Crack an egg into a small bowl and beat it. Set aside.
Sift the flour and icing sugar through a large sieve in a large bowl. This will aerate the dough and help make the finished tart crisp and light.
Rub the cold butter cubes into the flour with your fingers until the mixture is even coloured and resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and then pour in a beaten egg and vanilla essence.
Lightly knead until the dough comes together.
Put it on a work surface and shape it into a rough ball. Do not overwork the dough or the pastry will be tough.
Cling wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
Line a 7-inch tart ring with the dough and then with a fork, make a few marks. This ensures that the base of the tart does not rise.
Next, place parchment paper or butter paper inside the shell and fill with a layer of beans (rajma, chana, etc.).
Bake at 175°C for 12 minutes or till the pastry has browned slightly and the tart begins to leave the edges of the ring.
Take it out of the oven, remove the beans and then continue baking for another 5-7 minutes so that the bottom of the tart is cooked. Remove and set it aside to cool.
Whip the cream in a stainless steel bowl until firm peaks are formed.
Pour the whipped cream into the baked tart shell and spread evenly.
Place the strawberries upside down on top of the cream and cover the entire surface of the tart.
Set in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Pooja Dhingra, the head chef and founder of Le15 Patisserie, is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for November. Armed with a degree in hospitality from Cesar Ritz Colleges, Switzerland, and a Patisserie Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Pooja returned home with the single goal of creating Parisian-style culinary experiences in India. Her success with Le15 Patisserie earned her the sobriquet ‘Macaron Queen of India’. Chef Pooja has been featured in national dailies and is a regular in fashion and lifestyle glossies not just for her abilities in the kitchen, but also as a dynamic businesswoman and inspiration to young women. She was selected by Forbes India for their ‘30 Under 30’ achievers list for 2014 and the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list.