Place milk in a saucepan. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape beans into milk along with the pods. Heat to a boil stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Meanwhile whip yolks and sugar until thick. Remove vanilla pods from milk as it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and ladle enough of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, stirring well to warm it and make it more liquid. Add this mixture back to the saucepan and stir constantly until it reaches a simmer and is thick. Allow to bubble, stirring for 1 full minute. Pour into a glass or stainless bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold. (May be done a day in advance.)
Draw a 10-inch diameter circle on paper as a guide. Place parchment baking paper over the guide. Soften almond paste with mixer on low speed. Add egg white and mix thoroughly. Using a pastry bag fitted with a star tube, pipe the macaroon mixture around the circle in rosettes. Prepare almond cake.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix both flours and the 1/2 cup sugar together and set aside. Whip egg whites until they form medium peaks. Add the 3 tablespoons sugar and continue to whip until well incorporated. Adding by thirds, shake in the flour sugar mixture. Fold in until incorporated. Starting at the center, pipe the almond cake batter inside the macaroon rosettes to create a solid base. Bake on lower shelf of oven until base is cooked and rosettes are starting to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Diplomat Cream and assembly: 2/3 recipe pastry cream 1 cup whipping cream 1-ounce pistachio paste 1 to 1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries Apricot glaze Handful unsalted pistachios
Whip cream to soft peaks. Stir pastry cream until smooth. Stir pistachio paste into pastry cream then fold in whipped cream. Spread onto cooled tart base inside the macaroon rosette border. Arrange whole or halved strawberries on top. Glaze with apricot glaze using a pastry brush and sprinkle pistachios on top.
Recipe courtesy of Patisserie Poupon, Washington, DC