1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 stick (4 oz.) butter
3 Tbsp. lard
1/3 cup ice water
Place the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in the butter and lard with a pastry cutter or fork until you achieve pea-sized pieces of shortening. Add the water and pull the dough together with a fork. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times (not too much) to make a smoother dough. Roll out on the floured surface to make a dough shape of your choice about 1/8-inch thick. Paint 1 inch around the circumference with water to make the dough stick to itself when the edges are turned under 1 inch. Use a fork to decorate and seal the edge of the dough and then prick the bottom of the shell so it will not bubble up during baking. Bake at 420 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
Julia waterproofs the shell with an apricot glaze (recipe below) before putting in a cream patisserie filling (recipe below) and decorating with raw strawberries. The finishing touch is to pour a little of the apricot glaze on top of the strawberries! Voila...and bon appetit!
2 cups milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour or granulated flour like Wondra
1 tsp. real vanilla
1 1/2 Tbsp. rum
2 Tbsp butter
This pastry cream goes on top of the cooled tart shell. Heat milk until bubbles form at the edge of pan, but don't boil. Beat egg yolks and gradually add sugar; continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale in color and forms a ribbon. Add the flour and incorporate. Gradually add the hot milk into the egg mixture while continuously beating so as not to scramble the eggs.
Pour the mixture into a heavy-bottomed clean saucepan and set on medium heat. Stir continuously with whisk until it boils and let continue boil for 2 minutes until thick. Add vanilla, rum and butter. Cool before using.
Waterproof apricot glaze
In order to keep the tart shell from getting soggy after adding the pastry cream, you will need to "waterproof" it with a mildly candied apricot glaze. This method works like a dream.
Choose a good-quality apricot jam, sieve out the peel. For each cup of jam, add 2 Tbsp. sugar and bring to a boil and let it boil as you stir until reaches 228 degrees, which is a soft stage candy. Let it slightly cool before brushing the jam onto the cooled tart shell.....then you can add 1/2-inch of the cream patisserie to the shell and then decorate with fruit. I like to use alternating rows of strawberries and blueberries...for a patriotic theme.