night at dinner with some friends, we were discussing the Beatles and we asked
their incredibly articulate 15-year old daughter if she has ever heard a vinyl
record playing on a record player.
and that somehow reminded us all of the "Paul (McCartney) is Dead"
rumor of that era, and how, at the end of Strawberry Fields, John Lennon says,
in what seems to be a much slower RPM, "I buried Paul."
later, according to an interview with Paul McCartney, John actually had said,
"Cranberry sauce." So much for that fantasy!
course, that brought me to strawberries and how much I love a strawberry that
actually tastes like a strawberry!
Tucson, our first strawberries of the season come over to us from Oxnard,
California. Each weekend from February through March, they are trucked over the
mountains and across the desert to our Sunday Market. This year, the first
berries arrived in late January while most every other part of the world is
either too hot or too cold to grow them.
you, Oxnard, for your amazing strawberries!
them every weekend until they disappear, enjoying their delicious, juicy
sweetness while I can.
good plain, right out of their little pint containers, or dipped in Grand
Marnier and then powdered sugar.
wanted to make a tart, and I found a wonderful basic recipe in a little
traditional French cookbook my friend Philip brought back from his last trip to
France. (Happy Birthday, Philip!)
many traditional recipes, I find that ingredient amounts and baking times
should be taken with a grain of salt – at least seen more as suggestions than hard-and-fast
recipe, I translated the crust procedure to be made in a food processor. I made
the filling pretty much as directed, although the required baking time had to
be almost doubled to 18 minutes.
I felt no need to make my own strawberry jelly to used as a glaze; pre-made
currant jelly works perfectly. That left me with quite a few fresh strawberries
to eat while I was baking!
things to note were these: you can make the crust and custard filling a day in
advance, but do NOT top the custard with berries or glaze until a couple of
hours before serving. If you have the time, this tart is best made and served
the same day.
plus 2 tablespoons milk
teaspoon vanilla extract
strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
flour, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse
twice to blend.
Add butter in 10 pieces and pulse 10 times. Add beaten egg, and process until
dough is moist and almost ready to clump. Remove from the processor and place
on the counter. Bring together into a ball; wrap in plastic and refrigerate for
at least 1 hour.
oven to 350°F.
Roll out dough into a 13-inch circle. It will break apart from time to time – just keep putting it back
together. Slide the removable bottom of an 11-inch fluted tart pan under the
crust (this will make it easier to transfer with fewer breaks) and then place
it into the fluted ring of the tart pan. Press the dough into the bottom, sides,
and corners of the mold, and trim any excess. Make sure all cracks are filled.
Prick the bottom 10-15 times with a fork, line with foil, and fill with pie
weights (I use dried beans), and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and
weights and bake 5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool.
together the 80 grams of sugar, 2 eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt. Pour into the
cooled crust and bake for 15-18 minutes until custard is set. (It will be only
a thin layer of custard.)
at the outer edge, arrange strawberry halves in concentric circles, points
inward, until custard is covered. Melt the currant jelly in a small saucepan
until liquid and smooth. Brush the strawberries with the melted jelly and allow
it to set for 30 minutes to 2 hours before serving.
Labels: custard, french, strawberries, strawberry tart