As someone who can never leave well enough alone when it comes to cooking, I was totally game to mess with - I mean, *adapt* Amanda Hesser's Peach Tart recipe. I'm sure it's delicious as written, but what if it's spring and strawberries are on sale and you're out of canola oil but happen to have a bunch of hazelnuts left over from something else? I kept the crust-fruit-topping structure generally intact, but I swapped out the peaches for strawberries (and pre-roasted the berries to get a little moisture out), revamped the topping with brown sugar and hazelnuts for a little crunch, and continued the hazelnut theme in the crust with some hazelnut meal and brown butter. It's not the prettiest tart in the world, since strawberries lose their brilliant color when you roast 'em, but it tastes just fine. The sour cream whipped cream is inspired by my mother's love of strawberries with brown sugar and sour cream as a spring dessert - it's optional, of course, but highly recommended. —summersavory
an 11-inch tart
hazelnut meal, divided
kosher salt, divided
plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
cold whole milk
dark brown sugar, packed
slightly sour whipped cream
In This Recipe
Start with the strawberries! Preheat the oven to 375F. Wash and hull the berries, and slice each berry in half. Place the halves on parchment-lined baking sheets - I used two trays so as not to crowd the berries - and bake for ~15 minutes. The berries will exude some juice and soften slightly but maintain their shape (the photo above shows what 1 tray looks like post-roast). Take out of the oven and set aside, and reset the oven temperature to 425F.
While the berries are in the oven, you can start on the crust. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, 1/2 c of the hazelnut meal, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and the tsp of sugar, breaking up any lumps with a spoon or fingers. Melt and brown 1/2 c of the butter over medium-low heat - that is, cook the butter until the milk solids settle out and start to turn golden brown. When the butter is nicely golden (but before it burns), take the pan off the heat and immediately add the cold milk. Pour the butter and milk mixture into the dry ingredients, making sure to scrape all the tasty brown bits out of the pan. Mix until the dry ingredients are no longer dry and you have a homogeneous clumpy mass of tart dough. Set aside.
To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, remaining 1/4 c of hazelnut meal, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a small bowl. Add the last 1 T of butter and work it in with your fingers until the mixture looks like wet sand. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts.
Assemble the tart! Pat the crust into an 11 inch tart pan. It should cover the bottom fully and extend at least most of the way up the sides (in the photo above, I got lazy and didn't stretch it all the way to the top). Try to make it an even thickness. Put the strawberries in the crust (you can arrange them nicely, but they lose definition in the oven so there's not much of a point) and sprinkle the topping over the top. It may look like a lot of topping but I promise it's not too much.
Bake the tart at 425F for 30 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling vigorously. While the tart bakes, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. In a small bowl, stir the sour cream together with a dollop of the whipped cream to lighten it, then add that sour mixture to the rest of the whipped cream and beat for a second or two to distribute it throughout.
Serve the tart at room temperature (or ever so slightly warmer if you can't wait) with dollops of the cream.