The plants are the Gariguette variety, which is supposedly the best in France, so I’ve no idea why.
I’ve made such a hoopla about sorrel fish, but everyone knows desserts are more fun to blog about (and eat). Plus the fishmonger doesn’t come to the market until Friday, and not Tuesday as I had thought. And … if truth be told, I am awfully intimidated by those large snail-eaten sorrel leaves. But I will conquer this fear. I will.
Okay. Back to tart strawberries and strawberry tart.
Can’t you just picture yourself sitting on a park bench in Paris, swinging your legs and eating strawberry tart? Never been? Well it is time we bring this délice to you! And if you have been to France, you’ll think you never left.
I think that all the time.
I got the recipe from here but used the crust recipe from my lemon tarte instead. It’s a good gluten free recipe because the almond flour makes it easier to work with.
125 grams or ½ cup of unsalted butter (chopped into pieces), heaping ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar, 2 ½ cups of flour – regular or a gluten-free mix, 1/3 cup almond powder, an egg and a teaspoon of large grain sea salt.
Adding large grain sea salt gives an extra special surprise; every time you bite a salt crystal it contrasts the creamy sweetness of the tarte with its yummy saltiness. Trust me – it’s good. Don’t overdo it though – about this much: (And if you don’t have large grain, use only 1/2 teaspoon)
Place two pieces of saran wrap in the shape of a cross and pour the crumbly mass of dough into the center. You can tie it up in a ball and sort of squeeze it together. You’ll need to refrigerate it for an hour so that it firms up.
Meanwhile, let’s make the crème patisserie. The pastry cream.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes a recipe with many steps feels daunting and I just want to take a cold cloth to my forehead. But these two major steps you can do the night before (the crust and the pastry cream).
Or you can make the dough in between the kids’ music lessons and the pastry cream before you teach English, roll out the dough and bake it before you pick the kids up from Centre, then assemble and glaze the tarte while they’re watching cartoons. (I mean – while they’re reading a book). It’s all about multi-tasking, neh?
So. The pastry cream.
Then separate 4 eggs, putting the whites aside for the vegetable omlette you’re going to make for your light breakfast after having eaten strawberry tarte all evening.
Voila ta crème patisserie, you French chef you!
When you’re ready to roll out the dough, pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C). If the dough is too hard, put it in the microwave at 15 second intervals until you can work with it. Place a sheet of wax paper underneath the dough and a second one on top. This makes it easier to roll out and also gives you a smoother finish.
You’ll need a 30 cm quiche pan.
Let it cool for about an hour after it’s baked.
Phew! We’re nearing the end here.
You know how french tartes have a sort of glossy shine on the fruit? You can melt gelatin with water to get that effect, but it’s much easier to just heat up 3-4 heaping spoons of jelly. (Not jam, there musn’t be any pieces of fruit). I used apple jelly because it was almost clear.
Here my friend, what do you think? Say “Aaah”
- 125 grams or ½ cup of unsalted butter (chopped into pieces),
- heaping ½ cup of confectioner's sugar
- 2 ½ cups of flour - regular or a gluten-free mix
- ⅓ cup almond powder
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of large grain sea salt.
- Up to 3 T cold water, added one at a time.
- Pastry cream:
- 2⅛ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 3T plus 1t corn starch
- ⅛ t salt
- 16 oz strawberries
- 3-4 heaping tablespoons apple Jelly
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C or 350°F.
- Put the dough ingredients in the Cuisinart and add the cold water if necessary until dough forms.
- Wrap dough in saran wrap and let it chill so you can roll it out easily.
- Use wax paper under and above the dough for easy handling (plus flour) when you roll it out.
- Bake pie crust for 15 to 20 minutes - check on it and turn if it's baking unevenly.
- Heat the milk and vanilla.
- Whisk the yolks, sugar, corn starch & salt.
- When the milk is hot, pour it into the yolk mixture and mix it.
- Return mixture to pan and heat over low heat, stirring continuously until it thickens.
- Put the pastry cream in a bowl and cover with saran wrap.
- Let it cool, then put it in the refrigerator until chilled.
- Spread pastry cream on the cooled tarte, followed by the fresh strawberries.
- Warm up the apple jelly until it's liquidy, then spread that over the strawberries.