I remember when I had the best strawberry of my life. It was in Paris, of all places! Do I sound like one of those cool girls for having my best strawberry in France? Well I'm not trying to, because it is simply the truth.
Kyle and I had rented an airbnb in Paris for nearly one week for a vacation, after getting a steal on flights while living in NYC. We walked over to one of the Paris outdoor markets, equally jet lagged and overly enthusiastic to be there, and bought a pretty blue box filled to the brim with strawberries. They were tiny, bright red, and so incredibly sweet and juicy.
We ate them all in one sitting.
Even with all the croissants, macarons, and steak frites, those French strawberries were one of the best things I ate there.
If you've ever had fruit picked at its peak then you can understand what I am talking about. Now, if you make this tart, I challenge you to find the best strawberries available to you for it.
This tart is a lot simpler than it looks, and it allows the strawberries to really shine. The hardest part is making the crust, but you can make that easily in a food processor. Then you simply dump that into a tart pan, press it into the pan with your fingers, and bake. Whisk together some mascarpone and top with berries.
Not too sweet, this tart gets a buttery crunch from the hazelnut crust, a smoothness and creaminess from the mascarpone, and a subtle sweetness from the fresh strawberries.
Basically, my ideal dessert.
for the tart
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts, skin on
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup ((1 stick butter), cubed
- 1 egg
for the filling
- 1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 tbl sugar
- 2 cups mascarpone
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the hazelnuts, and toast for 5 - 7 minutes, or until fragrant. Pour the hazelnuts into a clean kitchen towel and rub between your hands to try to shake off the skin. It's okay if some skin stays on.
Lower heat to 350°F.
Pulse hazelnuts, flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter, and pulse until it is the size of peas. Add the egg yolk and pulse a few more times until dough barely just comes together. Be careful not to over mix.
Press evenly into an 11-inch tart pan with your hands, including up against the sides. Chill for 20 - 30 minutes.
Add a layer of parchment paper and fill with pie weights (or dried beans). Bake in preheated oven for 15 min. Remove the parchment paper with pie weights, and bake another 5 - 10 minutes or until dry to the touch. Let cool completely.
Stir together strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Let stand for 30 min.
In a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment or with a handheld whisk, beat together the mascarpone, powdered sugar, and vanilla until thickened and stiff.
Spread the mascarpone filling evenly inside the cooled tart shell. Arrange the strawberries on top, along with any extra juices. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.