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TWD: La Palette’s Strawberry Tart

June 10, 2008

June is the quintessential time for strawberries here in the Northeast and while it’s probably been about 25 years since I’ve been in the strawberry patch picking them by hand, it doesn’t mean I can’t find some great beautifully fresh strawberries in the grocery store. Too bad they came from California. lol!

Anyway, Kyle and I spent some time with my family this past weekend on good ol’ Long Island (where I grew up and where my family still lives) and I knew I needed to make this tart for them – for no other reason that because I couldn’t bare to make the whole thing for just the two of us. 😉 It was the perfect weekend for a strawberry tart. Hot. Hot. Hot. In the mid-90s which you a.) very rarely experience on the south shore of Long Island and b.) almost never see happen in June – this is the dog-days of August weather!!

I’ll admit that I decided to change things up a bit on this tart. I wasn’t totally thrilled with taking the time to make the tart shell from scratch to only fill it with strawberry jam and strawberries – it seemed like kind of a waste to me. So I took it a step further and make Dorie’s pastry cream that I fell head over heals in love with while making the Brioche Raisin Snails and I filled the tart shell with that then topped it with fresh strawberries. I forgot skipped the jam – I think it would have taken too much away from the freshness of the strawberries.

After I stopped drooling over the pastry cream and having to physically restrain myself from eating it, I got the tart on the table. Well. Let me tell you. I don’t think I’ve gotten so many compliments on a dessert in MONTHS!! (outside of my own giggles during my toffee honey sticky buns a few weeks ago) The tart was just perfect. I felt like after the lemon cream tart, the tart dough needed a little sweetening up so I added an extra 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar – exactly what it needed. The pastry cream was, of course, TO.DIE.FOR. Lick the bowl good. And the strawberries couldn’t have been a better complement to the pastry cream. They were just at the peak of ripeness and didn’t need any sugar to sweeten them up. The whole tart package together was just sweet enough and between 7 people, we just about polished the whole thing off.

This tart gave me the opportunity to improve upon my tart shell-making skills. I had a tough time with the French lemon cream tart. The shell wasn’t sweet enough for me (see above) and was hard as a rock. I decided to roll out the dough this time and did my best not to overwork it. It certainly wasn’t easy transferring the rolled out dough into the tart pan (and then the patching!!) but I think it worked out better than pressing the crumbly dough into the pan, increasing the chances of pressing too hard and ending up with a rock-hard crust (like last time).

Since the group isn’t posting the TWD recipes in our blogs any longer, I’m going to make a few notes about what I changed in the recipes (if anything):

  1. omitted the strawberry jam
  2. added Dorie’s pastry cream (see the Brioche Raisin Snail link above for the recipe)
  3. added the seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (which we brought back from St. Martin while on our cruise this past January!) to the pastry cream and what a difference it made!!!

Thanks so much to Marie of A Year from Oak Cottage for choosing this week’s recipe! To see how the other TWDers did this week with their tarts, check out Tuesdays with Dorie.


Last week’s TWD recipe: French Chocolate Brownies

Next week’s TWD recipe: Peppermint Cream Puff Ring as chosen by Caroline of A Consuming Passion


24 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2008 7:23 am

    Wow, I’m impressed – I totally wouldn’t have done all of the arranging of the strawberries. It looks like it turned out perfectly!

  2. June 10, 2008 7:51 am

    It looks heavenly with the pastry cream. I was thinking lemon curd would be so wonderful with blueberries, too. Great job.

  3. June 10, 2008 8:33 am

    Yes, that pastry cream is lick the bowl clean good, isn’t it?! Your tart looks divine!

  4. June 10, 2008 9:29 am

    Oh my, that tart shell and pastry cream?! Amazing! I might have to just do that….

  5. June 10, 2008 10:06 am

    Ohmygod. pastry cream+strawberries+vanilla bean=TONGUE-GASM!
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

  6. Kelly D permalink
    June 10, 2008 11:49 am

    The presentation is perfect. I hadn’t joined for the raisin snails. I must try that pastry cream now!

  7. June 10, 2008 12:01 pm

    A lot of folks have subbed the jam for pastry cream…sounds heavenly!

  8. June 10, 2008 4:17 pm

    Oh, I wish I had put pastry cream in mine. I love love love it! The design you made with the strawberries is outstanding!

  9. Erin permalink
    June 10, 2008 5:52 pm

    What a pretty tart! You did a great job arranging those strawberries. It seems that a lot of people tried this with the pastry cream. I will definitely have to try that next time I made a fruit tart!

  10. June 10, 2008 6:48 pm

    oh my…that sounds just about perfect! I’m going to have to try it with pastry cream now!

  11. June 10, 2008 6:59 pm

    Your strawberries look so pretty on your tart and the pastry cream oh yum!

  12. June 10, 2008 8:40 pm

    I have seen a few of you pastry cream rebels and truthfully it is getting under my skin. I have a few more tart shells and I just may have to prepare some. Delicious looking tart, lovely design!

  13. June 10, 2008 9:24 pm

    Hey, I’ve got family in Long Island!

  14. doughmesstic permalink
    June 10, 2008 10:25 pm

    Wow, I am definitely going to have to try your version…though I doubt I will have the patience to line up the straberries so perfectly! beautiful job…

  15. amanda permalink
    June 10, 2008 11:22 pm

    I’m loving all these tarts with pastry cream. I wish I had thought about that. Your pictures are gorgeous!

  16. June 10, 2008 11:25 pm

    Strawberries and pastry cream…that sounds divine! Beautiful tart!

  17. June 12, 2008 3:53 am

    How funny that I found the tart shell too sweet and you found it not sweet enough. Your tart looks fabulous and I can only imagine how yummy it was with a layer of pastry cream…good gravy!

  18. June 12, 2008 8:38 am

    I was so lazy about my strawberries. I like the addition of pastry cream

  19. June 12, 2008 2:58 pm

    I was on the same wavelength with you on the pastry cream- yum! Yours looks so beautiful!

  20. June 12, 2008 9:06 pm

    I love how you artfully arranged all the strawberries. Looks beautiful! Pastry cream with a vanilla bean sounds delicious too!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  21. June 23, 2008 8:42 pm

    you made dorie’s “classic berry tart” like i did! 🙂 it looks beautiful, i’m not surprised you got so many compliments on it!


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