I joined TWD right at the beginning of strawberry season – when the first flavorless strawberries started showing up in stores, and I bought them just because I was excited about warmer weather and everything that goes along with it. I was eager to make one strawberry dessert after another during their short season, but the TWD recipe-choosers haven’t been on that same wavelength. (Of course, not all of TWD’s members are in the Northern Hemisphere anyway.) I still bought strawberries each week, and every week they’re more flavorful than the last. The strawberry tart that Marie chose for this week’s recipe was a perfect way to showcase delicious seasonal strawberries.
I make only a portion of most TWD recipes, since I’m only cooking for myself and Dave, and my capacity to bake outstrips our capacity to eat. But I didn’t want to take pictures of yet another mini-tart. I actually don’t have a fluted 9-inch tart pan, but I’ve successfully used my 9-inch springform pan for tarts in the past.
Dorie calls this dessert “rustic in the extreme”, so I decided to play that up. A rustic tart has no need for fluted, or even neat, edges, so I just quickly pressed the dough into the pan. A number of people had problems with the crust being too hard, so I was careful to only lightly press the dough. It did, however, end up ever so slightly more rustic than I had intended…
Although the recipe sounds extraordinarily simple – crust, jam, strawberries, whipped cream – it really does add up to more than its parts. I was surprised by how much the jam added to the flavor of the tart. My crust seemed more tender than most people described theirs, so maybe lightly pressing it into the pan worked? (Scratch that – I just cut the crust into slices, and it was a crumbly crackly mess.) I haven’t tried sprinkling the strawberries with Dorie’s suggested black pepper, but after reading a few positive reviews on that method, I’m going to try it with tonight’s serving. Although strawberry shortcake isn’t going anywhere as my favorite strawberry-showcasing dessert, I’m looking forward to finishing up this tart throughout the week.
Dorie has discussed this dessert and provided the recipe on Serious Eats. I made the recipe without any changes, but in the future, I’d like another 1/8 teaspoon salt in the crust.