Chef Francois Morabito
Epicureans and gourmets know the Périgord for its quality cuisine and remarkable products such as foie-gras, duck and truffles but not many people know that strawberries from the Périgord region are exquisite. Several varieties are recognized by the IGP (indication that they are geographically protected). They have poetic names such as the “gariguette” and the “mara des bois” but also less known varieties such as the “charlotte”, the “seascape” and many others. The availability is dictated by the seasons and all varieties have very distinctive flavors. Here is my version of the famous strawberry tart. It looks complex but is definitely a simple recipe which will allow you to enjoy the first strawberries of the spring.
Strawberries Tart Blueberries and Pistachios on Dacquoise Biscuit Base
Ingredients for the Dacquoise biscuit:
- 160g of hazelnut or almond powder
- 150g of icing sugar
- 200g of egg whites
- 50g of caster sugar
Ingredients for the pistachio crème pâtissière:
- 400mL of milk
- 2T of pistachio paste
- 100g of castor sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 40g of cornflour
- 100mL of whipped cream
Ingredients for the topping:
- 400g of Mara des bois strawberries
- 100g of blueberries
- 50g of castor sugar
Method for the Dacquoise biscuit:
- Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
- Line a large tray with baking paper.
- Whip up the eggwhites until they are firm, and then gradually add the caster sugar.
- Mix the hazelnut powder with the icing sugar, before gently folding it into the meringue mixture.
- Use a piping bag to create a large circle onto the baking paper. On top of the circle, create some dots with the piping bag.
Method for the pistachio crème pâtissière:
- Whisk the egg yolks, castor sugar, pistachio and cornflour together in a large bowl.
- Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture, and then cook it over a gentle heat while stirring continuously with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.
- Whip the cream until it is fluffy and light.
- Wait until the mixture cools down and add the whipped cream.
To plate, cover your Dacquoise base with the light pistachio cream, before evenly placing the strawberries and blueberries on top. Just before serving, dust the cake with the icing sugar. After a few minutes, the icing sugar will make your tart look shinier.
I strongly recommend you to pair this beautiful tart with a glass of a wonderful, locally produced Monbazillac sweet wine.
Francois Morabito at Le Mas & Le Mazet, Dordogne, France.
Francois Morabito, a Michelin Star Chef, has started My French Voyage www.myfrenchvoyage.com.au/dordogne-tour giving week-long culinary tours for small groups in the Dordogne and other regions of France. He shares his passion and knowledge of 30 years being a chef by taking you ‘off the beaten path’ to markets, food producers, vineyards and attractions to discover the hidden beauties and culinary excellence of this beautiful region of France. Staying at the 5-star Le Mas & Le Mazet www.lemasdordogne.com], a stunning Dordogne farmhouse with 6 bedrooms and a fantastic large kitchen, Francois himself cooks for the group in the evenings.
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