Game, set & strawberries

This gorgeous summer tart is a match made in heaven 

June is the month when the tennis season really kicks off, starting with the Rothesay Classic Birmingham at the Edgbaston Priory Club followed by Wimbledon at the end of the month. And, of course, that means strawberries and cream! For a real treat try this gorgeous summer tart – you can make your own pastry but why not cheat, like us, with some shop bought stuff!


  • • 375g pack all-butter shortcrust pastry
  • • 600g small strawberries, hulled and halved
  • • 2-3tbsp strawberry jam

For the crème pâtissière:

  • • 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
  • • Finely grated zest of a lemon


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.

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, then pour the mixture back in and gently bring to the boil, stirring constantly until it has thickened. Take the pan off the heat, cover the surface of the crème pâtissière with baking paper and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Place on a baking sheet and blind-bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans/rice and paper, then cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden. If the edges look too dark, cover with foil. Leave for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble the tart, place the cooled tart case on a serving plate. Spoon the crème pâtissière into the tart case, spreading it evenly and level off with a spatula.

Slice the hulled strawberries into threes or fours. Fan the strawberry slices out over the cream working from the inside out until the the tart is covered.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush over the strawberries with the strawberry jam just enough to give the strawberries a light glaze and sheen. And serve!