Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tart nouveau

Happy Canada Day! Celebrating Canada's 141st birthday during our first and likely only heat wave of the summer, I plan to water my flowers and dust off the patio furniture today. Keeping cool is difficult in our living space, especially yesterday when the oven seemed to be on 400F the entire day. I cook large batches of lunches and dinners each Monday for consumption during the week. Yesterday, a lovely chocolate hazelnut strawberry tart was also on the menu.

I have been wanting to try Michael Laiskonis' chocolate tart dough recipe for several months now and finally stumbled upon the right opportunity when I was wondering what to do with some leftover gianduja pastry cream which had done its duty last week as my soufflé base. This time last year I was just finishing my Pan Pacific practicum and had sworn I would never make another fresh fruit tart in my life unless forced at gunpoint. No firearms were necessary, just the presence of fresh sweet strawberries and excess gianduja pastry cream reminding me that not all fruit tarts are created equal.

The tart dough is very easy to work with, containing almond powder which gives it great texture. I substituted some ground hazelnut into my almond cream recipe and piped a layer into my tart shells. Once baked and cooled, a thin layer of gianduja pastry cream was spread on top and crowned with fresh strawberries. A sprinkle of hazelnut streusel adds a little buttery crunch. Make the streusel stick by glazing the strawberries first with some melted apricot jelly, which also serves to increase the fruit's longevity.

Because of the slow start to our summer here in British Columbia, the local fruit crop has been delayed but hopefully, those gorgeous local cherries, apricots, and blueberries will soon appear at the market. I might not be succeeding on any 100 Mile Diet yet, but odds will definitely improve in the next few weeks!


Cannelle Et Vanille said...

beautiful way to use your gianuja pastry cream indeed... lovely tart!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Gianduja pastry cream!!! This sounds dreamy!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the chocolate tart dough worked so well for you. It's definitely a workhorse in our kitchen!

Anonymous said...

that tart is making me salivate and it's 10:20 pm. i can't believe this is the first time i came by your blog.