strawberry custard tart
Craving the sweet flavors of summertime in dessert form? ME TOO. This simple and delicious Strawberry Custard Tart features all the goodness of fresh summer fruit with a creamy homemade custard and a buttery shortbread crust for the ultimate treat that’s perfect for pretty much any occasion this season (I’m looking at you, summertime picnics).
This post is a sponsored collaboration with the Minnesota Chicken & Egg Association.
Strawberry Custard Tart Recipe
This is the kind of dessert that, if I could hug it, I would. It’s comfort food and fresh, summery goodness all in one: with beautiful, ruby-colored berries, a homemade custard filling that reminds me of something my grandma makes, and a buttery shortbread crust that is just dreamy. It’s equal parts elegant and easy, picnic-worthy and date-night-in-worthy, and every ingredient needed is likely already in your pantry or fridge.
I am partnering with the Minnesota Chicken & Egg Association for this recipe to showcase the incredible versatility of one of the most common ingredients in baking recipes: eggs! This ingredient is often used but rarely highlighted in dessert recipes, and yet it plays one of the most pivotal roles. In addition to providing nutrition, rich flavor and color to recipes, eggs also are the key to leavening, binding, thickening, glazing and emulsifying in cooking and baking. In the case of this custard tart, eggs are what give the homemade custard filling its structure, light yellow color and pudding-like thickness. Today, we are lauding the egg as the star of this show-stopping dessert that is perfect for all of your summertime parties, picnics and more.
A Few Fast Fun Facts About Eggs
Before we get to the nitty-gritty on this recipe, let’s chat a bit more about eggs and why they truly are an essential ingredient:
- Eggs are a nutrient powerhouse that contribute to health and wellbeing at every age and life stage, and in any diet. They pack a nutritional punch, with one egg containing 6 grams of high-quality protein and all nine essential amino acids, all for only 70 calories.
- Did you know the color of an egg’s shell or yolk has nothing to do with the egg’s nutritional value, quality or flavor? Hens with white feathers and white ear lobes lay white eggs; hens with red feathers and red ear lobes lay brown eggs.
- The Large egg is the standard used in most recipe development. Using a different size, without making an adjustment, will affect texture, flavor balance, consistency and, in most cases, will give an unsatisfactory result. To substitute another size, reference this conversion chart.
- About 10.7 million hens across Minnesota produce nearly 3.2 billion eggs each year! Learn more about how Minnesota farmers provide excellent care for hens and produce safe, nutritious eggs.
Best Ingredients For This Strawberry Custard Tart Recipe
Now that we have brushed up on our egg knowledge, let’s talk about this tart! Here is what you need to make this pretty-as-a-picture dessert all summer long:
- All-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar
- Milk (preferably whole milk, at the very least 2% milk, to yield a rich custard)
- Large egg yolks (scroll down for ideas on what to do with the egg whites!)
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries (hellloooo, in-season beauties!)
Once you’re prepped with all of the above, it’s time to bake!
How to Make a Strawberry Custard Tart
This tart might look complicated, but it’s actually very simple when you break it down. In short, you’ll need to make a shortbread crust, the custard filling, and top it all off with fresh sliced strawberries. More specifically, here’s what we do:
- Step One: Combine the flour and powdered sugar in a food processor. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly, then press it together into the bottom and sides of a greased tart pan.
- Step Two: Freeze the crust for a few minutes to firm up, then poke all over with a fork. Bake until lightly golden. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press down the slightly puffed-up crust, then cool completely.
- Step Three: In a medium saucepan, cook the milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and salt over medium heat until the mixture combines and thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Pour the custard into the cooled crust. Cover and refrigerate to chill and set.
- Step Four: Top the chilled tart with fresh sliced strawberries. Serve immediately.
Can I use another fruit for the topping?
Absolutely yes. I can see blackberries, blueberries, peaches or raspberries (or a combination!) working really well as a topping for this custard tart!
What can I do with the leftover egg whites?
Can I freeze this tart?
I would not recommend freezing this tart completely assembled, as the custard may lose its delightful consistency once frozen. You can, however, freeze the crust, baked and fully cooled, for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then fill with the custard as directed.
How can I bring this to a party or a picnic?
I recommend leaving the strawberries off of the tart until just before serving, and packing them separately. Cover the tart tightly in plastic wrap, and transport it in the tart pan to your destination. Unwrap, remove the tart pan sides (leave the base), and top with strawberries. If you’re not planning to eat it right away, I highly recommend leaving the tart on ice in a cooler until just before serving, for both safety and serving purposes.
Friends, I hope you love this strawberry custard tart as much as I do. It’s everything we need and deserve this summer. For more information on Minnesota egg farming, egg nutrition and cooking, visit MNChicken.org and follow the Chicken & Egg Association of Minnesota on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!Print
This Strawberry Custard Tart features a shortbread cookie crust, a homemade custard filling and fresh strawberry topping for a simple, sweet dessert that’s perfect for any summertime occasion!
For the shortbread crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
For the tart filling/topping:
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch salt
- 3 to 4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- First, make the shortbread crust: Spray bottom and sides of a 9- or 10-inch tart pan (with a removable bottom) with baking spray with flour. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour and powdered sugar until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture evenly into bottom and sides of prepared tart pan. Freeze 7 to 10 minutes to firm up slightly. Using fork tines, poke tart crust all over (this prevents any puffing in the oven).
- Place tart pan on a baking sheet, then place on center rack of oven. Bake tart crust 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly golden and baked through. Transfer tart pan to cooling rack; use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crust in slightly to make room for the custard filling. Cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the tart filling/topping: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk milk, egg yolks, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt. Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until custard simmers and begins to thicken, about 10 to 12 minutes. Pour thickened custard into cooled crust. Cover tart with plastic wrap, placing directly on the surface, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate tart until well-chilled, at least 4 hours.
- Just before serving, remove the tart pan sides and arrange sliced strawberries on top of custard filling. Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- For added prettiness, brush the strawberry slices with 1 tablespoon melted apricot preserves.
Keywords: homemade vanilla custard, shortbread tart crust, strawberry custard pie, vanilla custard tart