Now that it’s summertime, one thing I love to eat is strawberries. Whether it be in ice cream, in a cake or dipped in chocolate, I will eat them! Even if it’s not Wimbledon, I will still eat strawberries by the bucket load. Strawberry tarts are one thing that remind me of my childhood, as my mum would make loads of them at home and covered them in the best strawberry tart jelly from Bradfords Bakery in Glasgow. Unfortunately in Spain, nobody has heard of a strawberry tart like we know in Scotland, never mind being able to buy strawberry tart jelly! Therefore I had to come up with a solution. I think I have cracked it and come up with the best substitute that is quick and easy to make!
For the pastry:
400g plain flour
55g self raising flour
285g cold butter
55g caster sugar
1 egg (straight from the fridge)
For the strawberry glaze
1 tsp jam
1tbsp strawberry paste (I used Home Chef’s strawberry paste)
3 sheets of gelatine
For the tart filling:
Vanilla bean paste
The first thing to do is to make the strawberry glaze. In a bowl of cold water, soak the gelatine sheets for at least ten minutes until they are soft. In a pot, place the sugar and cover with just enough water. Dissolve the sugar on a low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the gelatine sheets, the strawberry paste and the jam. Mix together on the low heat until the gelatine has dissolved. Leave to cool inside a food squeezybottle. I normally leave this to cool overnight to let the glaze set a little otherwise it is too liquidy to work with.
To make the pastry, sift the two types of flour together in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into cubes and rub together with the flour until it reaches a crumb consistency.
Then add the sugar and mix together. Beat the egg in a small bowl and add to the mixture. Mix together until it forms a ball. You may need to add a tablespoon of cold water to it to make the mixture come together. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour. Once the pastry is ready, roll it out on a lighlty floured surface. Make sure the pastry is not too thick as there will be no space to put a filling!
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Using a round pastry cutter, cut circles of pastry and place them inside a muffin/cupcake tin. Using your hands, press the pastry circle into the muffin tin and then prick the base with a fork. Line each pastry case with a little greaseproof paper and place baking beans on top. If you haven’t got any, you could use dried rice or chickpeas.
If you don’t want to make individual tarts, you could make a large strawberry tart, you will just have to make sure you have a loose based flan tin to make that and follow the same procedure in the oven
Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes. Then take the baking beans and greaseproof paper off and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. Check until the pastry looks nice and golden. Once cooked, take the mini tart cases out of the muffin tin and cool on a wire rack. With the large pastry case, leave to cool in the flan tin.
Once the pastry has cooled and you are ready to make up the strawberry tarts, it’s very easy. Just whip up some double cream in a large bowl using an electric hand whisk and add a little vanilla bean paste to taste. If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, good quality vanilla extract will do. Once the cream is whipped place some in each of the small pastry cases or on the bottom of the large tart case.
Arrange the strawberries on top of the cream. Heat the glaze in the microwave for 10 seconds only, just to losen the gelatine slightly. Pour the glaze over the top and serve immediately.