This is a nice, light, delicious dessert for the summer – easy to make and easier to finish-off.
It can also be adapted for any other soft fruits in season such as raspberries, cherries or blueberries.
Level: Very Easy
Preparation Time: about 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 to 15 minutes
Makes 1 Tart – 6 Servings
230g plain flour
80g soft butter (unsalted)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
100ml crÃ¨me fraÃ®che
100g Icing sugar
Zest of 1 lemon or lime
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 or two small leaves of rosemary, finely chopped (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
For the sweet pastry:
Preheat the oven to 220Â°c gas mark 7/8.
Put the flour in a bowl with the butter cut into small lumps and the tablespoon of caster sugar, work together quickly until it becomes like fine breadcrumbs (this can also be done in a mixer at low speed or on pulse).
Do not work the mixture too much. Add 2 or three tablespoons of cold water just to roughly bind the mixture, but it should NOT form a ball as most pastries do.
Put the mix on a silicon sheet or a sheet of cling film and roll out – transfer to a 24cm round baking tin – push the pastry evenly around the edges and up the sides. Don’t worry if the mixture appears dry – this is normal, it should not be like shortcrust pastry, but a light buttery, sweet pastry.
Prick the bottom with a fork and bake blind for 15 minutes, until lightly brown. You can protect the edges of the pastry from overcooking before the base is cooked by covering with strips of tin foil.
When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Wash and remove the stalks from the strawberries, pat dry before putting into a bowl, sprinkle a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper (not too much though), a tablespoon of caster sugar, the finely chopped rosemary and the balsamic vinegar – stir well and leave in the fridge for 10 minutes. The balsamic vinegar and the pepper really brings out the taste and juices of the strawberries and will not be discernible when eaten – just an intense flavour of strawberries will be achieved.
Mix the ricotta with the crÃ¨me fraÃ®che, the icing sugar and the grated zest of a lemon.
Put the strawberries into the pastry base, cover with the cream mix, level with a spatula, decorate with mint leaves or a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Put in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving
Serve accompaned by a Blaquette de Limoux, Clairette de Die, or a Champagne demi-sec.
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