Light and fresh, this would be the perfect centerpiece to a picnic! Just give me a gingham cloth and let’s go find a lake. # 71 Summer Strawberry Pistachio Tart
The farmers market down by Lake Merritt is quickly becoming my favorite Saturday market! Not only do they have amazing food to nom on while you walk around, but they have dozens of options for fruit, veggies, cheese and bread. I’m so excited to get inspired for more summer fruit bakes while wandering between the booths, probably munching on a sesame-covered red bean bun.
This week, the strawberries were calling my name. Or my nose really – they were so ripe I could actually smell the sweet scent from a few booths away. I also got some cherries, which might turn into my favorite hand pies later this week. Yum!
Guys, I did it again. I succumbed to the shiny glory that is the baking tin section at Sur La Table. (It’s the last store you walk through in the Ferry Building before you leave to catch your ferry – how sneaky is that?) The array of different shapes and sizes is just amazing! This rectangular tart pan won my heart and got to come home with me. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I try really hard to not buy one-use items for my kitchen. But then a wall full of baking tins comes along…
While this is simple in terms of technique, I went a little crazy with ingredients. Originally, it was just going to be strawberries and a sweet mascarpone. But then I remembered I had one Cara Cara orange (half grapefruit, half orange – so cool) and a handful of pistachios left from last week’s grocery haul. I couldn’t help myself. Any possibility that pistachios could work in a bake, I just can’t resist.
The key to successfully using a 2 LB roll of Amish butter (yep, it’s a thing. Thanks to my sister for bringing one to me from her local store in Sacramento!) is to have an kitchen scale that can switch from grams to ounces. I hacked off butter, chunk by chunk until I got to 4 oz on the scale.
It never looks like it’s going to bake into one piece, does it? It’s the consistency of sand and yet, it molds well in tart pans. Go figure. I danced around the internet for proportional guidance and landed on an almost even ratio of flour to butter (maybe a tad extra flour) and a 1:4 ratio for sugar to flour. And a pinch of salt, of course! But as you can see, super easy with just 4 ingredients.
It’s like a day at the beach, except we’re building tart crust instead of castles. I could be down to try making a sand castle out of crust. With blueberry coulis for the moat and a pistachio-encrusted dragon? Let’s do it!!
The only downside to this adorable new pan is that the edges are quite sharp. I got several tiny cuts on my fingers because I gripped it too hard while rinsing it off. Be warned.
I really only ever use mascarpone cheese for tiramisu. It’s like a creamier (and better) cream cheese. I whipped orange zest and sugar into it to make it sweet and bright to compliment the strawberries.
Oh hello, pistachios!
The longest part was slicing the strawberries into “even” pieces. If you can’t get it even, then call it rustic and eat it with extra gusto.