This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Marie of A Year in Oak Cottage: La Palette's Strawberry Tart. It's a tart lined with strawberry jam, then topped with fresh strawberries. It is so named after the café where Dorie first enjoyed it.
As I read about the recipe, I started thinking about how I could adapt it. The only "playing around" option that Dorie suggests is using different types of fruit in place of the strawberries. I love strawberries, though, so I knew I wanted to stick with the strawberries. Then I remembered the wonderful pastry cream from the brioche raisin snails and got the idea to add it to these tarts in place of the jam. And since I love chocolate covered strawberries, I thought the addition of a chocolate ganache would be perfect.
As I was waiting for the tarts and pastry cream to cool, I started flipping through the book... only to realize that the recipe following La Palette's Strawberry Tart is Dorie's "Quick Classic Berry Tart" which is basically what I had decided to make, just without the chocolate ganache! (Oops!) When I saw this, I knew that I had to at least make one tart into La Palette's Strawberry tart, otherwise I wouldn't really be making the chosen recipe at all.
Not a problem, as I do not own a 9" tart pan and had decided to make tartlets. I made a double recipe of Dorie's sweet tart dough, yielding six 4" tartlets and a 7" tart (a single recipe will yield four 4" tartlets).
We previously made the sweet tart dough for The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart so I knew that I wouldn't have any problems with it. If you find the edges of your tart beginning to brown too quickly, there are some tips on how to avoid that here.
So of the seven tarts I made, I used one of the 4" tartlets to make La Palette's Strawberry tart. Oddly enough, Dorie suggests embellishing the strawberries with some black pepper. I was a bit hesitant about this, but decided to trust Dorie and added just a touch of pepper. I have to admit that the pepper gave it an delightfully interesting undertone.
La Palette's Strawberry Tart
The strawberries in La Palette's Tart are supposed to be spooned on haphazardly. Dorie actually recommends cutting the crust into slices, then spooning the strawberries onto each slice. Since I was using tartlets, I did not do that, but I did kind of let the strawberries fall into place on the tart without worrying about their arrangement.
La Palette's Strawberry Tart
For the other tarts, however, I wanted a less rustic appearance. Being as indecisive as I am, I ended up decorating my tarts in a variety of ways. (And because of the number of different arrangements I created, this post is particularly dense in photos.)
With the exponential growth of the Tuesdays with Dorie group (over 200+ members now!), Laurie has understandably requested that, out of respect to Dorie, we no longer post the full recipe each week. It would take some time, but obviously Dorie's entire cookbook would be on our blogs if we continued to post the recipes each week. I've included the recipe for my pastry cream/ganache adaptation below. Since there are components of this recipe that we have previously made (and posted), I have included links to those below.
*Update: It's been decided that we will simply link to the recipe each week. If you're interested in this week's recipe, you can find it at Serious Eats.
Oh, and the secret to the even glaze on the strawberries? Jell-o. Yep, it's a trick my mom showed me. You prepare the Jell-o as directed and then as it firms up, use a pastry brush to glaze the strawberries. I prefer this to other glazes containing cornstarch.
Thanks again to Marie for choosing this week's recipe. It was a nice change from your traditional fruit tart, though I have to admit that I prefer the pastry cream and ganache combination :) Make sure you visit the TWD Blog Roll to see everyone's beautiful tarts this week.
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
1 1/2 cups Pastry Cream
8 four-inch tartlets made with 2 x Sweet Tart Dough
Chocolate Ganache (recipe below)
2 lbs fresh strawberries
0.75 ounces (1/4 package) of strawberry Jell-o gelatin
3 tablespoons of boiling water
5 tablespoons of cold water
To Assemble the Tart:
Spread about 1 tablespoon of chocolate ganache onto the bottom of the tart, refrigerate for approximately 5-10 minutes to allow it to firm up a bit. Next, spoon enough of the pastry cream into the tart crust to come almost to the rim, then even the surface with a spatula.
Arrange the strawberries on top of the pastry cream in any pattern you would like.
To Prepare the Glaze:
In a small bowl, stir 3 tablespoons of boiling water into the gelatin for approximately 2 minutes, or until completely dissolved. Refrigerate 5 minutes.
Gently add and stir in 5 tablespoons of cold water. Cover and refrigerate.
After the Jell-o has thickened but not completely hardened, use a pastry brush to spread the glaze evenly over all the strawberries. Refrigerate until the glaze is completely set.
Serve the tart as soon as the glaze has set. It is best served on the day it is made. If you need to keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours, make sure to keep it away from any foods with strong odors.
Yield: 8 tartlets
from the May Daring Baker's Challenge
3.5 ounces premium chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp. heavy cream
Melt the chocolate and heavy cream in a small saucepan. Stir to ensure that it’s smooth and that the chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool completely.