Recently my tot and I went strawberry picking at Andrew’s Scenic Acres and brought home quite a haul of ripe red strawberries. They were the kind of ripe that you could eat that day, but would need to make something with the day after and while the kid wanted strawberry cake I thought it is time to branch out a wee bit. After a fair bit of googling I used this strawberry filling and this beloved tart crust and created a little piece of strawberry heaven. I am so excited about how this turned out that I am debating making it again tomorrow because I only have a quarter of it left right now. Yes, I have a problem.
The strawberry filling has been edited a little and I am writing out my version below. The crust is a no knead just press one (my favourite kind) that I simply adore because tricky pie crusts on hot summer days really are not my thing. I had made the filling a day and crust a day before and so today I just put it all together and I do not know what I enjoyed more – the bubbly strawberry aroma that wafted through my kitchen or the incredible sweet yet tart taste of the filling enveloped in its buttery crust. Actually who am I kidding – clearly eating it is the best part!
1 cup strawberries (set aside the more ripe ones for mashing)
¾ cup water or more if needed
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp salt
2 cups sliced or diced strawberries
9 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp almond extract
½ tsp lemon extract
(note: use whatever extract you have handy)
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Coarse sugar for sprinkling on top
Please note that I wound up using only 2/3 of the filling, I am sure I can come up with something to do with the other 1/3 🙂
First of all mash up 1 cup of strawberries, I roughly chopped them in to a measuring cup and then took a fork to them.
Combine the mashed strawberries and water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, simmer for 3 minutes. Strain the ‘juice’ into a measuring cup and discard the pulp. Add just enough water to make a full cup.
Next put the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, zest and salt into the saucepan along with the strained juice and bring it to a boil, stirring it constantly till clear and thick – 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add in the strawberries.
Preheat oven to 375.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add egg, egg yolk and your extracts of choice. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients, just until the mixture just comes together.
Measure out 11 ounces (300g), which is about 2/3rd of the dough if you don’t have a scale, pat it into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and chill it. Take the remaining dough and roll it into a log about 2-inches (5cm) in diameter, wrap it and chill it, too. Just FYI I had my proportions off this time by which I mean I apportioned too much dough to the crust and did not have enough to cover the top. Turned out well, but next time I will be extra careful.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to room temperature slightly. With the heel of your hand, press the dough into the bottom and sides of an unbuttered removable bottom tart pan (one that’s 9″ or 10″, 24cm), or springform pan, patting it evenly. Spread the filling evenly over the dough.
Remove the log of dough from the refrigerator and slice in cookie-sized disks, then lay them over the filling. Top very generously with lots of coarse raw sugar, at least 2 tablespoons. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool before slicing and serving.
I made a very lightly sweetened whipped cream and topped it with some lemon zest. Perfection.