Tarte aux Fraises with Buckwheat-Oat Crust

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O, Easter. One of my favorite holidays I think. First of all it often mandates a Brunch. Second, let's face it, I generally am all in for any sort of holiday that involves an excuse to get a bunch of family and friends to eat together and take an extra day off from the job that, o wait, I don't have.... still, Good Friday is pretty great. Especially if you aren't a churchgoer. Back in France, my ex-roomies are celebrating Paques at their chateau in Brittany, enjoying church and family probably much like typical Americans do, besides a couple minor exceptions. First, they laze around their family house, which en fait is a stone castle whose front yard might parallel the Rodin Museum more than anything . Second, while the kiddies at my parents house are hunting for eggs with Easter baskets, my roomies are probably hunting for a wild boar with their rifles. Gotta love the Frenchies.

Don't forget Passover... where lox and bagels make their Stein household brunch debut each year. Yep, thats about as Jewish as we get.

But, I'm sure we all ate well on Sunday, and while others were praying, I baked a new recette. Upon return to California, my first stop was the nearest co-op to Stockton, in Sacramento. I loaded up on all types of fun new flours and bulk items, including some buckwheat flour. I was baking with the stuff in Paris, using it in scones et plus, trying to take on some of my roomies Breton-ness. (Buckwheat flour is heavily used in galettes, or savory crepes, in the region of Brittany) So, still going through my Frenchie withdrawal I decided to combine the first pickings of California strawberries with a little twist as une petite homage for my favorite ladies back in France.

Tarte aux Fraises with Buckwheat-Oat Crust

So welcome to my first recipe. I don't like to complicate things too much, so if there are any questions for clarification... just holla.


3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
Handful of old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of honey
splash of water

Take all the dry ingredients and mix well in a bowl. Then grab the last 3 ingredients and heat them in a medium skillet over medium heat. Dance around the kitchen while it all melts and begins to simmer. If you are not a dancer, you may insert alcoholic beverage of choice here. For Easter I find selected tracks dubbed "Jesus" on the Mariah Carey Christmas Album very helpful. Mix the wet with the dry and knead until all is incorporated together.

Set the oven to 350 degrees and press your dough onto a 10 inch tart pan. Jab the bottom of the crust a few times with a fork and stick it in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.... et viola! We are ready for our custard....


2 egg yolks
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
cap full of vanilla extract
dash of salt
2 tablespoons of cream
Strawberries and raspberries

Whisk the yolks, sugar, flour, vanilla, et salt in a pan until it is a smooth as you can manage. Puis, heat up the milk in a separate pan until it simmers. Bit by bit whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking continuously over low heat. It should thicken rather fast so it resembles puddin'. Then stir in the cream. Let it cool and then refrigerate for a couple of hours. You may want to potect the mix with plastic wrap directly making contact with it, as to prevent it from forming a film.

Scoop custard mixture onto the crust and top with rasberries and strawberries. I cut the strawberries in half, but you can arrange them whole or even cut into smaller pieces. Comme vous voulais! Bon appetit et Joyeuses Paques...


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