Chocolate Strawberry Tart

I was going to post this yesterday, but never got around to it. I have felt especially busy the last few days. Plus, my husband, who is a baseball fanatic, has been watching the College World Series and has gotten me into it as, too much time watching baseball and not enough time doing other things!!

This tart was made from 3 recipes in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. This is quickly becoming my baking bible. I knew I wanted to make something with strawberries, and I thought about doing a cheesecake, but I wanted to use a tart pan that I had purchased awhile back and have never used. So I thought about doing a lemon tart topped with strawberries (that I still want to do sometime) but I didn't have the 4 hours that the lemon filling needed to be refrigerated for. What else goes better with strawberries??? Chocolate, of course!!

These strawberries are from my in-laws garden. They are the sweetest, juiciest strawberries that I have ever eaten. We had already gone through 2 batches of them, and this was the third. They weren't quite as ripe as the previous ones were, but they were still wonderful!! They are a lot smaller than the berries that I usually purchase, but the size worked very well for the tart.

I usually try to give away a lot of our desserts when I make them. We'll each have a piece, save one for later, and give the rest away. That didn't happen with this tart!! My husband and I finished the whole thing (minus one piece given to my brother in law.) Maybe that's why my pants feel tighter this week!!

All recipes are from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Chocolate Shortbread Tart Dough

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 stick plus 1 T. (9 T) very cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, cocoa powder confectioners sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in - you should have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly and sparingly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. Press the dough into the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes before baking. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon.

Vanilla Pastry Cream

2 c. whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 T. unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk - this will temper the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder or the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold, or if you want to cool it quickly, put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze

4 ounces chocolate, chopped finely (I used semi-sweet)
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 T. sugar
2 T. water

Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream, sugar and water to a full boil, then pour the liquid over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds. Working with a whisk or rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting at the center of the bowl and working your way out in increasingly larger concentric circles.


I won't include how I put everything together - I think it's pretty self explanatory from the picture. Let me know if you have any questions.

I don't have a food processor, so I was a little worried about the making the tart dough. But it came together nicely with some elbow grease and a pastry cutter. It took a little longer than a food processor would have, but it tasted great!!

The chocolate ganache glaze makes a lot more than you will need to just drizzle on the top of the tart - but believe me, you won't have a hard time finding other uses for it!! My original plan was not even to use the ganache, but the tart looked like it was missing something, so I threw it on last minute. I'm really glad I did - it really adds a lot to the look and the taste!

If you don't already own a copy of Dorie's book, I highly recommend getting it if you like to bake sweets. Her recipes are so easy to follow and she makes everything very easy to do. It's not overwhelming like some cookbooks are. I think both beginner and expert bakers would equally love this book!

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