I tried to make it pretty.
This past week’s selection was brought to us by Marie of A Year from Oak Cottage. She picked the perfect late-Spring-Summertime treat, La Palette’s Strawberry Tart. This has to be one of the most refreshing desserts I’ve had to date. When I read the recipe, I was excited to try it out.
As usual, we did a sugar-free variation, but pretty much followed the recipe as it was. The only major difference was the inclusion of blackberries. The combination of the fruit with the lemon juice and lime zest were a great match. The sweet tart dough made it all the better.
Since Carlo and I have friends staying with us for a couple of days, I plan on making this again. It’ll be great as we’ve been going through a bit of a heat wave here in NY.
- Best-quality strawberry jam (I used Sugar-Free Polaner’s All-Fruit Strawberry Preserves)
- One 9-inch tart shell , fully baked, cooled and removed from pan (Click here for Sweet Tart Dough recipe)
- About 1 quart ripe strawberries (I used a mix of strawberries and blackberries)
- Sugar (I used granulated Splenda)
- Kirsch, fraise or framboise eau-de-vie or crème de cassis (omitted)
- Freshly ground black pepper, a little fresh basil or mint, or finely grated lemon or lime zest (I added a dash of lemon juice and some fresh lime zest)
- Crème fraîche or lightly whipped cream (I used whipped cream)
1. Stir the jam to loosen it to a spreadable consistency or, if it’s very stiff, warm it in a microwave oven for a few seconds.
2. Cut as many portions of the crust as you need, put each portion on a plate and spread the jam over the cut pieces.
3. Hull and half as many berries as you need (if they’re really large, you might want to quarter them or slice them) and, if you think they need it, toss them with some sugar. Add a splash of liqueur, if you’d like, and stir in the black pepper, basil, mint or zest, if you feel like it. (Use a light touch with the extras – the berries are the main event and anything else should be there only to enhance their flavor.)
4. Spoon the berries and any juices that have accumulated over the slices of crust. Don’t try to be neat – the berries should tumble over the sides of the crust.
5. Top with the cream or serve it alongside.
While you can bake the crust early in the day (or, in a pinch, the day before) and keep it at room temperature, and you can also cut and sugar the berries about an hour in advance, the tart should be assembled just before serving.