If one Credo has proven to be a good one in my life, it’s to strive for semi-perfect. Seeking perfection isn’t a virtue, instead, it steals a lot of time. Semi-perfect is often so much less stressful and thus more healthy and more efficient, too. It’s a lesson i’m still learning, as i’m often losing myself in details. Especially when taking photos.
Whenever there’s a chance to “hack” something, in order to make my life easier as a result, i embrace it. Making perfect patisserie, for instance, has never been my (secret) virtue. Although i really like to eat perfect patisserie. For my domestic usage, albeit, i like taking the shortcut: this eclaire tarte fits the bill perfectly, and i’m so proud of my creation. It doesn’t have to look perfect, rather, you can simply slather the choux pastry dough into a circle and be done with it. Much like a pavlova, really. Smear some good, ol’ crème patissière on top, cover with hulled and halved strawberries and serve cold.
Eclaire Tarte with Strawberries
2 dl water
1 pinch salt
125 g flour
20 g sugar
1 pack crème patissière powder (or make your own, if you insist)
200 ml or more milk (as indicated on the crème packaging)
200 ml heavy cream, whipped
2 packs (ca. 40 g) cool whip (rahmhalter)
500 strawberries, hulled and halved
Sieve the flour onto a parchment paper. Combine water, salt and butter in a pot and bring to a boil. Throw in the flour into the boiling water and stir heavily with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes together and is silky and glossy. Remove from the heat. Combine the eggs and sugar and break up with a fork. Add to the dough, bit by bit. The mixture will first split, but by stirring and whisking thoroughly, it will come back together. This might take a minute or two. Fill into a piping bag and pipe a large round cake layer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 150C / 300F (careful, the oven shouldn’t be too hot as it will keep the eclaire from rising) for 30 to 40 minutes. The Choux Pastry will puff up half way through. When it’s really well baked and golden remove from the oven and let cool completely.
In the meantime, make the crème patissière. For that, simply whisk together the powder and the milk, thoroughly, as indicated. Whip the heavy cream together with the cool whip and fold into the crème patissière. Hull and halv the strawberries. “Frost” the Cclaire Cake layer with the crème patissière (leaving out a rim of about 1-2 cm) and garnish with the strawberries. Serve cold.