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 Have your tart shell made or make it while the pastry cream cools, which is going to take at least 1 1/2 hours.
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.