Strawberry Rye Tart

Strawberry Rye TartStrawberry Fields Forever
I planted my summer garden the weekend we got back from our Spring Break trip and already the plants are getting big.

I chose to move my garden closer to the house this year for a few reasons. The first is that with our busy schedule it is easier to remember to water the plants if the droopy garden is staring you in the face.

The second reason is chickens. My chickens will eat my entire garden if I let them—not just the bugs. Tomatoes are their favorite with peppers a close second.

The last and probably the most important reason is that having my veggies in a planter box by the side of my patio forces me to only grow the stuff that we will actually eat. I have a tendency to over-plant because I find it fun to share the wealth with others who love home grown veggies but don’t like to garden (or can’t because of space). My husband doesn’t see it the way I do. He just sees waste—and he may have a very tiny point. So I limited myself to four tomatoes, a bell pepper, green beans, cucumbers, and snap peas.

However, our plans went sideways because I took my daughter with me on the trip to the nursery. She is my gardening partner-in-crime and a bit of a bad influence. When she gets excited about growing something, I have a hard time saying no. This is how I ended up with two square planters full of strawberries…

Assuming I can keep the kids from devouring them off the vine, the potential for a lot of strawberries means that I have been looking for something other than shortcakes, jams, or pies as a way to use them.

This recipe came up in two different searches on two different websites. I couldn’t escape it. So I had to try it—if only because I was intrigued by the rye flour. The original recipe called for vanilla sugar in the mascarpone. I decided to use regular sugar and the seeds from one vanilla bean because I love that vanilla flavor. I also substituted honey for the sugar in the mascarpone because it tastes like spring.

Strawberry Rye Tart
Adapted from King Arthur Flour 

For the Crust
1 1/3 cups rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water
1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash

For the Filling
1 cup mascarpone
3 tablespoons honey
Seeds from one vanilla bean
2 3/4 cups small sweet strawberries
3 tablespoons high-quality strawberry jam

Prepare the Crust
This is best to do the day before so it has plenty of time to rest in the fridge, but can be done as little as two hours before.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt together.

Cut the butter into 1/2″ cubes.

Combine the apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup of the ice water.

Working quickly, add the butter to the flour and toss to coat. Then use your fingers or the palms of your hands to press each cube of butter into a flat sheet. Keep tossing the butter in the flour as you go to make certain that each butter piece remains coated with flour. The idea is to create flat, thin shards of butter that range from about the size of a dime to about the size of a quarter.

Sprinkle about 6 tablespoons of the cold vinegar/water mixture over the flour mixture. Use a gentle hand or wooden spoon to stir the water into the flour until just combined. If the dough seems dry, add more cold water a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have enough water when a handful of the dough can be easily squeezed together without falling apart.

Press the dough together, shape it into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 2 hours (but preferably overnight).

Preheat the oven to 400°F and position a rack in the center of the oven.

On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll the pastry disk into an circle just under 1/4″ thick. Use a paring knife or pastry cutter to trim away any rough edges and move the parchment sheet and crust to a baking sheet or shallow tart pan. Prick the crust all over with a fork to prevent it from puffing up in the oven.

Brush the surface of the crust from edge to edge with the egg wash. Bake the crust until it’s deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Check it halfway through baking and if any bubbles have appeared, use a spatula to press them flat. Cool the crust completely on the pan.

Prepare the Filling
While the crust is cooling, combine the mascarpone and 2 tablespoons of the honey and the vanilla seeds.

Hull the strawberries and cut them into 1/4″ slices.

Assemble the Tart
Move the cooled crust onto your serving platter and spread the mascarpone mixture over the top in an even layer. Dot the mascarpone with the jam, then have fun arranging the sliced strawberries in a single overlapping, decorative layer.

Drizzle the tart with the remaining tablespoon of honey. Slice the tart and serve immediately.


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