Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Strawberry Tart

It may seem weird for somebody who has a food blog, but I don't really enjoy hosting fancy dinner parties at my house.  It's so stressful to me!  My bathrooms have to be clean (with 3 kids they are always filthy), I have to clean the kitchen while still trying to cook dinner, I have to wear makeup and shoes at home, I have to make sure there are enough plates and utensils clean (again, 3 kids use a lot of spoons and forks and ours are always dirty),  AND you have to act like it was all so easy!!

But what I do enjoy is having small groups of friends over.  The kinds of friends who know where to find a hand towel if one is missing from the bathroom, and the kind who say, "oh, why don't we just use paper plates?"  and then when you insist on regular plates, help you with the dishes.  Last night we had some of our good friends over for dinner; such good friends that I served them sandwiches! :)

Actually, BLTs with vine ripe tomatoes, fresh bakery bread I picked up at the Sunday morning Farmers' Market at the Botanical Gardens, Arkansas Petit Jean bacon, arugula, and garlic aioli.  Here's the recipe, just leave off the egg. Or use it. It's really good both ways.


We also had the Watermelon Pineapple Salsa I talked about yesterday, and a Strawberry Tart that is one of my summer staples.  You can make the crust early in the day and assemble the tart at the last minute, so your kitchen will stay cool.  

Summer Strawberry Tart
Crust:
1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream (I had to use skim milk and it was fine)

In a food processor, blend the flour, sugar and salt.  Add the butter and pulse until it looks like coarse meal.  Add the egg yolk and the cream/milk and pulse until the dough comes together and begins to form a ball. 

Flatten the dough into a 6-inch disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes. (I also had to skip this step and it turned out fine.  So do it if you have time, if not, it will be okay.)

Preheat oven to 375°.
Press the dough into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  
Reduce oven temperature to 375°. Bake 20 minutes.
Prick the crust lightly all over with a fork and return to the oven. Bake 10-15 minutes more until the crust is light golden brown but is still soft to the touch.  Cool crust before filling.

Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer or food processor until smooth.  Mix in
sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix well.
Spread on top of cooled crust and top with berries.