Finally made it out to the strawberry patch this weekend to treat myself to three flats of ripe red berries. Although the season has been slow to start, the strawberries we picked were large, juicy, and sweet. If you haven’t been out to the patch, it’s not too late. Many pick-your-own sites waited out the last week’s cool temps and rain to start picking. Most of our berries found their way to the freezer for this winter. 25 bags in total. It’s the easiest way to prepare a local smoothie (or daiquiri) in mid-February. Freezing strawberries is simple: thoroughly wash, remove tops, slice in half and pack in quart bags. Flatten the bags as much as possible and lay in a single layer in the freezer to speed up freezing.
I did save 3 pounds or so for playing around with this week. There are so many great strawberry recipes it can be hard to choose. I created this recipe with some of my favorites: sugar cookie crust, made-from-scratch cream filling with a hint of maple syrup, and fresh strawberries. Combine them in a tart pan for a simple and stunning dessert. Strawberries are some of the best local produce Minnesota offers, enjoy them while they are here!
Strawberry Maple Cream Tart
By Amy Sippl
For the Sugar Cookie Crust
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 1/4 C. flour
For the Maple Cream
4 egg yolks
2/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
3 C. milk
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 C. strawberries, sliced in 1/4″ pieces
1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Prepare an 11″ tart pan by lightly buttering sides.
2. Combine butter and brown sugar for crust in a bowl. Add flour and egg and blend just until it forms a dough. Gently press the crust into the tart pan, being sure to evenly spread dough across bottom and up the sides. Bake crust for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
3. While crust is baking, prepare cream filling. Beat egg yolks in a small bowl and place near your work area. In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly to avoid clumping. While continuing to stir, gently bring the solution to a boil and thicken over medium heat. Boil 1 minute and immediately remove from heat.
4. Slowly stir 1 cup of the boiling solution into the egg yolks. When well combined, pour the egg yolks back into the saucepan. Bring the entire mixture back to a boil for another minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted and maple syrup.
5. Pour cream into cooled tart crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until well chilled. Top with strawberries and serve chilled.