I love strawberries, and it seems that lately they have been fairly inexpensive at the Farmers Market, our local grocery store. We had friends over for dinner last night, and I am usually in charge of making dessert, while Russell makes the main course. Since we were doing bar-be-que ribs, I thought that a fruit pie would be the best thing to make. Last time we did bar-be-que ribs I made pecan pie, but it ended up being too heavy for an already heavy dinner. Delicious, but just too much.
I bought a new cookbook the other day, The Art of French Baking, which so far has been interesting. While my last tart crust was good, I wanted to try another. This book had several in it, and I chose to make the rich and sweet pastry dough. This dough, while slightly more difficult to work for me, was fantastic. It was much better for tart then the recipe I tried before. It wasn’t flaky, but I think that was fine. The flavor was sweeter, and held the tart together very well. It also did a great job in the oven-I have been having trouble getting my tart crusts to not slump, and this one held it’s shape very well. I will have to see in the future how it does with pre-baking, but with filling in it, the crust didn’t slump at all.
The filling I more or less made up, after looking at several other recipes online. I found that there are not as many recipes for strawberry tart that do not include some type of custard or other filling as well. I had run out of butter after making the crust, so a custard wasn’t in the stars for me. I decided to wing it… and the result was excellent.
Recipe: Strawberry and Blackberry Tart, with a Rich and Sweet Crust (10-11″ tart)
2/3 c. superfine sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
9 TBS butter, chilled and cubed
2, 1 pint containers of fresh strawberries
1 small container of blackberries
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 lemon, juiced
Prepare the tart crust in advance. Mix together the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Add the flour, a little at a time, until it is as mixed together as possible. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, until it starts to come together a bit. Turn onto the counter and gently knead it until it forms a smooth ball of dough. Cover and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. After the dough has rested, roll out on a lightly floured surface, big enough to fit your tart pan. Gently place the dough in your tart pan, nudging the dough down the sides. Be careful to not stretch the dough, as it will cause it to shrink in the oven. Trim off the extra dough** and let rest while you make the filling.
To make the filling, slice the strawberries into thirds (or fourths, if they are large). Toss with sugar, cornstarch, and lemon. Arrange the strawberries in the tart pan, do not pour in the excess sugar-water. I arranged the strawberries so that in the center, the outside of the strawberries were facing up, and around the edge, the insides were facing up.
Toss the blackberries in the sugar-water to coat. Arrange on top of the strawberries**.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 44-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool, remove from tart pan. Serve either on it’s own, or with whipped cream.
**I saved the extra and made myself a rustic blackberry tart with the extra fruit.