*Use mara des bois, or ciflorette strawberries, or similar varieties. This recipe is suitable for raspberries as well. To clean strawberries, soak them in cold water for 30 seconds; drain on paper towels.
Cream softened butter with sugar, almond meal, vanilla, and starch. Add the egg, and blend. Transfer almond cream in a pastry bag – use at room temperature.
Yields a 8''/21cm greased tart ring. Cream butter with salt, sugar, almond meal, and vanilla. Add the egg and flour; mix until just combined. Wrap up and chill to harden. Split dough in half, soften up onto your floured countertop, and roll out into a 0.12''/3mm thick disk. Use pastry ring to cut it out; chill. Save scraps and roll out the other half of the pastry and cut into strips that match the height of the pastry ring; chill for 20 min. Cover the edges of the pastry ring with pastry strips. Trim off excess dough if needed, and lightly prick dough with a fork. Place tart shell in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; uncovered.
Preheat oven* to 350ºF/180ºC. Blind bake tart shell for 20 minutes. Remove pie weights and bake for an additional 10 minute. Egg wash (yolk & cream mixed up) the pre-baked tart shell and bake again for 10 minutes more. Pipe out almond cream (6 ounces/180g) – bake for 20 minutes, and cool. *Shorten baking time if using a convection oven.
Soak gelatin in cold water to soften; drain. Bring to a boil milk, heavy cream, and vanilla – cover and let infuse for 20 min. Meanwhile, mix egg yolks along with sugar and starches. Temper yolk mixture with a third of the hot milk, and pour mixture back into the saucepan. Bring to boil, and cook for 2 min, whisking constantly. Then whisk in cocoa butter. Remove from the heat, take vanilla bean out (rinse and dry out / use to enhance sugar and as a decoration for desserts). Throw in gelatin, butter, and mascarpone; blend thoroughly. Transfer custard onto a frozen tray lined with plastic wrap, and chill completely. Vanilla pastry cream can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Smooth out custard with a whisk prior using.
Pipe out vanilla pastry cream. Arrange strawberries harmoniously. Garnish with more strawberries glazed with apricot jam, or neutral glaze if desired. The finished strawberry pie can be kept 48 hours in the refrigerator. Enjoy!