• Strawberry tart with black pepper pastry (Petrina Tinslay)Source: Petrina Tinslay





Skill level

Average: 4.2 (6 votes)


  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (55 g) caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ cup (125 ml) double thick cream, whipped
  • 500 g strawberries, hulled, halved
  • 1 tbsp vino cotto
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Black pepper pastry

  • 1⅔ cups (250 g) plain flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup (55 g) caster sugar
  • 175 g chilled unsalted butter, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 3 hours

For the pastry, whiz flour, sugar, butter and pepper in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg and pulse until pastry comes together in a ball. Enclose pastry in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, place milk and vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan over low heat and bring to just below boiling point.

Combine yolks, caster sugar and flour in a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, then strain into a clean saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes until a very thick custard. Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface with baking paper and chill for 30 minutes.

Fold through the cream and chill until ready to serve.

Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper to 5 mm thick, then use it to line a greased 35 cm x 11 cm rectangular tart pan. Prick the base with a fork and chill for a further 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and return the pastry to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until pastry is golden and dry.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.

Place the strawberries, vino cotto and brown sugar in a bowl and toss gently to combine. Spread the custard in the cooled pastry case, top with the strawberries and serve immediately.


the food dept. fact
• Vino cotto, an Italian condiment made from cooked grape must or figs, adds a sour element to sweet dishes, while delicate orange blossom water enhances citrus flavours. Look for both at gourmet food shops.


Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.