I have one Tart Dough leftover and lots of vanilla beans so I searched through my French dessert cookbook to find something involving those two. I found Fresh Strawberry and Marshmellow Tart.
The recipe is 3 pages long, has eight steps (paragraphs) and involves making tart dough (thank GOD I had one left cause that alone took me almost 2 hours last time), pastry cream and your own marshmellows. Yes. You MAKE marshmellows. Since I already had three pages instructing me how to make the tart, and the marshmellow ingredient list included two things I’d never heard of (potato starch and orange-flower water), not to mention another two pages of instructions, I decided to skip the marshmellows and buy store bought, which it said you could do, though any French Chef worth their butter would NEVER think of using store bought. I am no French Chef.
There are many more choices of marshmellows to choose from since the last time I bought a pack the last time we went camping (5 years ago… maybe I should throw those out). There are chocolate, assorted fruit flavors, French Vanilla… and Strawberry, the ones I needed.
I started on the tart after Riley went down for his nap and finished about the time he woke up. It took me an hour and 20 minutes to make my Fresh Strawberry and Marshmellow Tart. How long would it have taken me if i had make the mallows too? I’d probably still be in the kitchen.
Making the pastry cream was interesting. In one bowl I boiled milk with a vanilla bean (smelled SO good). In another I whipped egg yolks, sugar and corn starch, which made a think yellow goo. I combined them all, add some butter and got a runny yellowish creamy mix. I “whisked it vigourously” without stopping while heating to a boil on the stove. One second, it is a liquid. The next, it’s pastry cream. I am stirring the liquid, I turn around, still whisking mind you, to get my son out of the frig (he was going for those Taco Bell packets again) and come back to a thick, gooey cream. I stir in butter, chill it, stir in more butter and spread it on the tart. I top it with a strawberry mush, then layer on the strawberry slices and mallows.
In the end, it was of course, delicious. Jordan was a little weirded out by the marshmellows, but we both loved the cream. And I have strawberries and cream left over which will be a nice little snack here in an hour or so.
I may be well on my way to becoming a gourmet French pastry chef, soon to move to Paris and make a living running my own little Patisserie, selling beautiful tart creations and dessert works of art to tourists. Or maybe I’ll just stay here and make beautiful tart creations and dessert works of art for my little family of three.