250g butter, cut to small cubes
180g caster sugar
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
500g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
5 cardamom pods or 1⁄2 tsp cardamom seeds
2 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
15g butter, cut to small cubes, room temperature
3g gelatine powder
150g double/whipping cream
1. Start with making the pastry. Add the butter, sugar and vanilla to a mixer bowl and on a medium speed, using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract for about 3 minutes, until the butter is pale and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and continue beating the butter for another minute. Sift the flour and salt and gently fold it into the butter mixture with a spatula. Continue to mix on a low speed and gradually add the eggs.
2. On a floured surface, flatten and shape the dough to a 5 cm thick rectangular with your hands. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and rest in a fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the diplomat cream. Add the milk and cardamom into a small saucepan and warm over a low heat. Take the pan off the heat just before it boils and leave aside for 10 minutes to infuse the milk with cardamom flavour.
4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour. Strain the milk and return it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over a low heat again. Pour a third of the milk over the egg yolks and whisk into the mixture. Add the rest of the milk and whisk again. Put the yolk mixture in the pan and whisking continuously bring all to a gentle simmer. Boil for a minute.
5. Take the pan off the heat and transfer the custard into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and whisk until it is fully incorporated. Add the gelatine and whisk for another 2 minutes, making sure all of it dissolved. Cover the cream with cling film and leave to cool completely.
6. Preheat the oven to 180*C. Roll out the pastry to 1/1.5cm thick and score it with a fork. Line the tart tin with the pastry, put a sheet of parchment over it and fill it with baking beans.
7. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and baking beans and bake for another 10 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and golden brown.Leave the pastry case to cool completely before removing it from the tin and filling with diplomat cream.
8. When the cream has cooled down to room temperature, whisk it to a smooth texture. Whip the cream in another bowl to a soft peak and gently fold half of it into the cream. Add the remaining half and fold again until the cream is smooth. Transfer it into a piping bag and pipe into the tart case.
9. Decorate the tart with fresh strawberries and add mint or other herbs for a nice pop of colour.