Tuesday, June 10, 2008

TWD: La Palette's Strawberry Tart

I love fruit desserts, so I was excited when the pick for Tuesday's with Dorie was a strawberry tart. I was also looking forward to making homemade dough...a first for me! This was definitely a learning experience, and there were a few moments when I was worried that it wasn't going to turn out well. I started with the crust, which took forever to mix into what I expect a dough mixture to look like. The receipe said after you put the butter in, it should have crumbles the size of peas and oatmeal...weird way to put it, but ok...after 10 minutes of mixing (well, really probably only 4 or 5 but it felt long!) still no peas and oatmeal. I mixed it a little with my hands and turned the mixer back on and voila! It resembled crust dough. Who knows how that happened, but whatever I did worked.

I pressed it into my new tart pan, and put it in the fridge to be ready to bake for my dinner guests the next day.

Then I started reading other TWDer's experiences with the crust, and panicked. So many people said their crust was hard and crumbly, and they thought it was because they pressed it in the pan too hard. I tried to gently press the dough in and leave it so "the edges of the pieces cling to one another" but doesn't lose the crumbly texture...that is easier said than done. I figured there was no changing it now, and I just hoped for the best. Into the oven in went.

At this point I was joined by my favorite baking friend Kelly, and we continued on with the tart. She thought it smelled great as it was baking and I have to agree. I let it cool to room temperature while she cut the strawberries, and then we were ready to put on the jam.

I thought that if it was really hard, putting the jam on a couple of hours before eating it might soften it up a bit. Kelly and I both thought that this tart was already looking delish (as was that glass of wine in the background).

Now on to the whipped cream. Since this is a very simple tart, I thought it was important to use high quality ingredients, and therefore I should make homemade whipped cream. I was worried that I wouldn't like it because I do like my whipped cream sweet, but I just added more sugar and it was perfect. It took Kelly and I a little while to figure it out, but now I know you just have to let it mix for a LONG time to get creamy...and I shouldn't stress out too much about it turning to butter =)

Homemade Whipped Cream (also from Dorie)
1 1/2 cups very cold heavy cream
6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Mix the cream and sugar slowly together until the cream starts to thicken. Start slow and increase the speed as the cream gains texture. Based on other tips I saw, I put my mixer bowl and beater in the freezer for a bit before I started. I made this ahead of time, and it held up just fine in the fridge until we were ready for dessert.

Finally, after our fabulous dinner (see above) and some fun game time, we were ready for the tart. It was well worth the wait! I absolutely loved this tart, and will make it again and again. I'm excited to try new fruit variations.

From Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours
See the recipe here


Kelly said...

so delicious! Can I please have some more of that crust? :-)

Barbara A. said...

I'm glad you kept going even when you weren't sure it was working out right -- and even gladder that it came out so well! Looks wonderful!

ostwestwind said...

Using a new pan is alway exciting, great work

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Rebecca said...

Nice job! I need to recruit a baking buddy ...

Shari said...

I'll have to try adding brown sugar to my whipping cream. I usually use icing sugar instead. Your tart turned out great!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Jaime said...

your tart looks great! congrats on your first tart crust :)

Jacque said...

I loved it too!

Yours looks delish, glad it worked out for you.