Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Week of Strawberries - Part III

Strawberry Tarts

Strawberry season has just about come and gone, but I have these pictures to remember the time fondly.

Strawberry Tarts

Spring in North Carolina is a glorious thing - especially when you have fruits this gorgeous to look forward to every year.

Strawberry Tarts

Yes - they tasted as good as they looked. Several were consumed fresh from the farm (with a quick rinse, of course.) Cash had a few bites. I had several bites. And maybe a little sugar was involved, but a little sugar never hurt anybody, now did it?

Strawberry Tarts

Time consuming? Yes. Tasty? Oh yes. Beautiful? Goes without saying.

Strawberry Tarts

Martha came through for me as (almost) always. Her pate brisee is one of the best I've found, save for a bit of shrinking, which is where the lattice came in handy because it helped hold these little beauties together.

Strawberry Tarts

This is a repeat of last year's strawberry pie post - almost. I omitted the butter in the filling, and I used only 1/4 of a cup of sugar this time because I wanted the strawberry taste to shine. This dough is so rich - all of that butter! - that the tang of the strawberries really sets it off. Everyone who took a bite said they appreciated the pie being a bit less sweet and a bit more fresh-tasting.

Fresh strawberries. One of Earth's true delights. And another reason to look forward to spring!

Fresh Strawberry Pie (Printer-friendly version)

Pate Brisee (Pie Crust)
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Printer-friendly version

Makes 1 double-crust pie or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pies.

Ingredients
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Directions
1. In a large bowl combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter, and using pastry blender or two knives, cut it into flour until butter is in pea-sized pieces.
2. Add one tablespoon of ice water, and stir with a fork until dough comes together in a ball. If you need more water, add it one tablespoon at a time. Try to handle the dough as little as possible; if you lose your bits of butter you'll reduce the flakiness of the crust.
3. Divide dough into two balls, flatten them, and wrap them in plastic. Chill in refrigerator at least an hour, or freeze dough up to a month.