*Note: My Internet was out since 9:00 this morning and I just got back online about 15 minutes ago! My apologies for posting this so late. It couldn’t be helped.
I have to admit that I wasn’t all too excited to make this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, La Palette’s Strawberry Tart. Not because I have anything against strawberry tarts. I happen to like them very much. And not because I don’t think it’s a good recipe, because it is a very good one. The reason for my reluctance is because of the timing of this challenge. Here in Florida, strawberry season has been over for months. The only fresh strawberries we have access to are shipped in from California. California strawberries are undeniably tasty, but we don’t usually get the really good, ripe and sweet ones until later in the season.
I thought about what other fresh fruits I might substitute in this recipe. After a search mission at the market, I was a little disappointed. The strawberries were okay, but they still had that bland, watery taste. The peaches and nectarines were hard as rocks. The apricots were sour, as were the raspberries and blackberries. The cherries were not quite dark and plump enough yet. I picked up some strawberries, blackberries and cherries and crossed my fingers, hoping that with enough sugar and shots of booze, they would turn out to be sweet, juicy and delicious!
I sliced my berries and pitted my cherries. Then, I left them and the blackberries to macerate in their own sugar/liqueur baths. I added Chambord to the strawberries, cassis to the cherries and blackberry brandy to the blackberries. It worked! All three of the fruits soaked up enough of their respective cocktails to make very respectable tart fillings.
Dorie’s original recipe yields one large tart that is sliced and then dressed with fruit. I decided to make little tartlets so that everyone could choose their own fruits to fill theirs with. I also felt that the tartlets would act like small containers and hold the fruit and juice in better. I topped the tartlets with a dollop of sweetened creme fraiche (after all, they are French), and the merest hint of freshly ground black pepper. (Ooh La La!)
I made my tartlets using Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough, which I’ve always had good results with. No problems this time either. I did add an extra egg yolk because I felt the dough wasn’t moist enough.
I tasted all three kinds of the tartlets, (I had to. Don’t judge me!) and I can’t decide which I liked best. They were all good. I think I would have enjoyed them more if they also had some kind of a cream filling, but that wasn’t part of this recipe. Maybe next time!
If you’d like to try this tart, the original recipe can be found on page 374 in Baking: From My Home to Yours
and on Serious Eats 
. My thanks go out to Marie of A Year from Oak Cottage 
for selecting this week’s recipe. Please be sure to check out the TWD blogroll 
to see what delicious takes on this tart the others have come up with.