Strawberry Jewel Tart
Tips: June is the height of strawberry season. When strawberries
are at their best, so is this dessert, which consists of an easy
crumb crust baked in a tart shell, a quick-to-make creamy filling,
a layer of strawberries, and a deep red glaze over the berries that
shines with a ruby glow. Pretty as a picture!
To make this, you'll need a 9-1/2 inch diameter by 1 inch high
round, fluted tart mold. You'll also need a hand-held electric mixer.
If you haven't worked with mascarpone before, it's similar to cream
cheese, but softer, smoother, and richer. The brand I can find most
often is Bel Gioioso, made in Wisconsin, and it works very well
in this recipe (of course, if you want to use imported Italian mascarpone,
that's fine, too). The strawberries you choose should be the best
you can find, as ripe and unbruised as possible. Smaller berries
make the tart easier to cut, serve, and eat, but they are not always
easy to come by these days. Once made, this tart must chill for
at least 30 minutes (uncovered), but it will only hold up for 4
to 6 hours maximum. Note also that the appearance will be best if
the whole tart is served at one time.
- 1-1/3 lightly packed cups chocolate wafer crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 pints fresh strawberries, preferably small in size
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar
- 1 Tbsp. orange liqueur
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup red currant jelly
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line
a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Assemble a 9-1/2 inch diameter
by 1 inch deep tart mold, and place on the foil-lined cookie sheet.
In medium bowl, combine chocolate wafer crumbs and sugar. With
spoon, mix well. Add melted butter and mix thoroughly.
Use about 2/3 of the crumb mixture to form a crust on the sides
of the tart mold, pushing it into the flutes of the mold with the
back of a spoon or your fingers. My crusts usually extend slightly
above the edges of the mold, because they often slide down somewhat
while the crust bakes (easy to correct, by the way). Compact the
remaining crust mixture on the bottom of the tart mold. Try not
to have crust too thick where bottom and sides meet.
Bake crust in preheated oven for 8 minutes, turning back-to-front
once after about 4 minutes. Remove from oven; carefully remove tart
mold (with crust still inside) to cooling rack. If the crust sides
slide down while the crust bakes, correct this immediately, while
the crust is still very hot. Use the back of a small spoon to force
the crust mixture up the sides again. If this results in any holes
in the bottom of the crust, it's easy to push some of the hot crust
mixture over the bottom to patch them. Don't drive yourself too
crazy over this; just get the sides high and reasonably even. Cool
the crust completely before filling it.
When the crust has cooled completely, carefully pop off the sides
of the tart mold. You can remove the bottom of the tart mold now,
too, if you're very careful, but I usually leave it on. Either way,
place the cooled crust on a flat, round serving platter (not a dark-colored
platter) of at least 9-1/2 inches in diameter.
Quickly wash the berries in cold water. Remove the green hulls.
Drain thoroughly on several thicknesses of paper towelling and pat
as dry as possible; let stand at room temperature on the paper towelling
while you prepare the filling.
In medium bowl, combine mascarpone, confectioners' sugar, and orange
liqueur. With hand-held electric mixer, beat at lowest speed until
blended. Scrape bowl and beater(s) well with rubber spatula. Beat
mascarpone mixture again at a low speed until perfectly smooth.
At lowest speed, gradually add heavy cream. When all cream has
been added, again scrape bowl and beater(s) with rubber spatula
thoroughly. Beat at lowest speed until smooth, then increase speed
to medium and beat until mixture is at soft peak stage. Do not overbeat
or mixture will appear curdled.
Pile mascarpone mixture into cooled tart shell; spread as evenly
as possible. One at a time, dry each strawberry, remove the tougher
inner "core" and any soft or bruised spots with a small
sharp knife, and place the berry, hull side down, on top of the
filling. Start with one berry in the middle of the tart, then work
outward in concentric circles. When you get close to the edge of
the filling, you may have to halve or quarter the berries so they'll
fit onto the fillingOK. You'll see some of the white filling
showing between berries, which is fine. As soon as you're done with
the strawberries, prepare the glaze.
In small, heavy-bottomed, nonaluminum saucepan over low heat, melt
jelly. Stir occasionally until jelly comes to a boil, then remove
With a soft pastry brush, glaze the entire top of the tart, taking
care to coat the surfaces of the strawberries as thoroughly as possible.
Place the tart in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes
before serving. Remember, this will only hold for a maximum of 4
to 6 hours.
To serve, remove tart from refrigerator. If you didn't remove
the bottom of the tart mold earlier, cut slices with a plastic knife
so you won't scratch it.
Yield: 8 servings
© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information
to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you
may not: distribute the text to others without the express written
permission of Stephanie Zonis; mirror or include this
information on your own server or documents without my permission;
modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies
of the information for your own personal use; store the files on
your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext
documents on this server from your own documents.