Chocolate Strawberry Tart

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.

Ingredients

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

Topping

  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Directions

  • 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.

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.