Strawberry Tart

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One of my favorite desserts is a fruit tart. I’ve never made a tart before, because I never had a tart pan…until now. Probably my absolute favorite fruit tart is from La Medelieine’s, but we no longer live near one, so it’s now it’s up to me to make them. I found this recipe, and gave it a try. It was really good! -s really enjoyed it too. I made a few minor changes, namely I substituted orange juice for the orange liqueur. I used 2 tsp. of juice, but next time I’ll use 1 tsp. Another option is to substitute lemon zest and juice for the orange zest and juice. You can also use any berry or fruit you like, or make the tart with lots of different fruit and/or berries. The filling on this recipe is cream cheese based, so it’s quick and easy. I prefer the more traditional filling of pastry cream or lemon curd, but you can’t beat the ease and simplicity of the cream cheese. Next time I’ll try making it with a pastry cream or lemon curd.

Tart Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 TBSP very cold water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c.unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c.sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 TBSP (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into
    1/4-inch cubes

Cream Filling Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp. orange juice
  • 2 c. fresh strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered (depending on berry size) lengthwise
  • 1 c. apricot jam

Directions:

  1. Dough: In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside.
  2. To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.
  3. Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.
  4. To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out until the dough is about 1⁄8 inch thick. Makes enough dough for one 9 1⁄2-inch tart.
  5. Fold the dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough by gently running a rolling pin across the top of the pan. Press the dough into the sides to extend it slightly above the rim to offset any shrinkage during baking.
  6. Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.
  7. Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then lift an edge of the foil. If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes, until the dough is pale gold, for a total baking time of 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Continue to bake until the shell is golden, 7 to 10 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  8. Filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Mix in the orange zest and orange juice. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange the strawberry halves, overlapping them, in concentric circles on top of the cream cheese, completely covering the surface.
  9. Glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the apricot jam until it liquefies. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over a small bowl. Using a small pastry brush, gently brush the strawberries with a thin coating of jam. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Makes one 9-inch tart.

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Strawberry Tart:

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