Internet, there are some things that I just know about myself from having existed on this planet for almost 26 years. Things like, I can’t do a back flip on a trampoline no matter how long I’m on there, jumping up and down, saying, ok, on the next jump I’m doing it. And there are things that other people know about me too. Like, if I’m nearing the end of eating a salad and I’ve saved one of each component of the salad for the last bite, and you steal one such component, I will be seriously pissed. Then there are things I know about the world, like if you wear a white shirt and decide it’s a really stellar idea to cut strawberries in said shirt, you are asking, BEGGING, to be sprayed with strawberry juice.
And yet, here we are. Me in a white shirt, strawberry juice now firmly attached to the side of it, like a little red koala. It’s not that I didn’t know it would happen, internet. It’s just that I don’t listen. I’m not smart. I just do things and, despite what I know about my own sloppiness, I think this time it won’t happen. This time, I’ll do that back flip.
Which isn’t all bad, internet. Because impetuousness often results in trying new things on a whim, without having much time to judge and talk myself out of things. But, you know, it’s also how I ended up standing in Cold Stone with a tablespoon full of cinnamon in my mouth, damning the moment I decided I was brave enough to take the Cold Stone Fear Factor Challenge. No really, have you ever tried to eat a tablespoon full of cinnamon? It’s like inviting 5 cats to fight to the death in your throat.
But then there’s this tart, which I decided to make not knowing if we had any of the ingredients aside from the strawberries I had bought the day before at the Davis Farmer’s Market. Now, the law of the universe says that I should get halfway through and realize I don’t have something major, like sugar. But sometimes the world is kind to me. Sometimes I get thrown a proverbial bone.
And so this tart went off kind of without incident, minus my ruined shirt and a minor strawberry juice explosion in the oven. And, my god, the strawberries were amazing. They’re the kind of strawberries you bite into and say, oh yeah, that’s what a strawberry tastes like.
So what have we learned today? Well, I guess we’ve learned that…I’ll never learn. But learning that about myself is still learning, right? So what if I’m one day 50 years old, jumping up and down on my trampoline, saying to myself, ok, on 3….
Rustic Strawberry Tart
Adapted from Cooking Light by Kristin at TheKitchenSinkRecipes.com
1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces, divided
3 1/2 tablespoons ice water
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoons corn starch
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoons raw sugar
To prepare crust, lightly spoon 1 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1 cup flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; cut in 3 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water; stir just until moist. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface; knead lightly 5 times. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Place each dough portion between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; roll each dough portion, still covered, into an 8-inch circle. Chill 20 to 30 minutes (until the plastic wrap peels easily away from the dough).
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice, corn starch and salt. Stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 350°. Uncover dough; place dough circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange half of the strawberries in a pinwheel pattern in one of the dough circles, starting in the middle and forming concentric circles of strawberries, leaving a 2-inch border. Repeat with the second dough circle and remaining berries. Dot each of the tarts with the remaining 1 tbsp of butter.
Fold up the edges of the dough circles over the berries, crimping to seal. Lightly brush the pastry with the beaten egg white. Sprinkle the two rounds with the raw sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.