1 baked tart shell (8-9″, square or round, but about 1/2 inch deep)
Pastry Cream: 1 cup half-and-half 3 egg yolks 1/4 cup sugar pinch salt 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pats 1 teaspoon vanilla extract About 1 cup sliced fruit of your choosing
1 cup strawberry or apricot preserves
2 tablespoons kirsch
1 Have your tart shell made or make it while the pastry cream cools, which is going to take at least 1 1/2 hours. (Or quick chill in the freezer for 30 minutes)
2 Heat the half-and-half in a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat.
3 While that warms, whisk in a heavy bowl: egg yolks, salt, sugar, and flour until smooth.
4 Once the half-and-half has come to a simmer, turn off the heat. Slowly drizzle about 1/3 of a cup of hot half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. There should be no lumps if you’ve drizzled slowly enough and whisked quickly enough.
5 Turn the pot back on to low heat and now gradually pour the tempered egg yolks into the warm half-and-half, again whisking constantly.
6 Once it’s all mixed in, the custard will begin to thicken almost immediately.
7 Continue to cook it over very low heat, whisking all the while, for 6-8 minutes or until the whisk dragged through it leaves a trail.
8 Increase heat to medium and cook a further minute until large bubbles begin to pop on the surface.
9 Turn off the heat.
10 Add butter pats and whisk until melted. Add vanilla.
11 Pour into bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Chill.
Bring the preserves and kirsch to a boil and strain into another pan. Return to low heat and allow to reduce for a minute or two, until it thickens slightly.