Michelle was craving strawberry pie. But the problem is that fruit pies, especially strawberry pies, last for only a short time before becoming mushy and unappetizing and we didn’t want to waste any of our precious fruit. Steve remembered that we had small tart pans stowed somewhere in the kitchen cabinets and so we made up a batch of tart dough from Maury Rubin’s book of tarts and froze six single-serving tart shells, pulling them out as needed and baking. For the filling, we looked to Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and found the perfect recipe: strawberry tart from the famous Paris café, La Palette. Nothing but strawberry jam (which we’d made several batches of in the past few weeks) and lightly-macerated berries. Parfait.
(adapted from Maury Rubin’s book of tarts)
- 13 TB unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 c. confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1-1/2 c. AP flour
- 1 TB heavy cream
Let butter sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so, until malleable but still cool.
Place sugar in bowl of mixer. Add butter and toss to coat. Using paddle attachment, cream at medium speed until sugar is no longer visible. Scrape sides of bowl. Add egg yolk and beat until well-blended. Scrape sides of bowl again. Add half of flour. Beat until crumbly. Add remaining flour and then cream, and beat until a sticky mass.
Shape dough into a disk and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for an hour or more.
Cut chilled dough into 1″ squares. On a floured work surface, use the heel of your hand to knead dough pieces into a smooth disk. Keeping surface well-dusted, roll the disk into a 12″ log. Cut log into 6 equal-sized pieces. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
On well-floured piece of wax paper, roll out one piece of dough into a round large enough to fill a 4-1/2″ tart pan. Put dough into tart pan, cutting off excess around edges and pressing in. Prick with a fork. Put in freezer. Repeat with 5 more tart pans.
Freeze for at least 30 minutes. If saving for later, put in plastic bags or wrap with aluminum foil and keep frozen until needed.
Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. There is no need to fill with beans or pie weights, but it is a good idea to tamp the bottoms down with your fingers as the shells are baking.
Cool on wire racks, then unmold.
LA PALETTE’S STRAWBERRY TART
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours)
- Strawberry jam
- Splash of kirsch or framboise
Halve or quarter strawberries and place in a bowl. Splash on a small amount of kirsch or framboise. Sprinkle with a small amount of sugar, and toss.
Spoon jam over bottom of cooked tart shells. Top with berries and their juice.
Serve with crème fraîche, whipped cream, or, as we did, homemade buttermilk ice cream.