For the almond sablé base-
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
50g caster sugar
25g icing sugar
1 large egg yolk
1tsp vanilla extract (I use a vanilla paste)
1 pinch salt
220g plain flour
40g ground almonds
For the vanilla cream filling:
300ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I use vanilla paste)
For the strawberry topping:
1 punnet strawberries (@ 360g)
I tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp raspberry or strawberry jam
For the almond sablé base-
- Cream the butter, caster and icing sugar, salt and vanilla extract together using an electric mixer until creamy and thoroughly combined (it doesn't need to be light and fluffy and full of air as for a sponge cake!)
- Add the egg yolk and whisk again to combine.
- Add the flour and almonds and mix at a slow speed until the ingredients come together and start to form a dough. Use your hand to squeeze the mix together into a ball, flatten slightly into a fat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours to rest the pastry.
- preheat the oven to 175oc / 350f / gas mark 4
- Have a flat baking sheet ready.
- Roll out the sablé pastry on a lightly floured sheet of baking parchment until the diameter reaches a circle about 10" (the size of a dinner plate). If the dough crumbles a bit just use your hands to firmly push it back together.
- Carefully transfer the sheet of baking paper and the dough onto the baking sheet, at this point I use a dinner plate to cut around to make a neat circle but if you prefer a more rustic look just leave the dough as it is!
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until dry, golden and toasty-looking at the edges (a deep golden colour gives you that lovely caramelised patisserie flavour of French tarts!)
- Remove from the oven and allow to go cold on the baking sheet.
- Gently wash the strawberries and take out the green stalks, slice them into 4 or 5 slices each, top to bottom.
- Put them into a bowl and add the caster sugar and jam. Stir carefully to combine and set aside for half an hour or so, this will allow the strawberries to become juicy, slightly syrupy and glazed.
- Whilst the base is cooling, put the mascarpone, double cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar into a bowl and whisk carefully until thick, creamy and looking like billowy clouds.
- Carefully spread the cream filling over the sablé base leaving a little edge of pastry. If you like you can pipe some of the cream around the edge like in the picture.
- Pile the sweet strawberries on top of the cream.
- Serve immediately or chill until required for up to 4 hours.
- This would look beautiful in the summer garnished with a few edible rose petals but to be honest it's really gorgeous just as it is!