I’ve made myself this gorgeous strawberry cake on mother’s day! Why should I buy it when I can easily make it? It was scrumptious!!! My kids where so impatient to eat it, and honestly, me too! Everybody loved it!
These are two of my basic recipes for the pie crust (pasta frolla), that see involved almond flour, and for custard cream (crema pasticcera). Let’s get started with the ingredients of pasta frolla. For 700g of pastry you will need:
- 155g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 281g all purpose flour ( or 00 flour, or plain flour), plus extra for dusting
- 56g almond flour
- 113g icing sugar
- 42g whole eggs
- 48g eggs yolks
- Zest of an organic lemon
- 1 vanilla pod (or 1tsp extract)
- A pinch of salt
I prefer using a freestanding electric mixer for making this recipe, but it’s easy to make by hands as well. Remember that the dough doesn’t have to get too warm though, so put your hands under cold water if the temperature is too hot.
Put the cold butter, plain flour, almond flour, lemon zest, vanilla and salt into the bowl and, using the paddle attachment, start whisking all together until they form a sandy-like consistency. Add the icing sugar, all the eggs and whisk quickly until it’s all combined and the dough comes together. Be careful not overwork it, or it will become stiff and brittle. If this happens, just add a splash of cold water.
Wrap the dough in cling film and pop it into the fridge for about two hours (overnight would be even better, depends on your time).
After the resting time, take it out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until is about 5mm (1/4in) thick. Line the pie dish with the pastry, pressing it gently into the base to make sure it is sitting neatly in the dish.
Trim any excess around the edges with a small knife, cutting in line with the edge of the pie dish.
Texture can be added to the edge of the pastry by pinching with your fingers or a fork. Allow the pie crust to rest in the fridge again for about 20 minutes.
To bake ‘blind’ (as you need in this recipe), preheat the oven to 160°C.
It is very important to prick the crust base with a fork. If you don’t do this it will rise in the middle wildly! So, remember to prick it!!
Line the pie crust loosely with parchment paper and fill with ceramic baking beans (or uncooked dry kidney beans). Pop it into the oven and bake it for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and the paper and continue baking for further 20 minutes or until the crust is an even golden brown colour. Allow to cool before filling.
Now, let’s see how to make the delicious, velvety cream for filling our beautiful crust. You will need:
- 25g plain flour
- 250ml fresh whole milk
- 3 eggs yolks
- 75g sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pour milk and vanilla in a pan and bring it to boil.
In the meantime, in a bowl mix the yolks with sugar and, only when all mixed, add the flour and mix again.
When the milk starts boiling, take it off from the heat and add a spoon at time into the eggs mixture, mixing well. Put only 1/3 of the milk.
Put the milk back on the heat, wait until it boil again, pour in all the eggs mixture and start stirring fast. You’ll see the cream getting firm in no time, so this process must be done very quickly! When you see the custard getting bubbly, it means that is done! Don’t overcook it, or you will end up with sweet crumble eggs (maybe still good on a buttery French toast, but not really what we need for filling our pie 🙂)
When the cream is done, pour it over a clean glass dish and cover with cling film.
Now, this is the time to cool our cream down as quickly as we can. I use a very ancient way, one of those that our great grandmothers would be using, and yet, very efficient. I simply put the dish into the sink filled with cold water and ice. When is cold, pop it into the fridge until is time to use it.
Now it’s time to put it all together!
First thing to do is to simply pour the cream onto the pie crust and smooth the surface as much as you can with a spatula.
Did you remember to buy the strawberries? Good…because now you gotta cut them. You can choose your own cutting style and customize the pattern. I was looking for some kind of 3D effect, with the strawberries popping up gently. For it I simply cut them in halves and start cutting a kinda folding fan on the tops.
Hope you enjoyed this recipe!
If you need any help, just contact me and I’ll be more than happy to give you advices!
Happy baking! 💕