Until about a month ago, I counted myself among the clever ones who had discovered the pre-made, rollout pie crusts in the refrigerator section. The thought of actually starting from scratch was fraught with peril — and for no reason that I cared to look into. Then two things happened: There wasn’t room on the list for prepackaged pie crusts; and I watched Ina Garten zap a little butter and flour together in a food processor and make it look downright doable. I got the guts to give it a try, and YES, it’s doable. A tart crust is the same basic concept as a pie crust, just denser, richer and not as flaky. This Chocolate Strawberry Tart is an invention that stemmed from hankering to give a tart crust a try, combined with a hunch that Bill and our dinner guests would probably prefer a dessert that did not include flax.
For the crust
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp raw sugar ground to a fine powder in a coffee or herb grinder
- 8 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp cold water
For the filling
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1 cup raw sugar ground to a fine powder in a coffee or herb grinder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 Tbsp. half and half
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Measure flour, sugar and salt into a food processor fitted with a large, steel blade. Cut the butter into about 16 pieces and add to the dry ingredients.
- Pulse just until the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles flakes of oatmeal.
- Continue pulsing and slowing pour in 2 Tbsp of water. Process for a few more seconds until the dough is damp enough to form a ball. Add a few more drops of water if necessary.
- Pat the dough onto a floured work surface and roll out until it is large enough for your tart pan. (Because the filling for this recipe is not very deep, I opted for a free-form tart without the pan, and simply raised the edges.)
- Prick the bottom of the tart shell with a fork and line the shell with a double thickness of aluminium foil that has also been poked with a few holes.
- Bake the crust at 425 for 10 minutes.
- Cool before adding chocolate filling.
- Slowly melt butter in in small, heavy saucepan
- Add chocolate and raw sugar that has been ground to a fine powder. Whisk briskly.
- Chop 1/3 cup of strawberries and mash into chocolate.
- Allow the chocolate to cool slightly.
- Spread chocolate mixture into cooled tart crust
- Top with sliced, fresh strawberries
- Chill before serving.