Matcha-strawberry tart

The only thing I love about summer nowadays is the abundance of cheap seasonal fruits that usually trickle in Hong Kong from different parts of the world. Mangoes, lychees, cherries and of course, strawberries! Okay, these berries may look sweet and juicy but almost of all them, well, are a bit tart- no pun intended! 

Not that I'm complaining! I love the flavour contrast of tart berries with the rich and almost sweet filling.

This is 3-layer tart, 4, if you count the berries- the matcha pâte sablée base, almond-pistachio cream and créme diplomat. 

This is a sablée with almond powder added, not only it adds a delicious flavour, it makes the base sturdy and not prone to breakage. The recipe below is my tweaked version from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts book. The tart dough was actually too soft and not really sure if it was the too hot ambient temperature or I added too much butter or egg to the mixture. As I always chill my tart dough overnight, I don't really have a problem with too soft sweet pastry dough. The pastry dough  of this tart wasn't blind baked first but baked together with the almond cream.

I'm not fond of almond cream, there's something almost meaty with the taste and was ambivalent at first whether to use it on this tart. Good thing I gave it another chance heh! I think the added pistachio paste tone down the meatiness so as the strong almond flavour. Maybe it helps that I reduced the amount of almonds.....

For the créme diplomat layer, it was supposed to be a pastry cream but when I looked at the amount, it can hardly cover the almond cream! Note that the original recipe use a 9-inch tart ring and for this tart, I used a fluted 24 cm (9 1/3-inch) tart pan which is a tad bigger. So I added some whipped cream to the pastry cream to make a substantial amount thus the créme diplomat.

Tart crust will stay crisp throughout the day, okay, more the sides than the bottom crust. Surprisingly, the next day, crust still have this delightfully crisp texture, maybe it's those extra liquids that I added.....

So, what are the seasonal produce in your side of the world right now?! 

Matcha shortcrust pastry:

80 grams cold butter, cubed
80 grams cake flour
50 grams plain flour
5 grams matcha powder
30 grams almond powder
60 grams icing/powdered sugar
1 grams fine sea salt
30 grams lightly beaten egg

* Place cubed butter in a bowl, sift in the 2 flours, matcha powder, almond powder and salt; if there are some small almond pieces sitting on the sieve, tip it into the rest of the mixture. Rub mixture together until it resembles a fine breadcrumbs. Gently knead pastry dough 4 to 6 times and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a 5-inch square, chill overnight.

* Lightly butter a 24-cm/ 9x1-inch fluted tart pan/tin.

* Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into 3-mm thick, it should be 1-inch wider than the tart tin. If you feel that the pastry dough is a bit soft, chill in the fridge for few minutes. Peel the top parchment off the dough, put the tart tin on top and turn it up side down. With the parchment paper on top, gently press the dough along the sized and top of the tin, also smoothing the bottom part. Gently peel off the parchment on top of the dough. Freeze for an hour.

Almond-pistachio cream:

60 grams butter, diced, at room temp
60 grams caster sugar
50 grams almond powder
25 grams pistachio paste (homemade or store-bought)
50 grams lightly beaten egg

* Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Beat softened butter with spatula or a wooden spoon until creamy. Add the sugar, almond powder, pistachio paste and egg; beat until mixture is smooth. Pipe or pipe mixture on top of the frozen base of the tart .

* Bake for 30-35 or until almond cream is golden. Let cool completely.

Pastry cream, make this a day or few hours ahead

125 grams (UHT) whole milk
25 grams caster sugar
25 grams egg yolks
12 grams cornstarch
20 grams butter, softened
1 grams gelatine leaf/sheet (optional)

* Soak gelatine in cold water for about 5 minutes; squeeze off  excess water and set aside.

* In a small saucepan, bring milk and half of the sugar into a boil.

* Meanwhile, whisk yolks and the remaining sugar until light and creamy, sift in the cornstarch and mix until smooth. Gradually add in the heated milk, whisking as you pour to prevent scrambling the yolks. Pour back mixture back into the saucepan, bring into the boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes, still whisking.

* Take pan off heat, add in the softened gelatine and stir until completely melted. Add in the butter and mix thoroughly. Transfer cream into a shallow bowl or a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap over the surface, let cool. Chill for few hours or overnight.

Créme diplomat:

1 quantity of pastry cream, recipe above
75 grams cream, whipped

* Take out pastry cream from the fridge and whisk until smooth, fold in the whipped cream.

To assemble the tart:

about 500 grams fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into 2 pieces
some pistachio kernels
small amount of heated apricot jam, for glazing the berries
some mint leaves, optional

* Pipe or spread the créme diplomat over the cooled tart crust. Arrange berries on top of the tart, and brush berries with apricot jam. Sprinkle pistachio kernels on top. Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.

* Slice and serve. Best eaten the same day it's made.


  1. What a stunning tart! Each layer sounds yummy! Our berries are pretty nice right now and we’ve gotten some amazing Georgia peaches!


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