The TWD recipe for this week was supposed to be Apple-Apple Bread Pudding (and it was supposed to be posted yesterday - oh, details, details...), but I am just not a fan of bread pudding. Instead of skipping this week entirely, I decided to go back into the archives and bake something the group made before I was a member.
My mind immediately went to this tart. I've thought about it a lot since seeing it for the first time last year. So simple, so perfect. Seeing as I had a tub of local strawberries that needed to be used, I knew this was the perfect choice.
My crust is dark and speckled, because I used palm sugar to sweeten it instead of powdered sugar. I was unsure of how this would affect the outcome, but I wanted my boys to be able to eat it, so I went ahead and tried it out. The crust was fantastic. Crispy, and much more shortbread-like than it is with powdered sugar. Plus, I like the rustic effect the palm sugar lends to it.
The only other elements besides a crust are jam and strawberries. Couldn't be simpler! I used a fruit-only spread for the jam, and tossed my strawberries in a tad of agave, mostly to give them a nice shine - they were so sweet, they didn't need anything!
This tart might be my boys' favorite thing I've ever baked. They couldn't get enough. They ate a third of it in one sitting. Keep in mind they're 1 1/2 and 3 1/2, so that's quite a feat!
It is so perfect in it's simplicity and it is incredibly versatile - you could use any fruit and jam combination you can think up! If you had the tart dough prepared in advance, you could throw this dessert together in no time at all. I'm sure it would be fantastic with some fresh whipped cream on top, but ours didn't last long enough to make any! Dorie also suggests fresh cracked pepper on top. I did try a piece this way, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The pepper was earthy and slightly biting, imparting a lovely contrast to the sweet berries and jam, and I plan on cracking pepper on all manner of desserts from now on.
La Palette's Strawberry Tart
adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours
Best quality strawberry jam
1 quart ripe strawberries - trimmed and halved if they're large, and tossed in 1-2 teaspoons of light agave; just enough to give them a shine, not so much that they're dripping
1 9-inch tart shell made with Sweet Tart Dough (recipe follows)
Sweet Tart Dough
1 1/2 cups white wheat flour
1/2 cup palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick + 1 tablespoon very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
Put flour, palm sugar and salt in bowl of food processor and pulse a couple times to combine. Add butter pieces to bowl, and pulse until butter is coarsely cut in, with pieces of varying sizes. Stir egg yolk to break it up, and add it to food processor a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the whole yolk is in, process in long pulses until the dough begins to clump. Turn dough out onto board, and knead it just enough to incorporate any flour that didn't get mixed in. Press dough into a well-buttered 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Freeze for at least 30 minutes - preferably longer - before baking. Preheat oven to 375. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit it tightly across the crust, buttered side down. Bake for about 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is evenly browned and firm to the touch. Let crust cool completely.
Finishing the tart
Spread an even layer of jam on the crust, add strawberries. Tart is best when eaten immediately after being assembled.