6.24.2010

What's RED, SWEET and YUMMY? STRAWBERRIES!

I LOVE strawberries. Madaline LOVES strawberries. And, the prices right now on strawberries are amazing. Just this week I was able to purchase 2lbs of berries for $2.99. And, they are the sweetest most delectable tasting strawberries we have had this season. So good in fact, I have deluded myself in to think I should make freezer jam.

But, that is a different post all on its own.
Back to the berries and all their red yumminess. Last year, I came across a strawberry crostada recipe over at Buns in My Oven. Now, you have to understand, I adore Karly's blog. LOVE IT! I am constantly printing out recipes from there to try. And, the crostada recipe was no expectation. We enjoyed it last summer and this summer was to be no exception. Except - I was going to tinker with the crust.You see, I have a NEW toy in my kitchen. I am a sucker for Kitchen Aid. I think I have said on more than one occasion if I could have babies with my beloved red Kitchen Aid stand mixer I would. And, so, it has a friend to share counter space with now. A sleek, shiny, handsome black Kitchen Aid food processor. And, what is a food processor good for? Making homemade crust. And, so that is EXACTLY what I did. I made homemade crust. And, it was easy - So easy my toddler could do it. So, enjoy. And, unless you are so pressed for time, make the crust from scratch. I swear it will give you extra karma points.


Rustic Strawberry Tart

Heat over to 400 degrees

1.5 - 2lbs of Strawberries
2+ Tablespoons of Sugar
Hull and slice the berries to your liking. Mix in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar or more, depending how how sweet you like your berries. Set aside to do its thing while you make the crust.

Crust:
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, COLD cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt
6-7 tablespoons chilled water
Cut butter into 1/2 in pieces & place in the freezer while gathering & measuring the other ingredients. Dump flour, sugar and salt into food processor and pulse a few times to mix together. Remove butter from the freezer and add about 2 Tablespoons of butter into the flour mixture. Pulse food processor until just combined. Continue adding butter & pulsing until all the butter is added and your flour mixture resembles small peas. Through the feed tube add 2 tablespoons of your chilled water. Keep adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time until your dough just starts to come together. Turn out on a floured board & pat together. It will be slightly sticky. If its TOO sticky, then add some more flour. Shape into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 15 minutes.

Filling:
8 ounces of cream cheese, room temp 3 tablespoons of sugara dash of vanilla
Mix room temperature cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl until well blended. Set aside

Assembly:
Roll out your refrigerated crust, to a shape of your liking. I rolled my kinda oblong to fit on my baking sheet. Make sure you can always move the dough on your surface. It's pretty pointless to rough out dough only to have it stick to your rolling surface. Place dough on your desire baking vessel of choice that has been lined with parchment paper. Spread cream cheese mixture to within one inch of the edge of your crust. Cover the cream cheese mixture with your cut berries & sugar. Going all the way around your crosttat folding up the edges all the way around.

Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes depending on how crispy you like your crust. You can serve warm from the oven or nice and cold from the fridge.


Recipie Credit:
http://bunsinmyoven.com/2009/06/22/strawberry-crostada-now-i-can-die-happy/
Crust adapted from:
http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/11/simplest-apple-tart/