Friday, February 10, 2006

Strawberry Tarts

About mid-February, early March I start eyeing the berries and melons in the grocery store. I know deep in my heart that they are not good, they are at best acceptable. The salivatory glands do not remember this. They remember the heady sweetness of summer berries, the refreshing juicyness of a cold watermelon on a hot July day. Thus far it has been easy to pass them by. I think they had the loan applications instead of price tags for the blueberries last I looked. Until yesterday, my mind had been closed to the possibility of strawberries until may at the soonest. Then mom came by and brought a carton of strawberries with her.

Wow. I knew they would not be the best, but they were darn good for February. The Infant ate 5 in rapid succession. I picked her up and smelled her sweet strawberry breath and was done in. I bought more at the store today. If I do not gorge myself on them (a big if) I plan on making the following recipe, which will boost even the saddest strawberries to dizzying heights.

Strawberry Tart

1 9 inch baked tart shell (or pie crust. I am really tempted to use Emeril's almond one here
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
pinch salt
1 cup apple juice
3-4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

In medium saucepan blend sugar, salt and cornstarch then mix in applejuice combining thouroughly. Cook over medium heat until thickened, then allow to cool. Take 1/3 cooled glaze and spread it over bottom of tart, place sliced strawberries on top then cover with remaining glaze. Chill for two hours. Serve with:

Clotted Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar

Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form then fold in sourcream and sugar. Refrigerate until used. Yum!

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