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Strawberry Tart Recipe & Video

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Unlike a fruit pie that has a top and bottom crust, this Strawberry Tart has only a bottom crust of pastry. It uses  a butter pastry which gives it a wonderfully crisp and crumbly texture. I make this tart only when fresh strawberries are at their peak flavor. Because all we add to the strawberries is a sprinkling of sugar and a touch of cornstarch to thicken their juices. Wonderful with scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of softly whipped cream. 

 

This is a free form tart so you don't need a pie pan, just a baking sheet. The pastry I like to use has a wonderful buttery flavor and crisp and crumbly texture. It is easily made in the food processor although you can make it by hand. Just remember that the butter and the water need to be very cold. Once made, the pastry must be chilled until firm before rolling into a large circle. The tricky part is rolling out the pastry. In order for it to roll out smoothly, without it sticking to the counter or tearing, it has to be at the right temperature. Too cold (it will tear), too warm (it will stick). This "feel" for the dough will come with practice, so don't get discouraged if you have some trouble at first. If the rolled out pastry tears a little, don't worry, just patch it back together as best as you can.

Try to make this tart when strawberries are in season. The berries need to be sweetened, so taste your berries, as you may want to adjust the amount of sugar. I also like to add a little cornstarch to thicken the juices. When you place the berries on the pastry, leave a border because the pastry is folded up and over the filling. Make sure that the folds of pastry are sealed so that the pastry does not fall open during baking. The tart is baked in a hot oven until the crust has nicely browned and the fruit's juices just start to bubble. Let the tart cool for at least an hour before cutting so the juices have time to thicken.

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Pastry Crust: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until you have very coarse crumbs (about 10 seconds). Add about 3 tablespoons of water and process until the dough holds together when pinched. Add more water if needed.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather it into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm.

While the pastry is chilling, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, remove from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a 13 inch (33 cm) round. Transfer the pastry to your baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling and preheat your oven.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.

Strawberry Filling: In a large bowl, combine the berries, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and sprinkle the pastry with the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) white sugar, leaving a 2 inch (5 cm) border. Evenly arrange the strawberries on the pastry, leaving a two inch (5 cm) wide border. Gently fold the edges of the pastry up and over the berries, pleating as necessary. Make sure to seal any cracks in the pastry.

Egg Wash: In a small bowl whisk the egg yolk with the cream. With a pastry brush, brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle the pastry with a little sugar, if desired.

Bake for approximately 30 - 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the juices are starting to bubble. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool before serving (about one hour). Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Makes about 6 servings.

View comments on this recipe on YouTube

Pastry Crust:

1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) fine kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter,  cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks

3 - 4 tablespoons ice cold water

Strawberry Filling:

1 pound (450 grams) fresh strawberries, cut into large chunks

2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Egg Wash:

1 large egg yolk (17 grams)

1 teaspoon cream

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