I think pretty much nothing can compare to a perfectly ripe, freshly picked, sun warmed strawberry. And, the best in the world (yes, I'm totally biased) are those from northern Scandinavia, where the looooong days give them unbelievable sweetness and flavor. If you have strawberries that good, I don't think you should muck around, just serve them plain, or maybe with a drizzle of heavy cream. However, if I'm going to cook them, I like to keep it very simple and let the strawberry flavor shine through. This Finnish tart does just that. I learned to make it from one of my dearest friends whose husband is Finnish and who has spent the last couple of years teaching in Finland. She made this tart for a wedding shower, and I tooke one bite and started begging her to teach me. —fiveandspice
one tart (about 11 inches)
(1 stick) butter, at room temperature
egg, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups
fresh, ripe strawberries (the small flavorful varieties are best), cleaned, hulled and sliced
preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 11 inch tart pan, or a shallow cake/pie pan of a similar size.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.
In another bowl (or standing mixer) cream together the 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 sugar until well blended. Then beat in the egg.
Blend in the flour mixture, until well mixed. Press about 2/3s of the dough into the tart pan, covering the bottom and up the sides.
Stir together the strawberries, 1/2 sugar, and potato/cornstarch. Dump this filling into the tart crust, then dot the top with lumps of the 2 Tbs. of butter.
Use the remaining tart dough to make a lattice top (roll into strips, and weave in a crosshatch across the top of the tart) - or if you're a bit lazy like me, make the remaining dough into leaf-like or other shapes and lay them atop the filling. If desired, brush the top dough very lightly with milk and sprinkle with another Tbs. of granulated sugar.
Bake the tart for 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool for 20 minutes and serve warm, or serve at room temperature. The tart is marvelous by itself, but even better topped with sweetened whipped cream with a dollop of sour cream whipped into it.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.