Ahhhhh, Spring. You’re here, and you’ve stayed. And look what you’ve brought us: snappy stalks of asparagus, sweet peas, crisp radishes, cool lettuces, tender greens. And strawberries. You’ve brought strawberries.
I don’t know about you, but I’m in full-on, eatasmuchasIpossiblycan strawberry mode. I sliced strawberries over my cold oatmeal muesli for breakfast this morning. I stirred strawberries with some homemade strawberry jam into yogurt for lunch. Later this week, I’ll experiment with a recipe for The Clara Project that includes strawberries.
And then there’s this easy strawberry tart recipe, which I shared here quite awhile ago (and which you may have missed). The richly buttery crust is courtesy of my brother, whose fruit galettes grace the cases at his Baker & Nosh in Chicago. This tart is baked on parchment, so you don’t have to fuss with crimping the dough or filling a tart shell. (Be sure, though, to bake it on a rimmed baking sheet; it’s juicy!) You could use any kind of fruit in this free-form tart, but to me, there’s nothing better than fresh spring strawberries. Give this a go while these ruby beauties are in season.
free-form strawberry tart recipe
For the fruit filling:
1 quart fresh strawberries, cleaned and trimmed, halved if they're huge
1 Tbsp. brown, granulated or raw sugar, or to taste
2 to 3 Tbsp. liqueur, such as Amaretto, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or brandy or port (optional)
Before making the tart dough (about 1 hour before baking), combine fruit, sugar and liqueur in a large bowl; toss to combine and let sit to infuse.
For the crust:
1 3/4 sticks (14 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk (reserve white)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
zest from 1 lemon or orange
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
In a stand mixer or using a bowl and hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar; add egg and egg yolk and stir to combine, then stir in vanilla extract and citrus zest. Add flour and salt, stir to combine. Transfer dough to a floured pastry cloth or clean kitchen towel, shape it into a ball and divide it in half. (Wrap one half in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for a couple of months.) Press the other half into a disc and wrap it in plastic or waxed paper; chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment. On the floured cloth, roll the dough out to about 15 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the dough circle to the baking sheet. Use a slotted spoon to mound the fruit in the center of the dough circle, leaving an inch or two around the perimeter; drizzle fruit with a spoonful or two of the accumulated juices and liqueur. Gently fold the outer rim of dough over the fruit. Brush the dough with the reserved egg white. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until crust is deeply golden.