TARTE AUX FRAISES: Strawberry Tart

Tarte aux fraise French strawberry tart

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Fresh strawberries and rich pastry crust make this delicious and simple recipe a perfect way to celebrate!

This recipe starts with the crust.  Adding the strawberries is simple and is translated below, along with US measurements for the ingredients.  I didn’t have enough strawberries to make a large tart, so I made individual tarts.  This makes enough dough for a large tart pan.  To begin with, I have included R. Blondeau’s introduction to the the pastry section:

Preparing Dough – Materials

A smooth plank of hard wood, to roll and work the dough, a roller of wood for rolling out, a roulette to decorate it, a knife for cutting, and a stove with a good oven, a collection of pie pans, baking sheets, and tin molds, that is all the materials necessary for making pastry at home.

Pate brisee French Shortcrust pastry

This recipe is already in a modern format, but the temperature for baking is not given.  I baked it at 350F and it turned out perfect.  It makes a buttery and easy to roll out dough.

PÂTE BRISÉE

Proportions:

250 grams of flour;
125 grams of butter;
a half cup of water (or milk)
a half teaspoon of fine salt

Pour the flour into a pile, in the middle of the plank, make a trough in the middle, add your butter, water, and salt; mix together with your hands, and rub the butter between your fingers, little by little mix in the flour.  You will get a ball of dough that you will knead two or three times against the plan with the palm of your right hand.  Then, with the help of the rolling pin,  roll it out to the thickness you desire (about two and a half centimeters).  Sprinkle your plank and rolling pin with a pinch of flour, so that the dough will not stick.

Strawberry Tart

Line a buttered tart pan with PÂTE BRISÉE dough, and bake for 30 minutes.  Take it out of the oven, and fill the crust with fresh strawberries packed close together, drizzle with sugar syrup and serve.

 

French tart pastry

 

Tartes aux fraises

 

 

Tartes aux fraises

 

Shortcrust Pastry in US measurements:

2 cups of flour;
1 stick (or 8 tablespoons) of butter;
1/2 cup of water (or milk)
1/2 teaspoon of fine salt

The way that the strawberries are pressed into the tart crust is not explained in the recipe.  I went with how I saw fruit tarts prepared in patisseries in France.  The green top is trimmed away, and the strawberries are placed with their points up, and packed in together.  I sliced off a few of the rounded edges to be able to pack them in more tightly.  I used honey, rather than sugar syrup, drizzled on top.  It spreads out and becomes a sweet glaze that brings out the strawberry flavor.  This tart is wonderful served with whipped cream.

 

Tartes aux fraises strawberry tarts

 

 

 

{My grandmother, Claudia Meraud, was born in Nice, France.   She immigrated to the US after meeting my grandfather while he was stationed there as a US soldier in WW II.  We spent several summers together, just the two of us, living with her sister in Nice.  She passed along to me an old French cookbook titled  title is La Cuisine:  Guide Practique De La Ménagère by R. Blondeau, Chef de Cuisine.  It originally belonged to my great-grandmother, Lucie Thomas, who was a native of St. Marie-aux-Mines in Alsace.

This cookbook was published in the 1930’s, and was written as a practical guide for a household cook before the days of the fridge and the food processor.  The recipes are delicious, practical, and (of course) packed with good traditional nutrition.

I am creating translated versions of these antique recipes, re-written for the modern cook, and tested with home-grown and seasonal food.}

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