Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Strawberry Tartlets

I invited my friend over the other day to help me bake and I asked her what she wanted to make. I had recently purchased a half flat of strawberries at the farmer’s market and wanted to use them in a couple of different things. She suggested small strawberry tarts and I looked for something that fit the bill. I found these tartlets and knew they were just the right thing.

This is a fairly straight-forward recipe, but it has a couple of elements so the tartlets take a little bit of time to put together. The dough is a sweet pastry, which I always make in the food processor so I don’t handle it too much. You could make it by cutting in the butter by hand, but to me, that’s 100 times more difficult. Make sure that you chill the dough enough or you’ll never be able to roll it out.

This recipe originally made 4 larger tarts, but I have 3-1/2” tart pans so I ended up making 6. I could have probably made another one, but I only have 6 pans! I loved the cream cheese filling; it was just perfect to pair the slightly sour filling with the sweet strawberries. I don’t know exactly how many strawberries I used, as I just kept cutting them as I decorated the tartlets. These are a great little dessert. I sent two home with my friend for her to share with her husband, and I think they were greatly enjoyed!

7 ounces flour
1 ounce sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3.5 ounces cold butter, cut in pieces
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water
Ice water
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Make the crust: combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the butter and pulse until the dough has a sandy texture, with no large lumps of butter. Add the egg and water mixture and pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. If needed, add ice water by the teaspoonful, pulsing after each addition, until the dough comes together. 

Gather the dough together and divide into 4 pieces. Shape each piece into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have several small tart pans ready and a baking sheet to place them on. I used six 3-1/2 inch tart pans.   

Roll out the dough discs one by one on a lightly floured surface. Trim the circle to slightly larger than the tart pan and carefully press each circle into a tart pan. Reroll the pastry scraps to make the last two shells. Place the pans on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes. 

Then prick the bottoms of the tart shells all over with a fork, line with parchment or foil, and fill with pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights, lower the oven to 350 degrees, and bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Cool completely.

Make the filling and assemble the tarts: in a large mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheese and brown sugar for 3 minutes. Beat in the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Divide the filling between the tart shells. Slice and/or halve strawberries and place on top of the tarts in a decorative pattern. Keep tarts refrigerated.

Recipe from Umami Girl


MiniMoose2 said...

It was fun to see these tarts go together, and to watch how they were photographed. I really like the interesting platform the tart got put on for its photo. However, the tasting is the very best part - and these are mighty fine. I'm guessing the lemon in the filling is what adds complexity to the experience, and the crust is a very rich, satisfying one.

Cindy said...

I would love a strawberry tart right now--it looks so delicious.