Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52—with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: A classic French tart gets updated for 2015 (and goes gluten-free).
When strawberries are sweet, my mind goes to the classic French fruit tart: a perfectly tender shortbread crust with sweet ripe berries nestled in vanilla pastry cream.
The strawberry tart, updated for 2015, has a crunchy buttery oat flour crust and a brand new and improved vanilla pastry cream made with rice flour. Oat flour makes an amazing crust—it’s as good as but different from wheat flour—with nutty toasted grain flavors and notes of caramel or toffee that partner perfectly with the berries and the pastry cream.
Everyone will enjoy the tart on its own merits regardless of the fact that it happens to be gluten-free (if the oat flour is labeled gluten-free). The tart should be served on the day it is assembled, but you can make the pastry cream and the crust a day or two ahead: Keep the former covered in the fridge and latter wrapped airtight at room temperature.
A few notes and tips on the recipe:
How to select and prepare the strawberries:
Adapted from Flavor Flours (Artisan 2014) by Alice Medrich
For the crust:
3/4 cup (75 grams) oat flour
3 tablespoons (30 grams) white rice flour or scant 1/3 cup (30 grams) Thai white rice flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons (30 grams) cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
About 2 teaspoons of butter, very soft, to moisture-proof the crust
1 cup (or 2 cups if you like lots of custard) Vanilla Rice Flour Pastry Cream
2 pints ripe strawberries (preferably small or medium in size), rinsed, completely dried, hulled
1/4 cup red currant jelly, for the glaze
2 teaspoons sugar, for the glaze
9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom
Pick up a copy of Alice's new book Flavor Flours, which includes nearly 125 recipes -- from Double Oatmeal Cookies to Buckwheat Gingerbread -- made with wheat flour alternatives like rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, and teff (not only because they're gluten-free, but for an extra dimension of flavor, too).
Photo by James Ransom