Tuesday, June 17, 2014

 

 Strawberry Tart


 


 "So now that the wedding is over, does that mean there will be more posts on the blog?" A few people have asked this question. I have to reply with a bit of embarrassment, "Oh yeah, the blog. Yes, there will be more posts." There has been a bit of neglect of gingerlocks' kitchen these days. For those of you who just read the blog and don't really know me, I got married at the end of May!


It was a terribly exciting time but busy as well. I was cooking, but taking pictures and posting them with a story is more time consuming than you would think.

A lack of motivation was also part of the neglect factor. When I started gingerlocks' kitchen I had never really thought of people reading it. You might think "Isn't that the point of putting everything online?" Yes, I suppose it is. In all honesty I had never assumed people would want to read anything I put on this silly blog. I really just wanted to have all my recipes in one place for me and the people who asked for them. Since I didn't really think anyone was reading it, I didn't see the need to be super consistent in such a busy time.

Those of you who do read it have made your requests clear! Taking a break from the blog has given me time to come up with more ideas to share with you all and enjoying doing it again.

 This recipe is an especially good way to break the dry spell of posts. I love all strawberry desserts. This one is especially delicious. The buttery, flaky crust goes perfectly with the jam like consistency of the filling. You will love it! This recipe is made even easier with the delightful wedding present of a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, just follow my perfect pie crust recipe. It will make far more pie crust than you need for this, but it freezes very well.


Ingredients

Tart Crust

2 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of very cold butter
5 to 8 tablespoons of ice water
This makes two crusts

Filling

1 1/2 pounds of strawberries
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of flour


I adapted this tart crust recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, and she is certain the best pie crust comes from freezing the dry ingredients for 30 minutes. She is a Contessa. I am not. She isn't really either, but she does know what she is talking about in this case. Really good pastry comes from super cold ingredients. I froze all the dry ingredients in the food processor bowl for 30 minutes to ensure completely chilled ingredients.


While the crust ingredients are making themselves contessa worthy, hull (take the tops off) and slice the strawberries. I like to make them about bite sized. They will shrink a bit in the baking process so don't make them too small.



After the strawberries are ready to go, add in the sugar, lemon zest and juice as well as the flour. Give this a big stir and let the juices come out to make a nice sauce. 


Next, cube the butter into small pieces so it can be easily incorporated into the dry ingredients

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 Attach the food processor bowl to the rest of the machine once it is done chilling. Pulse the butter and the dry ingredients for about 30 seconds. It should look like damp sand. That's not an appetizing simile, but it's how it should look.


Slowly, add one tablespoon of ice water at a time while the food processor is going on low speed. You want to add as little water as possible. Add a tablespoon and wait about 15 seconds. The crust will have enough water in it when it comes together like this.


Sprinkle a counter top and a rolling pin with about 1/3 cup of flour. Take the ball of dough out of the bowl and form it into a ball. I only needed one crust for this recipe, so I cut the ball in half and froze the extra for later. 


Keeping the counter and rolling pin well floured, roll out the crust. It doesn't have to be perfect, just aim for a circular shape. 


When your circular shape is big enough, make sure it is even or it will cook in a funky fashion. Then gently place the crust into the tart pan. You could also use a pie tin for this. Bake the unfilled shell for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. This makes sure you don't have a soggy tart.


Pour the strawberry filling and continue to bake at 350 for another 30 to 45 minutes. The filling should be set with just a few jiggles. If the edges of the crust start to get brown before this happens, cover the tart with aluminum foil.


Allow the tart to cool for about 30 minutes before cutting. Otherwise it will ooze all over. 


This is a perfect summer dessert to enjoy with friends, family or even just for yourself!


Yum!

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