For the Pâte sucrée
Makes 20-25 biscuits depending on cutter size
(enough to line a 20cm/8in tart tin)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.