Califonia Bountiful

Berry puff pastry tart

By Alex Araizaga
Historic Santa Maria Inn, Santa Maria

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Pastry cream
2 cups milk
2 tbsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup flour
Frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
12 fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup blackberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
4 mint leaves, for garnish


For pastry cream: Bring milk, vanilla and 1/2 cup of the sugar to a boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in eggs, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch. Return to stove and cook until mixture thickens. Stir in butter and cool pan quickly in an ice bath. Sauce can be made ahead and stored up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

For pastry: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll thawed pastry out on a floured work surface and cut out 4 rectangles of 5 by 5 inches each. Place on a baking sheet and brush with egg. Bake on the top rack of the oven until golden brown and puffed, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cut squares in half horizontally and gently pull any doughy bits out of the center.

To assemble: Spoon some pastry cream into each puff pastry shell and layer. Place strawberries, blackberries and blueberries on top of the pastry cream. Place the lids on the pastry. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with a mint leaf before serving.

Serves 4

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