Simplest Strawberry Tart
- ⅔ cup/85 grams all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup/85 grams rye flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 9 tablespoons/127 grams very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
- 1 cup/225 grams mascarpone, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 pound/450 grams small, sweet strawberries
- 3 tablespoons high-quality strawberry jam
- Prepare the crust: Whisk the flours and salt together in a large bowl. Combine apple cider vinegar with 5 tablespoons ice water.
- Working quickly, add butter to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Use your fingers or the palms of your hands to press each cube of butter into the flour, ensuring that each butter piece gets coated, until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size lumps. If at any time the butter seems warm or soft, briefly refrigerate the bowl. Alternatively, you can pulse the butter and flour together in a food processor.
- Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the cold vinegar-water mixture over the flour mixture. Use a gentle hand or wooden spoon to stir the water into the flour until just combined. If using a food processor, pulse a few more times, or until the dough begins to come together. If the dough seems dry, add more of the cold vinegar-water mixture, a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and easily squeeze it together without it falling apart.
- Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. (Dough keeps for up to 3 months in the freezer wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Thaw in refrigerator before using.)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees.
- On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out the pie crust into an oval about 15 x 6 inches and just under 1/4-inch thick. Use a paring knife or pastry cutter to trim any rough edges and move the parchment paper and crust to a baking sheet, preferably rimless. Dock the crust with a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much in the oven. Brush the surface of the crust from edge to edge with the egg wash.
- Bake until crust is deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Check on the crust halfway through baking; if any bubbles have appeared, use a spatula to press them flat. Cool the crust completely on the pan.
- Prepare the tart: While the crust is cooling, combine mascarpone and 2 tablespoons sugar. Hull the strawberries and cut them into 1/4-inch slices.
- Carefully slide the cooled crust off the baking sheet onto a serving platter or board. Spread mascarpone over the top in an even layer, dot with jam, then arrange sliced strawberries in a single, slightly overlapping layer in a decorative pattern. Sprinkle the tart with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. (Omit this final sprinkling if your strawberries are particularly sweet.) Slice and serve immediately.
Blueberry and Lemon-Cream Icebox Cake:
- 2 pints fresh blueberries, stemmed and rinsed
- 1/2 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup (available at larger grocery stores, on the baking aisle)
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 12 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 8 ounces graham crackers, or more as needed
- Confectioners' sugar, for serving
- Puree the blueberries in a food processor until smooth. Use a flexible spatula to push the puree through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing to extract as much as possible from the solids (discard them). There should be about 2 cups of strained puree. Return it to the food processor, along with the syrup and and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and blend until well incorporated. Reserve 1 cup as a sauce for serving; cover and refrigerate it.
- Add the mascarpone to the remaining blueberry mixture (in the food processor) and blend until the mixture becomes uniform and smooth.
- Combine the lemon zest, granulated sugar and heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low speed for about 1 minute, then on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- Use parchment paper to line the bottom and sides of the loaf pan (an initial light coating of cooking oil spray may help). Use an offset spatula to spread half of the blueberry-mascarpone mixture evenly in the bottom. Cover completely with the graham crackers, making a single layer that uses about one-quarter of the crackers; breaking them as needed.
- Next, use the spatula to spread half of the lemon whipped cream evenly over the graham cracker layer, then repeat with another graham cracker layer, the remaining blueberry mascarpone mixture, a graham cracker layer, the remaining lemon whipped cream and a final graham cracker layer. Compress very gently; the assembled cake should come to the top of the pan. Wrap in plastic wrap and weight with a heavy plate or pan. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to a day in advance.
- To serve, remove the weight and plastic wrap. Place a platter over the pan, then use both hands to invert the cake so it lands on the platter. Gently peel away the parchment paper and discard it.
- Whisk the reserved cup of blueberry puree so it becomes smooth and pourable. Drizzle some over each slice of cake, then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serve right away.
Lemon Blueberry BuckleAdapted from "Rustic Fruit Desserts" by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson.Crumb Topping:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, cubed, at room temperature
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter, using a fork or your fingers to cut in the butter until it is reduced to the size of peas. Loosely cover the bowl, and place it in the freezer while you mix the cake batter.
- Cake:6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided
- Crumb topping, chilled
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 6 tablespoons)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, three-fourths cup sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Stir the flour mixture into the bowl, a third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk, until both the flour mixture and buttermilk are evenly incorporated into the batter. Gently fold 1 cup of the blueberries into the batter.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and distribute the remaining blueberries evenly over the top of the batter. Remove the crumb topping from the freezer and sprinkle it over the berries.
- Bake the cake until it is lightly golden and firm on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through for even baking.
- While the cake is baking, make a lemon syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the remaining one-third cup sugar with the lemon juice and whisk until blended. Heat the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens to a syrupy consistency, 6 to 8 minutes. (The glaze will bubble while cooking and may need to be removed from the heat to check that it is the proper consistency.) Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.
- Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle the warm glaze over. Cool to room temperature. The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, covered in plastic wrap.