Our good friend D. celebrated a big birthday over the weekend and we were lucky to be on the invite list for the party. I offered to bring something and they took me up on my offer and said they needed a dessert or two. The theme for the sweets was lemon and I knew at once that I would make a lemon tart with fresh blueberries. Originally I thought I would just make two of these, but then remembered another tart that I used to make back in my catering past-a strawberry tart with a chocolate filling. I made a decision to throw caution to the wind and to step outside the lemon theme!
I haven’t made these tarts in years. I guess that in my constant quest to try new recipes, I sort of just forgot about them. They both come from the very first Silver Palate cookbook and use the same crust. Neither of these are difficult to make, but the strawberry one is what I would call really simple. Once you’ve made your crust ahead of time, you can put this tart together in minutes.
Sweet Buttery Crust
1-2/3 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup very fine granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cold water
Sift flour, sugar and salt into mixing bowl. Cut chilled butter into pieces into the bowl. Using your fingertips rub the butter and the dry ingredients together until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir the egg yolks, vanilla and water together and add to the butter-flour mixture and blend using a fork. Shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured board. With the heel of your hand, gently knead the dough until it all comes together. Re-form into a ball, wrap and chill for at least two hours. I made mine earlier in the week and froze.
Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment into a circle large enough to fit in your pan (I used a 9″ tart pan). Place dough in pan, fitting it loosely and pressing it to fit sides. Chill again for about a half hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the tart dough with a piece of foil or wax paper and weight with beans or pie weights. Bake for 8 minutes, remove the foil and weights. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork and return to oven. For a partially cooked shell, bake 4 minutes. For a fully cooked one, bake 8-10 minutes, until the edges are light brown.
Strawberry Chocolate Tart
9″ pre-baked Buttery Tart Crust
1-1/2 pints strawberries, washed, stemmed and dried
1/2 cup Red Currant Glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons Kirsch
1/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
Melt chocolate in a bowl placed over simmering water until the chocolate is melted and reached 110 degrees. Add the melted butter and Kirsch and whisk quickly and thoroughly until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and the water and whisk again until smooth.
While the chocolate is warm, spread it into the tart shell. Place the berries tips up in the warm chocolate filling in a circular pattern, working from the outside to the center until the surface is covered.
Brush the warm glaze over the berries. Refrigerate the tart for 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes before serving. Serves:8
Red Currant Glaze
3 tablespoons red currant jelly
1 tablespoon Kirsch
Melt jelly and Kirsch together off medium heat and stir until smooth.