Inspired by preserves I made out of Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain last spring, lime stands in for the usual rhubarb to brighten the strawberries in this rustic tart. For the crust, I adapted Joanne Chang’s pate brisee recipe, adjusting the proportions slightly for a thinner shell. I like her use of egg yolks (I used just one here), which makes the dough more forgiving. I baked this free-form on a parchment-lined sheet pan, but I’d suggest a pie dish if your berries are super juicey. I threw in a handful of blackberries, just cause I had them lying around. Any berries or combination of them would work great. —Midge
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Midge is a journalist living in Charleston.
WHAT: Strawberries cozy up to an unexpected partner -- lime -- and get heaped into a rich, forgiving crust.
HOW: Make a pate brisee, and while it's resting, macerate your berries. Roll out the dough, fill it, gather up the edges, and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love that Midge turns to lime instead of rhubarb to edge out the strawberries' sweetness -- it's a pairing we'll turn to all summer long. The combo of fresh strawberries and strawberry jam makes for a rich filling; wrapped up in an easy pate brisee, it's a dessert that's unforgettable.
Tart Crust (makes 2)
all purpose flour
cold unsalted butter, cut into uniformed-sized cubes
large egg yolk
heavy cream, divided
sanding sugar, granulated sugar is fine if you don't have the fancy stuff on hand
strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and halved (quarter the honkin ones)
sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries
Sift flour, salt, and sugar together by hand or in bowl of standing mixer.
Add butter to flour mixture. Mix on low speed (or cut into flour quickly by hand) just until it becomes a pebbly mixture, about 30 -45 seconds.
Whisk together egg yolk and two tablespoons of the cream and mix into lour mixture.
Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of ice water into mixture and gently combine until the dough starts to hold together. Add more water as needed.
Gather up the dough and form into two one inch-thick disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to four days. The recipe makes double the amount you need; freeze the other half or roll it out and cut it into strips for a lattice topping.
Meanwhile, mix berries with sugar, lime zest and juice, cornstarch, and jam. Let sit for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On a floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to about 1/8 inch-thick. Carefully fold the dough in half and then in quarters to transfer to a pie dish or parchment-lined sheet pan.
Fill the crust with the berry mixture. Gently gather and fold the overhanging crust over the pie. Brush with the remaining cream and sprinkle generously with sugar.
If you’re using a pie dish, consider sticking a sheet pan underneath it to catch spills.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until crust is golden and the filling, bubbling.
I’m a journalist who’s covered everything from illegal logging in Central America to merit pay for teachers, but these days I write mostly about travel. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in some far-flung locales, where poking around markets and grocery stores is my favorite thing to do. Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day; there’s nothing like kneading bread dough to bring you back to earth.