Recipe by Nico Romo of NICO in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
1 (9-inch) tart crust (recipe follows)
1 batch pastry cream (recipe follows)
2 pints whole strawberries, hulled and halved
½ pint raspberries
½ pint blueberries
1/3 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons toasted pistachios, chopped
1½ cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg
⅔ cup whole milk
⅔ cup heavy cream
½ vanilla bean pod, split and scraped
3 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter, cubed
Make the pastry cream: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring milk, cream, vanilla, and salt to a boil. Cover pan, turn off heat, and set aside for 10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until mixture is thick and pale. Continue to whisk while very slowly drizzling ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture into yolks. Once yolks are tempered, add remaining milk mixture in a steady stream and continue to whisk until combined. Remove and discard vanilla pod and transfer mixture to saucepan.
Return pan to medium heat and bring to a boil while whisking vigorously. Keep mixture at a boil and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes more, then remove pan from heat and scrape pastry cream into a clean bowl. Allow cream to cool for about 3 minutes.
Stir butter into hot pastry cream until it’s melted and incorporated. Press plastic wrap against surface of cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate until completely chilled.
Make the Tart Crust: In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt together. Scatter butter pieces over dry ingredients and pulse until butter is about the size of peas. In a small bowl, stir egg to break the yolk, then add to the food processor a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Process until dough forms clumps. Turn dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead to incorporate dry ingredients.
Press dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of a tart pan. Press firmly enough that the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the dough loses its crumbly texture. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a piece of aluminum foil and fit it tightly against crust. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes, then carefully remove foil and discard. If crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake crust about 10 minutes longer (or until it’s golden brown). Transfer pan to a rack and cool.
Assemble the tart: Fill tart crust with pastry cream. Arrange berries decoratively on top of cream. In a small saucepan, melt apricot jam with 1 teaspoon water, then brush mixture over berries. Sprinkle with toasted pistachios and serve.