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.
Ready, Set, Dough!
Incredibly Easy and Delicious Ways to Use Store-Bought Doughs
by Melanie Barnard
$17.95, Trade Paperback Original
Recipe reprinted by permission.
Ready, Set, Dough!
This page created May 2004