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Tasty, Tangy, and “Uncomplicated” Spring Tart

Tasty, Tangy, and “Uncomplicated” Spring Tart

May 21, 2012
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butter, flour, tart

When I’m talking about cooking or baking with friends, I often hear them say, "I don’t like baking, it’s too complicated" or "I don’t make anything with a crust, it never turns out right." I sympathize with their frustrations; I have made many pie crusts and baked goods that have turned out too dry, too doughy, or went straight to the trash. The good news is I keep trying, and am especially excited when I find a recipe that turns out well!

This past weekend, I needed to make a dessert for a party. I wanted to make something spring-y and fresh, and that looked nice (maybe even a little fancy). I found a recipe for Strawberry Lemon Tart , it seemed perfect for a spring dessert and not too complicated (the recipe involves making a crust – I think this crust is easier to make than a pie crust.

To start the recipe, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Gather your ingredients for the crust. I usually use unsalted butter for baking because most recipes don't need the additional salt (from salted butter). I like to have control the amount of salt I'm using, I can always add a pinch if I feel like the recipe needs it. As a general rule, once you have too much salt in a recipe, it's almost impossible to "fix" it.

tart, ingredients, crust

Cut the butter into smaller pieces.

sliced, butter, chunks

In a small bowl, combine the flour, the sugar and salt.

Next, cut in the butter (mix in with a fork or pastry blender)

butter, flour, pastry blender

Combine until mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Add an egg yolk.

coarse crumbs, flour, butter

Stir in just enough water until your mix is moistened and you can form the dough into a ball.

dough, ball, crust

Use a rolling pin to roll out your dough between two pieces of wax paper (I didn’t have a 9-inch square tart pan so I used my 9-inch round tart pan). No matter what shape your tart pan is, it should have a removable bottom.

Roll the dough into an 11-inch square (for a square pan) or an 11-inch circle (for a circle pan).

roll, dough, waxed paper

Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Place the dough into the tart pan (dough side facing the pan) and peel off the waxed paper.

Press the dough into the pan and trim off any excess (any dough hanging over the side of the pan). If the dough in the pan is torn, use some of the excess to give it a "patch."

dough, tart, pan

Prick the sides and the bottom of the dough with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until slightly browned.

Set crust aside to cool.

crust, baked, cool

While the crust is cooling, gather the ingredients for the filling.

filling, tart, ingredients

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Take the pan off the heat.

tart, filling, saucepan

Stir half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. By adding a small amount of hot liquid at a time, this will ensure that you don’t scramble the eggs.

egg, temper, bowl

Return mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and thickens (usually 2 to 3 minutes). Remove from the heat and add butter.

tart, filling, boil

Once the pan has cooled a little, cover it with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

When you are ready to serve your tart, slice the strawberries.

strawberries, sliced, cutting board

Spread filling into crust.

filling, tart, crust

Arrange strawberries on top of the filling.

strawberries, filling, tart

For the final step, melt the currant jelly in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the strawberries. If you can’t find currant jelly at your grocery store, you can substitute with strawberry or raspberry jelly.

jelly, brush, tart

The tart turned out great and it "disappeared" at the party. The crust was perfect and the filling was a nice mix of tart and sweet flavors. I’m adding this recipe to my collection and will make it again, maybe with different fruits on top (depending on what is in season). This summer, I will try the tart with raspberries, blueberries, and maybe plums...AND, I’m going to recommend it to my "baking hesitant" friends!

Are you scared of pie crusts? Give this Strawberry Lemon Tart a try, and see for yourself how easy it really is. Make sure to come back and let me know how it turns out for you.

Check back in a few days when Alex will share a delicious burger recipe.

Bridget is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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