Strawberry Fields

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One little strawberry plant is a family of three this year. It’s not much but it is a pretty nice beginning. When they started flowering with little white petals and a sun-kissed centre we couldn’t have been happier. “We” would be my Little Bunny Saira and myself. When I showed her the flowers she wanted to pick them, of course.  I then explained how the flowers need to stay so they can become fruit – she didn’t quite understand so we settled with picking a daisy instead.

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A few days later while playing in the garden I called her in to show the little green baby strawberries. She wanted to pick the strawberries right away and eat them – another teachable moment ended up with tears. I gave her gummy bears from the pantry instead. And then I waited for the strawberries to grow and turn scarlet. Did I go see them twice a day? I did, like a child myself. Slugs are cunning and uncivilized but sometimes even they miss out on the lottery.

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So this year we beat the garden slugs and Saira Bunny and got a few strawberries. Only a few, but just enough to make us perfectly happy and just enough to top some cream-filled almond tartlets. And since a bottle of vanilla and coconut sugar was at hand, some of it got sprinkled too … but really, nothing beats the fresh taste of home-grown strawberries, fancy sugar or not!

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_DSC0487Almond Short Crust Tart Shells with Chantilly Cream and Fresh Strawberries.

Almond Tart Shells

Ingredients:

  • Almond Meal: 1/4 cup
  • Flour: 1 cup
  • Sugar: 1/4 cup
  • Unsalted Butter: 1/2 cup
  • Salt: 1/8 tsp
  • Baking Powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Cold Water: 3 tbsp or more
  • Vanilla Essence: 2 tsp

Method:

  • In a food processor add the almond meal, flour, baking powder and salt and mix.
  • Add the cold butter and process till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the vanilla and the cold water and mix till the dough forms. Don’t over mix.
  • Take out of processor and form a ball. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or until completely cooled.
  • Once dough is cooled roll out into about 3/8 inch thick.
  • To make small tart shells, cut out enough the rolled out dough and place ten into tart shells.
  • Use a fork to prick bottoms, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking tray, arrange your tart shells and bake for 15-18 minutes or until they are slightly browned.
  • Let cool completely before filling.

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Chantilly Cream

  • Beat half cup of whipping cream with 1 Tbsp of caster sugar into soft peaks.

Assembly:

  • Put a dollop of Chantilly cream on the cooled tart shells, arrange whole or diced strawberries on top and sprinkle with a little vanilla coconut sugar(optional) before serving.
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11 thoughts on “Strawberry Fields

  1. oooooooooooooh-pretty pretty! Great story telling (like the mention of gummy bears 😉 ) and photos are amazing. Like the idea of coconut sugar–bought a bag just a few weeks ago! We only got a few berries this year–hope next year’s crop is better.

    • Thank you Liz! This post was perhaps the shortest i’ve written and the quickest. I guess being by the beach on holidays is helping. And I have to admit – she gets gummy bears every time I can’t manage a better response. 😉
      I hope you get good berries next year – they are so much fun to have in the garden minus slugs. 🙂

  2. Lovely pictures and wonderful post as usual… aren’t you on the beach somewhere, how are you managing to post these? I have pretty much stopped blogging… I decided to wait a couple months/years… takes too much time…. keep up the good work my friend. Hope your crop is better next year, enough for whole pie or several of them maybe ;-)… have fun on the beach.

  3. luckyyyy the little bunnies are eating all of the strawberries out of my garden. i want to be mad about it but who gets mad at bunnies…??? those tarts look delightful….

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