The Loire Valley, known as the garden of France, is dotted with magnificent royal castles. Gabriel discovers how the world famous Cointreau liqueur is made. In the kitchen he makes this strawberry tart with a dash of Cointreau.
- plain flour, for dusting
- 400 g sweet pastry
- 300 ml crème fraîche
- 10 ml Cointreau
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 punnet strawberries, washed, halved
- 4 tbsp smooth apricot jam
- 3 tbsp peeled pistachio nuts, cut into small pieces, optional
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.
You need a 25 cm lift-out flan tin.
Resting time 1 hour
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Dust the bench with plain flour and roll out the pastry into a large rectangle (about 4 mm –thick) and use to line the base and sides of a 10 cm x 34 cm rectangular tart tin with removable base. Trim the sides with a small sharp knife. Line the pastry with foil, then fill with pastry weights to stop the pastry from shrinking during cooking. Bake the pastry in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until just golden and dry.
Beat the crème fraéche with the Cointreau and milk until almost firm. Add the icing sugar and mix well. (This is called a Chantilly cream.)
Spread the Chantilly cream over the cooled pastry shell. Top gently with strawberry halves and brush the berries lightly with apricot jam. Sprinkle pistachio nuts, if using, around the edge of the tart, and refrigerate until ready to slice and serve.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
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