New Discoveries in Foodieland

Last Saturday while we were shopping in Hilversum (our new 'place to be'), Hans decided to walk into a bookstore, just to browse. Before we were even inside, I spotted a rack filled with paperback travel-foodie books. There were two that caught my attention Heimwee naar La Douce France (Nostalgic About La Douce France) and Savoir Vivre. Both by a well- known Dutch writer, Onno Kleyn. A writer whom I never bothered looking into and now, one whom I'm trilled to have discovered!

Kleyn declares himself a francophile and that's clearly evident in every passionate word he writes about France and particularly, in the way he writes about French food. His book, Heimwee Naar La Douce France, does not have any pictures yet it is the type of book that makes you want to run into the kitchen! I love his simplistic approach to the French kitchen. There's nothing complicated about his recipes and the results certainly prove that. Last weekend I made the most fabulous crème brulée and oh boy was it easy!!

And today...
I was craving one of those beautiful fruit tarts you see in every French bakery. The kind that you're not really supposed to make yourself but rather buy. I turned to Onno for a recipe and once again, I could declare another culinary success- and it was literally, easy as pie!

Here's the recipe:
(adapted from recipe for Tarte aux Framboises, as featured in Heimwee naar La Douce France)

Tarte aux Fraises

1 egg
pinch of salt
125g caster sugar
125g cold butter
250g flour, sifted

For the crème anglaise
100ml milk
tiny pinch of salt
3 tbsps vanilla sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp flour

500g strawberries, halved
1-2 tbsps strawberry jelly

Put all the ingredients for the dough in the food processor and pulse until the dough comes together. You might need to add a drop or two of cold water. Chill the dough for about an hour.

Bring the milk to the boil. Make the pastry crème by beating the egg with the sugar and salt until thick and creamy. I did this with my Kitchen Aid. Add the milk little by little while whisking. Add the flour and continue to whisk. Cook mixture until it thickens and then cook for another minute or so. Cover with a little cling film to prevent a skin from forming and set aside.

Roll out the pastry and lay it over a 28cm tart pan. Blind bake for about 20 minutes. Cool and remove pastry shell from pan.

Spread the crème over the shell and cover with the strawberries.

Heat the jelly until it glistens. Brush over the strawberries and marvel at your brilliant creation!

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