It troubles my soul to think that some people are allergic to strawberries. It is such a tragedy! One must have been a real pill in the life before this one to have acquired a strawberry allergy. Strawberries, even the bad ones, are one of life's signs that God has not yet abandoned us. Here in The 'Tah, we have good strawberries, but nothing like a freshly-picked, juicy Oxnard berry. In Oxnard, CA, they produce most of the strawberries that end up in our grocery carts here in Utah. In Oxnard, there are fields filled with them and roadside stands everywhere. Through the first years of my marriage, Ethan's family reserved a beach house in Oxnard every summer. We always made sure we had sunscreen, swimsuits and strawberries. Lots of them. They are big, juicy and they disappear fast.
Strawberries are nearly perfect. They taste good plain, on cold cereal, on hot cereal, in a drink, in a salad, with ice cream and their perfect match is chocolate. This tart is a happy marriage of strawberry and chocolate. The crust is a very basic sugar crust and then that is filled with chocolate ganache. Sliced strawberries and a light glaze finish the tart. I find the glaze essential. It makes it look like it came from a bakery and not your own kitchen.
For the crust:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup butter, softened and sliced
Set the oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 lb strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
In a double boiler over simmering water, add chocolate chips. Melt, stirring occasionally. In two parts, add heavy cream, stirring well to incorporate. Turn heat down to medium low. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, until chocolate is warm and slightly thickened.
Pour into cooled tart shell. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Once firm, arrange strawberries on the chocolate. Brush lightly with glaze. Keep refrigerated until serving.
For the glaze:
3/4 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp lemon juice
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine all ingredients and whisk well, until bubbling and thick. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, brush over finished tart. You will not use all the glaze.
Yields 8 servings.