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Chocolate Mint Strawberry Tart

 

Unbelievably easy, this tart is one of my most often baked desserts, since it combines pastry, chocolate, and strawberries—an all-time favorite combination. It looks bakery-perfect and tastes homemade-terrific. Look for small strawberries, especially the increasingly available French fraises des bois, but most important is that the berries are of uniform size for the prettiest presentation.

One-half 15-ounce package refrigerated folded piecrusts
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons white crème de menthe
1 pint small strawberries (about 30 berries), hulled
2 tablespoons strawberry jelly
8 small sprigs fresh mint

1) Keeping one crust refrigerated for another use, unfold the other crust and ease it into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold any crust that hangs over the side inward to reinforce the edge of the tart. Press firmly to form the rippled edges, then use a rolling pin or sharp knife to trim the pastry even with the top of the tart pan. Prick the bottom of the tart 4 or 5 times with the tines of a fork. Place the tart shell in the freezer for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.

2) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bake the tart shell, directly from the freezer, until it is golden and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

3) In a small bowl set over hot water or in a microwave oven, gently melt the chocolate. Stir in 1/3 cup of the cream and 1 tablespoon of the crème de menthe until the mixture is smooth. Spread the chocolate over the bottom of the tart shell. (Refrigerate the remaining 2/3 cup heavy cream.)

4) Arrange the berries in concentric circles, hulled side down, in the lukewarm chocolate. Refrigerate the tart until the chocolate is set, 15 to 20 minutes. In a small saucepan or microwave oven, melt the jelly with the remaining 1 tablespoon crème de menthe. Carefully brush the berries with the jelly, trying to avoid brushing the jelly on the crust or the chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 hours.

5) Shortly before serving, whip the reserved heavy cream to soft peaks.

6) To serve, cut the tart into wedges and serve each with a spoonful of softly whipped cream and garnished with a mint sprig.

 

Chocolate Mint Strawberry Tart Tips

  • Strawberries should be rinsed before they are hulled, since the cut from the hull allows the berries to soak up water.
  • Use strawberries within a day of purchase, since they have a rather short shelf life.
  • Choose berries that smell fragrant—the best indicator of good taste.
  • Chocolate Mint Strawberry Tart Variations
  • Use raspberries in place of the strawberries and brandy in place of the crème de menthe.
  • Use lemon juice-sprinkled sliced bananas in place of the strawberries, and brush with orange marmalade melted with rum. This fruit should be added no more than 1 hour before serving.
  • Use quartered apricots in place of the strawberries, and brush with the apricot jelly melted with brandy.
 

Buy the Book!

 

from:
Ready, Set, Dough!
Incredibly Easy and Delicious Ways to Use Store-Bought Doughs
by Melanie Barnard
Broadway Books
$17.95, Trade Paperback Original
$26.95 Canada
ISBN: 0-7679-1424-4
Recipe reprinted by permission.

 

Ready, Set, Dough!

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This page created May 2004


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