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Strawberry Basil Tart

Photo Credit: PBS Food

Food blogger Aube Giroux of Kitchen Vignettes shares this dazzling recipe perfect for brunch or dessert. Serve it with a refreshing mimosa or mint infused water for a perfect balance.


Almond Sweet Pastry:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup + 3 tbsp. unbleached white flour
  • Pinch of salt

Basil Custard:

  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp flour or cornstarch
  • 1 cup chopped basil

Basil Syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • Topping
  • About 1 1/2 pound of fresh sliced organic strawberries
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


1. For the pastry: Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg yolk, ground almonds, and salt. Mix well until fully incorporated.

2. Add all the flour and mix the dough until smooth but don't overwork it or you will get a tough crust. Loosely form the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic or wax paper. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

3. Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of floured parchment paper, to 3/16 inch thickness. Remove the top piece of parchment paper and using the bottom piece to assist you, invert the dough into an 8 or 9 inch buttered and floured metal tart pan (ideally one with a removable base).

4. Press the dough into the tart plate and patch up any holes if necessary. This pastry is more like cookie dough than pie crust, so if you are struggling to roll it out smoothly, it's perfectly fine to simply use your hands to press the dough into the tart pan instead of rolling it out. If you use this method, try to press it in evenly so the crust isn't too thick in any one spot.

5. Trim the dough just slightly above the rim of the tart pan, as the dough may shrink a bit during baking. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before baking.

6. Butter a large sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil and line the pie shell with it, buttered side down. Fill it to the top with dry beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for about 20 minutes, then remove the parchment and weights. Return the shell to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown. Be sure to check it often and set a timer because the dough is delicate and can burn easily.

7. Remove from the oven and if necessary, trim the edge with a sharp knife so it is flush with the rim of the pie plate. Do this while the dough is still warm. Allow the shell to cool fully in its plate before removing.

8. For the custard: Heat the milk and chopped basil leaves on medium-low until just before the milk boils. Strain the basil from the milk and discard the leaves.

9. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and flour or cornstarch until smooth and creamy. Very gently and slowly pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking continuously while pouring the milk. Mix well for a few moments and then pour the whole mixture back into the same saucepan. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and heat on medium-low heat until the liquid begins to boil.

10. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. If your custard is lumpy, simply pass it through a mesh strainer. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate if not using right away.

11. For the syrup: Heat the water and sugar until boiling and all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and immediately pour over the chopped basil. Allow this to sit overnight or for about 12 hours. Strain the basil and discard the leaves.

12. Assembly: Now you are ready to assemble the pie. Spoon the pastry cream into your fully cooled baked pie shell. Arrange the sliced strawberries in a pleasing arrangement on top of the custard. Generously brush the strawberries with the basil syrup and sprinkle with basil leaves for garnish. Serve cold.


Recipe courtesy of Aube Giroux of Kitchen Vignettes.