar and heat gently until the sugar dissolves, the raspberries release their juice and the purée is concentrated.
Strain through a fine sieve and when nearly cool brush over each strawberry.
Leave for an hour or two for the flavours to blend, then serve with whipped cream or thick Greek yoghurt.
Sweet Paris by Michael Paul
Take your tastebuds on a tour of Paris in this sumptuous collection of sweet pastries, magnifique desserts and chocolates to die for. Michael Paul’s stunning photography captures the real ambience and joie de vivre of this remarkable city. Saunter past traditional pattiseries, sit with artists sipping chocolat chaud in Montmartre and savour the delights of the local chocolatier. With over 30 classic and modern recipes, from comforting pains au chocolate to irresistible macaroons, Sweet Paris is more than a cook book: it’s a sweet-toothed flâneur’s guide to Paris; a city where even the desserts are chic.