A Mother’s Day Tennessee Strawberry Tart

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This week they arrived, plump, sweet and plentiful. Those small, round baby berries. Tennessee Strawberries. Just in time for Mother’s Day. I made this tart with the first ones I purchased after eating half the carton one-by-one.

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I have never been a big fan of cooked strawberries as in strawberry pie or strawberry cobblers. Something about the berries becoming “mushy” during the cooking process just doesn’t appeal to my palate. This tart is different. The berries stay firm and keep their color, they do not get mushy nor discolored.  It has a wonderful crispy crust that doesn’t get soggy on the bottom. With only a few ingredients it is quick and easy, beautifully rustic and will just make you, or your mother, very happy bite-by-bite.

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This is what a really fresh, ripe, just picked locally grown Tennessee Strawberry looks like up close. Not perfect, not dark red and very red inside as well as outside. They are fragrant. Here are some places you can go and pick your own berries in Middle Tennessee if you like. I am pretty happy to let others do the picking for me. These berries came from the Downtown Nashville Farmer’s Market.

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Sliced strawberries &almonds mixed in with sugar and cornstarch is the easiest filling.

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Four ingredients is all that is needed for this crust. If you are in a big hurry you can, of course, use a refrigerator roll-out dough. In a food processor my crust takes about 5 minutes to make. Give it a try.

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Warm from the oven…..

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….come on…get a bit closer…let’s have a bite. Share some with your Mom, or someone else’s Mom. Make this while the local strawberries are available…it is a fleeting season.

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Tennessee Strawberry Tart

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print

Strawberry Tart

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cold butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour mixed with 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp + 1/4 cup raw sugar divided
  • 4 Tbsp ice water
  • 2 cups rinsed, hulled & halved small strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Sanding sugar for garnish

Directions:

  1. For this easy crust just put butter, flour-salt mixture & 1 Tbsp of the raw sugar in a food processor and pulse just until mixture is blended. Drizzle in ice water while pulsing mixture until a dough ball forms. Remove dough from processor, form into a ball and flatten. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
  2. Place halved berries and sliced almonds in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle cornstarch & remaining 1/4 cup raw sugar over & gently toss to coat berries. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Roll chilled dough out onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper into a rough circle about 15″ across.
  5. Lift dough lined parchment paper and place on a sheet pan. It is okay if the dough hangs over the edges.
  6. Pile strawberry filling in the middle of the dough circle and gently fold the edges up over the filling, leaving the center open. Brush dough with the beaten egg & sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  7. Bake tart for about 40 -50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly. Remove from oven & cool tart on pan set on a cooling rack. Serve warm or room temperature. This tart was very good for a few days and the bottom crust never got soggy!

(Recipe is based on one that I did for an editorial client earlier this Spring for a photo shoot. I, of course, made a number of changes to make it more user-friendly.)

“Hiding Behind Julia..A Week in Postcards”

Postcard #1  ” Mother’s Day Sunday Teacup with Tulips”

Hey, all you sons and daughters…email, call, text, Skype, carrier pigeon a message to your Mother, or someone else’s Mother to tell them how much you appreciate them..It may be a so-called “Hallmark Holiday” but it’s the only one dedicated to all us Mothers…no cards necessary.

Postcard #2 “Hiding Behind Julia”

My friend Rory White sent me this amazing photograph…(he is a great photographer, artist, musician and all round interesting person..check out his blog if you don’t believe me at http://rorywhite.com/blog/)

Imagine you are one of the folks who hid behind Julia on the set of her show… handing up the ingredients for a cassoulet, steak Diane or chunks of dark chocolate..who are you? How did you come to be in that place at that time in history? What was your next career move? Are you still out there basking in the light? Did you realize she would be  the “Mother of TV Cooking” when you were there?

Postcard #3 “Beer Friday”

Some weeks are like that…long, hard, fun and frenzied…then it’s Friday..Beer Friday. How do you punctuate the end of your work week?

Postcard #4 “There Is No Way I Am Cooking-No Cooking Required, Garden Salad”

These are wax beans from our little garden…I had been testing a watermelon-cucumber salad for a photo shoot…I steamed the beans, picked a few more vegetables from the garden, added them to my “shoot” salad…no cooking required. Do you have some simple go-to, no-cook summer recipes that you love?

“Watermelon, Cucumber Garden Salad”

Ingredients: Ripe Watermelon cut into chunks

English Cucumber, seeded & sliced

Fresh mint leaves

Juice of one lime

sea salt & cracked black pepper

2 small golden beets thinly sliced

a handful of fresh wax beans, shelled

3 young fresh carrots, thinly sliced

1 mango peeled & cut into chunks

Instructions:

1. Mix everything in a large salad bowl, chill and eat.

Postcard #5 “A Mother-load of Pretty Saucers”

I  pondered these pretty saucers for while before choosing just the right one for a slice of pie I was styling for a cookbook. I love these random designs that I pick up from flea markets & yard sales, don’t you?

Postcard #6  “Working & Strolling Chicago Tulips”

After work stroll along Michigan Avenue…window shopping. Tulips seems to be a recurring theme in my life..much like my Buddhas. Have you noticed how your life can be full of “themes” you might not even be aware of?

Postcard #7  “A Kitchen Clean”

If I remember correctly our kitchen was clean for a while this week…otherwise it was covered with recipe pages, measuring cups, dirty dishes, food on the floor and in bowls…my work life is very messy so when my kitchen finally looks like this I feel very “zen”. What are some ordinary, homey things that make you feel serene?

Postcard #8  “Any Sunday Morning”

My perfect Sunday morning is coffee in bed (compliments of Wouter), newspaper, book, phone (for texting only) and a few hours to ruminate about everything. This is my weekly gift to myself, my ritual. It is necessary for starting a new week sedately. Do you “treat” yourself with some simple rituals to keep your life balanced? I hope so.