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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Summer Baking - Strawberry Tart

Yes! We love baking! And do loads of it in the cold winter months, especially at Christmas, but baking is definitely not just for Christmas, and is a great way to spend time with your kids at any time of year! We've had a really busy couple of weeks so we are trying to spend some slow quality time at home for a few days, and with an abundance of strawberries in the fridge we decided to bake a strawberry tart! 

Read on for the recipe and method! 

First of all you need either homemade (if you are brave) or ready roll puff pastry. This would work with shortcrust pastry as well, but I'm partial to a puff with strawberries. Roll this out and put in the base of a pastry dish, glaze with milk or whisked egg, and pop in a pre-heated oven (180˚c / 350˚f) for about 20 minutes (this is variable depending on your oven and pastry, also cooking pastry appears to be quite an art!). 
 
Meanwhile you need to prepare your strawberries and glaze. I used this recipe from All Recipes as the basis for my recipe, which is:

3 cups of strawberries (half chopped, half for the glaze)
1 cup of sugar
1.5 tbsps of cornstarch
Half a cup of water

Take half the strawberries and mash in a pan, then add to moderate heat, add the water and sugar, then bring to the boil. Then gradually add in the cornstarch, stirring frequently, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until it thickens into a jam/sauce mixture.
 Next chop the rest of the strawberries in halves. This is a great moment to get your kids involved; strawberries are soft and cut easily so they are perfect for young children to practice chopping, which is great for fine motor development and hand-eye coordination.
 Just supervise and set out some basic safety guidelines depending on your child.
Next, take out the pastry from the oven (when it's done - ours was ever so slightly undercooked), then squash the top down gently, so there it is back to being pie based shaped (technical term!!)
Then nest the chopped strawberries in the pastry base. This is a good part for the kids too, just make sure the pastry and dish are cooled down. 
 By this time the glaze should be ready and delicious. Pour it over the strawberries.
You can clearly see that we did not have enough strawberries! The recipe above is the amount you should have, which we did not have! Still yummy tho! 
 Once cooled to room temp place in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
You can serve this with fresh cream, chantilly cream, clotted cream, ice cream, or as we did Chantilly Creme Fraiche. Simply add icing sugar/powdered sugar to some creme fraiche and whisk for a fresh sweet cream.
 And then serve with a spoon! 
 It was delicious! 
 A perfect Summer treat!
Jake insisted on eating his with the wooden spoon, and particularly enjoyed the "strawberry sauce"; he loved making and eating it. 

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