Bursting with strawberry flavor, this Strawberry Tart is loaded with fresh strawberries floating atop a melt-in-your-mouth pate sucrée crust.
Pate sucrée (pronounced pat-sue-cray). Ever heard of it? It’s a sweet dough used as a sturdy yet tender base for tarts. I’ve never had anything like it and when I made it for this Strawberry Tart, I had such a hard time finding the words to describe it.
So, after Warren devoured a slice, I asked him to describe the crust. And, I stumped him. He suggested I turn to the interwebs to see how other experts describe it. So, I did. I turned to Serious Eats who describes it as having the “crumbly texture of a buttery sable cookie…and…tastes like shortbread but is able to support even the heaviest filling without falling to pieces.” Spot on! And, Joy of Baking says it’s, “rich and sweet pastry with a crisp cookie-like texture”. Right again!
Not to mention, the dough handles like a dream. It rolls easily and isn’t too sticky.
With the arrival of spring, and summer on the horizon, filling the pate sucrée with a strawberry filling seemed fitting. The filling is made on the stove-top with just a few ingredients. The heat basically does all the work, breaking down the strawberries and releasing all the juices.
I thought that the Strawberry Tart was so beautiful and can be equally enjoyed as a casual dessert or for a special occasion, say Mother’s Day.
One last note. Although you can make all of it in one day, I like to make the dough for the crust the night before and let it chill in the fridge overnight. Then, the next morning all you have to do is roll it out and make the filling.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 3 tablespoons water
- 5 cups strawberries, quartered
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Make the dough by adding the sugar, butter, salt, baking powder and flour to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until pea-sized crumbs form, about 20 pulses.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks, egg, and vanilla. Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl and pour in the egg mixture. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir together until shaggy dough forms. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together, but is not too sticky (you may not need all 3 tablespoons).
Form a disc with the dough, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Meanwhile, make the filling by adding 3 cups of strawberries to a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the sugar, vanilla, and flour. Continuously stir until the mixture comes to a boil. The strawberries will soften and juices will be released.
Once boiled, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the remaining strawberries and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature. While cooling, preheat oven to 375°F.
Remove the baking sheet and tart pan from the refrigerator and fill the chilled crust with the cooled filling, up to about 1/4-inch from the top. Bake with the baking sheet for 50 to 55 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
Let cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, remove the rim by placing the pan on top of a tall can or container. The border will just fall off. If not, gently tap the top of the border’s edge until it falls off.
Lightly adapted from Sift Spring 2017.
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