Thursday, 1 May 2014

Strawberry Tart

My earlier recipe post for Portuguese Custard Tarts used puff-pastry, which I declared an essential kitchen ingredient; well, in my opinion, it is - in my kitchen at any rate! It can be used in a myriad of ways; in both sweet and savoury dishes, but really comes into its own when used in desserts, elevating even the simplest creation into something special and often spectacular looking.

To illustrate this point, I am now posting a recipe for a simple strawberry tart which I often make when strawberries are in season and plentiful in my garden. I’m a bit embarrassed to even call this a recipe because all that’s involved is rolling out the pastry, slicing some strawberries and sprinkling them with a little sugar before baking in a preheated oven. However, what you are rewarded with is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Cooked simply like this, the strawberries retain their essentially strawberry qualities, without becoming jam-like – my approach when making this tart, was based on the idea that if I wanted something with a jammy consistency, I would have used strawberry jam.

Strawberries and cream is a marriage made in heaven, but rather than serve this with pouring cream or lightly whipped cream, I like the luxurious taste of clotted cream so that’s what I use here. Again, I recommend using Glenilen Farm Clotted Cream…which is seriously yummy. I have used clotted cream before but as a constituent ingredient in some of the cakes and shortbread that I sometimes bake (see my posts on Lemon Clotted Cream Cake and Clotted Cream Shortbread) but here it is used as a simple but delicious accompaniment to this down-to-earth strawberry tart!

Ingredients:

350g puff-pastry
500g strawberries, hulled and each cut into 3 or 4 slices
1tblsp caster sugar

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4. Line a large rectangular baking tray with baking parchment and set aside.
2. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle (approximately 30cms x 20cms and ½ cm thick) and place on the parchment lined baking tray. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
3. Place the sliced strawberries on top of the pastry, slightly overlapping and leaving a 3cm border all around. Sprinkle the caster sugar, evenly over the strawberries and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is well risen and golden brown and the strawberries have started to release their juices.
  
Serves 6.