Sunday, May 29, 2016

Strawberry Hazelnut Tart

I recently realized that when I bake with fruit, I really do not mix them into one baked item. This preference can be limiting, especially when it comes to berries. There are lots of recipes that have strawberries as a single fruit, but they are cold desserts. That is why when I came across this recipe for a baked strawberry tart, I had to make it.

There are other things that make this dessert special. One is the hazelnut crust spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. Also, there is a hint of citrus due to the zest ingredients. Regarding the filling, the liquid blend has a way of bringing out the best of the berries. With notes of orange, rosewater and vanilla bean surrounding the natural sweetness of the berries, the blend is not only unusual but quite tasty.

This recipe makes one 24 cm diameter tart. However, it converted to the 8.25 X 11.25 rectangular tart as well. Plan in advance for the 2 1/2 hr chill time on the pastry.  The instructions below are for a lattice topped tart, but feel free to tinker around with cookie cutters to create a unique looking pastry surface. The cut outs are a lot easier than the lattice.

Also, since this recipe comes from outside the US, a lot of the measurements are by grams. Use the internet to find a converter if you measure by cups.

Strawberry Hazelnut Tart
adapted from the Australian Gourmet Traveler Magazine

1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground cinnamon
150 grams hazelnut flour
250 grams regular flour
175 grams butter, room temperature
150 grams confectioners sugar
zest of one orange
zest of one lemon
3 egg yolks (reserve one egg white for egg wash)

vanilla bean seeds (scraped from 1 bean)
70 grams of raw caster or demerara sugar
30 grams cornflour
zest and juice of 1/2 orange
3 tsp rosewater
700 grams hulled and chopped strawberries
egg white from above mixed with 1 tsp water.
confectioners sugar for dusting (optiona)

For serving (optional)
cream fraiche
extra chopped strawberries

For the crust, start by sifting together the regular flour, cinnamon, baking powder and nutmeg into a medium size bowl. Then stir in the hazelnut flour. Set aside.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with butter, confectioners sugar and both types of zest. Beat mixture until it forms a pale, light batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add each egg yolk, one at a time and beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Then remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in the dry ingredients combined in the first bowl.

Clump together dough and shape into a disc. Cover completely with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 2 hours, firming up the dough.

Once the chilling process is complete, place a rectangle piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and dust with flour. Then remove dough and separate out 2/3 of the mass, placing it on the flat surface. Roll this piece out to a 3mm thick shape. The shape should be the shape of your pan, but exceed the size of the bottom and up the sides. After it is rolled out in the size desired, line your tart tin with the dough. Pressing down all of the dough so it adheres to the shape of the interior sides and bottom. Trim off any excess dough from the top edge. Then take the remaining dough and roll it into a rectangle on the parchment. It should measure about 24 centimeters long. Transfer the parchment paper with the dough to a baking sheet. Place both the dough lined tart tin and the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

During this above process, create the next component of the tart-the filling. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 355 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the first six items of the listed filling ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Once the dough is finished chilling, fill the tin with the strawberry mixture and smooth out evenly.

Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator. Using a knife, cut the dough into 12 mm thick strips. Use these strips to form a lattice pattern over the strawberry filling. There will be excess dough to trim off from the edges. Lastly, brush the surface of the tart with the egg wash.

Place in oven and bake until golden brown. This should take about 30-55 minutes. Place tin on rack to cool for about 30 minutes. Remove and let tart come to room temperature. How you serve is optional, but some suggestions are dusting with confectioners sugar before slicing. Also, serve with a side of cream fraiche and extra strawberries.

Tips and Notes:
1. If you are in a place where it is humid, it is probably best to serve this dessert right away. With time, the crust loses its crispness. It still has good flavor but does not retain its texture.
                             **Two Years Ago: Hawaiian Loaf**