Fresh Strawberry Tart

pieMy Mom has been visiting for the last couple of days, in the midst of her annual summer roadtrip from her home in Asheville, NC, up to our hometown of Gloucester, MA.  Since I still had about a pound of berries left from last week’s big strawbery haul, I decided to make us a fresh strawberry tart for dessert.

This tart came together quite easily as I used frozen pastry dough scraps, strawberry syrup garnered from the frozen/juiced/dried strawberries, and I’ve become quite the master at rinsing & hulling strawberries.  The tart has a wonderful fresh berry flavor, with enough citrusy flavor to make it unique and not overly sweet.  Tai ate two helpings in rapid succession and Mom declared that I should keep “this cooking thing” up so that I can cook for her everyday in her old age.  I guess it was a success. 

Adapted from Glazed Strawberry Pie in The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

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Fresh Strawberry Tart

INGREDIENTS

  • one recipe Deluxe Flaky Pie Crust (or frozen dough scraps, thawed in the refrigerator)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 lb (12 oz or about 3 cups) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved or quartered
  • 1/8 cup sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup strawberry syrup (from strawberries destined for the dehydrator)
  • 1/3 cup orange juice frozen concentrate, thawed
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream + 1 tsp vanilla extract, for topping

METHODS

  1. Roll to 1/8-inch thickness, shape and pre-bake pastry dough.  I used a 7.5-inch ceramic quiche/tart dish and sprayed lightly with canola oil before shaping dough.  While baked pastry is still warm (about 3 minutes after removing from oven) brush bottom and sides of pastry shell with egg white in order to seal the dough and maintain the crispest crust.  (Freeze the remainder of the egg white, and the yolk, for use in another recipe).  Set pastry shell aside to cool.
  2. In a liquid cup measure, combine strawberry syrup, orange juice concentrate and water to a final volume of 1 cup (It’s fine if the individual compenents are not exactly 1/3 cup each; just bring the total volume to 1 cup, and include at least a little water to help dissolve the cornstarch).  Add 1 tsp lemon juice. Mix lightly to combine.
  3. Mix sugar and cornstarch together in a small saucepan.  Gradually whisk in the strawberry-orange liquid, over medium heat, until smooth.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute; the glaze will thicken.  Remove the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature (I usually transfer the glaze to a separate bowl to speed up the cooling process; do not refrigerate as this will cause the glaze to gel).  It generally takes about 15-20 minutes to cool. You may want to stir a time or two during this stage, as the glaze wants to solidfy and gel; you want it to be liquid enough to be able to coat the berries, but not so hot that it cooks the berries or softens the pastry shell.
  4. Add glaze, in increments, to the berries in a separate bowl until the berries are coated to your satisfaction (I usually have a little extra glaze, and let me tell you, strawberry-orange glaze over ice cream does not suck); pile glazed berries into pastry shell, shake the dish a bit to settle the filling, and chill in the refrigerator until set, ideally at least 4 hours.  Refrigerate any extra glaze for ice cream, waffles, pancakes, crepes, cheesecake (should I go on?).  Re-warm glaze for 10 seconds in the microwave to liquefy.
  5. To serve, add heavy cream, vanilla, and if desired, 1 tbsp of sugar, to the bowl of a small food processor or blender.  Process (or whip on high speed) for a few minutes until cream achieves the desired consistency.  Taste and adjust sweetness or vanilla if necessary.  (Alternatively, whip with a hand beater in a high-sided bowl, suspended over ice).  Dollop heavy cream on individual slices of tart.  A sprig of fresh mint, a sprinkling of cinnamon or cocoa, or a scattering of fresh lemon verbena leaves are all lovely finishing touches.

Yields one 7.5-inch tart, serving 4 to 6.

pie2

OPTIONS

  1. The original recipe was designed for a 9-inch pie pan.  To adapt, use 1 lb strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tbsp cornstarch, 1 cup juice concentrate and 3/4 cup water.
  2. The original recipe called for cran/raspberry frozen concentrate.  I used orange juice concentrate (plus strawberry syrup) because that was what I had on hand.  The OJ gave the tart a nice, citrusy flavor and the lemon juice punched up the strawberry just a bit, however the glaze was a bit cloudy because of the pulp in OJ.  For a crystal clear glaze, use a clear berry juice concentrate, like the cran/raspberry, or pure strawberry syrup, if you have enough.
  3. I haven’t tried this glaze with honey; I’m sure it could be done, although likely with some difference in the texture of the glaze.  If you’d like to substitute honey for sugar, add the honey to the juice concentrate and mix directly with the cornstarch.
  4. I used frozen dough scraps to make the pastry, and both Mom and Tai commented on how good it was.  They’ve probably been thawed and rolled at least two or three times, so, always save those dough scraps!  They come in really handy.

STORE

Refrigerated, up to 2 days.

SEASON

Late spring into early summer.

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