It seems a tad unfair to compare a medieval strawberry tart recipe to my granny’s famous pies, but I can’t help it. Anytime I take a bite of pie I compare it to hers. The problem is that no pie crust is ever as flaky and tasty as hers; I’m always left a little disappointed. Now I’m not trying to discourage you from making this recipe, quite the contrary.
Last week I had promised a girlfriend that I would make her a recipe from the blog Inn at the Crossroads she had shared with me (insert pat on the back for being a good friend.) Although you may think that we were a little over indulgent, I take it as a good sign that we each had two pieces, and contemplated a third.
The crust is flaky and a little like the consistency of melt-in-your-mouth shortbread. Make sure you add the thyme, it adds a savoury depth and shouldn’t be left out. If it were strawberry season I would definitely use them fresh. Unfortunately all the strawberries I’ve ever eaten out of season have been tasteless with the consistency of what I imagine cardboard would feel like in my mouth. I used strawberries I bought this summer from the local farmers market and kept in my freezer. They still had the sweetness of July.
I have to be honest, I couldn’t taste the lemon curd. Maybe I didn’t add enough. Or maybe the thyme and the strawberries stole all my attention. Either way, I’ll add it next time, but I’ll just add more. It’s really just an excuse to make and eat more tangy lemon curd.
With Valentine’s Day coming up my mind has been drifting to red and pink and heart shaped food. That’s normal, right? I think this would be oh so awesome shaped into a heart. If you decide to make this a heart-shaped medieval strawberry tart, can you take a pic and send it to me? I’d love to see it!
- Pastry: 1¼ cups flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- ½ cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
- 1-3 tablespoons ice water
- Filling: 3-6 tablespoons lemon curd
- 4 cups strawberries, unthawed if frozen
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Whisk together flour, salt and thyme. Add butter and mix with your finger tips, a pastry cutter or in a food processor just until it it resembles course crumbs. Add enough ice water to bring the dough together
- Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap or a tea towel and refrigerate for at least half an hour
- Combine strawberries with sugar, flour and lemon juice. Set aside
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry ball into a 9″ circle. Spread lemon curd leaving 1″ around the edge. Arrange strawberries overtop. Fold up edges of pastry to keep in the strawberries
- Bake on an un-greased, preferably edgeless baking sheet, at a 400F for 25 minutes, or till the edges are light brown and the centre is bubbling. Remove from oven and try not to dig in for at least 15 minutes