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For the Pâte sucrée
Some time ago the lovely folks at Jing Tea send me some of their matcha powder to sample. I originally planned to make mini cakes with it for Mother’s Day but work thwarted my plans… I decided to make strawberry tarts instead and to speed things up I baked the pastry as little biscuits to create a sort of free-form strawberry tartlet. Sadly I never did get the time to write this up for Sunday but, hey, better late than never.
The matcha powder created a beautiful pale green pastry cream with a faintly grassy and very addictive taste. I had to stop myself from eating it straight out of the bowl but I am a complete sucker for crème pâtissière…
Please note you only need half the quantity of pastry for the tartlets.
For the Pâte sucrée
Makes 20-25 biscuits depending on cutter size
(enough to line a 20cm/8in tart tin)
150g | 5 oz unsalted butter, softened
100g | 3.5oz icing (confectioner’s) sugar
250g | 8.8oz | 2 cups plain flour
25g | scant 1 oz ground almonds
1 large egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
A little egg white, lightly beaten
- Beat the butter, vanilla and sugar until very well combined. You may need to stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl a couple of times.
- Add the egg gradually while mixing at medium-high speed. Continue to mix until the batter is smooth (it may look a little curdled when you add the egg).
- Sift all the remaining ingredients and add them to the batter. Mix briefly until just combined.
- Line your worktop with cling film and tip the dough on it. Use the cling film to wrap the dough and squash it into a disk (you may want to cut in two). Chill for at least an hour or until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F Lightly flour your worktop and rolling pin.
- Roll the pastry out until it’s about 1/2cm (1/5 in) thick. Use round cutters (mine were 8cm/3in) to cut out disks. Place on trays lined with baking paper and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges just start to colour.
- Take out of the oven and lightly brush a little of the egg white on each of the biscuits. Return to the oven for about a minute so the egg white dries out. Cool on a wire rack.
For the matcha pastry cream
375ml | 1 1/2 cups | 12 fl oz whole milk
1 vanilla bean halved and scraped
2 large eggs
100g | 1/2 cup caster sugar
3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp matcha powder (I used Jing)
- Whisk the sugar, matcha, corn flour and eggs – either by hand or in a mixer – until smooth.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk and vanilla scrapings until small bubbles appear along the edge of the pan.
- Slowly pour the some of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking on slow speed.
- Gradually add the rest of the milk while whisking.
- Pour the cream back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes until cream thickens. The matcha powder may create a froth – this will gradually disappear as you whisk.
- Pour cream through a fine sieve into a bowl and stir in the butter. Cover with cling film, pressing it directly on the cream. Make a small hole to allow steam to escape and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
For the tartlets
Half the quantity of the pastry (rest can be frozen for up to a month)
Matcha pastry cream
About 200g | 7oz fresh strawberries
Icing sugar to dust
- Pipe pastry cream on top of the biscuits. Top with a strawberry or strawberry slices.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
- The tartlets do not keep well and are best eaten soon after assembling. The biscuits can be kept in an airtight container for a few days.
- You can leave the matcha powder out and do a simple vanilla pastry cream – also delicious with the strawberries.
- You can use the pastry to line a large tart tin or smaller ones. These will need to be blind baked until golden, then brushed with the egg white as above before filling.
Submitting this to April’s Treat Petite hosted by Cakeyboi.