There are some desserts that for me, are like some people in my life; they’ll just always be special. The moment of realization with people can come in an interesting conversation we’re having or a fun experience we’re having. With dessert, it’s usually in that first bite. But regardless of which one, I have the same thought: “Yeah. This one is a keeper.”
It’s one of the best feelings ever, and as such, I try to re-experience it as often as I can. This blog makes that relatively easy for me to do with food, which is what we’re doing here today.
For the 12 Days of Christmas 2020, I shared a recipe for a cranberry cookie tart. I raved about it back then as one of the best desserts I’d ever made, and that is still very much true. It’s become a staple holiday dessert for us, and probably always will be.
The only downside is that cranberries are a seasonal ingredient that are mostly only sold for about 2 months during the latter part of the year in the winter. And that’s all well and good, but…what am I supposed to do during the summer?
The answer/solution I came to was making a couple of simple ‘seasonal’ ingredient adjustments so that my new favorite winter-y holiday dessert could become a favorite summertime one.
Whereas cranberries are pretty easy to get during the wintertime, strawberries are just as easy to get during summer, so I decided to swap one out for the other. The filling is the only thing I changed from the original recipe so that instead of cranberries and cranberry sauce, the tart is filled with fresh, chopped strawberries and strawberry preserves. I also threw in some lemon zest to give it an added fresh flavor.
Much like the cranberry tart, the strawberry one was delicious. Which now means I’ve got a ‘keeper’ on my hands for both times of year.
Strawberry Cookie Tart
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
- 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of strawberry preserves
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 350F/160C. Grease a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan* and place this on a baking tray.
Using a food processor or mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and brown sugar vigorously until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. It’s an important step to beat the butter and sugar well together when making shortbread as this ensures the shortbread is light, crisp and will hold together.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt. Add it to the butter mixture and mix until blended (forming large clumps). Turn onto a floured surface and using floured hands, press two-thirds of the mixture evenly into the prepared pan (including the sides).
Spread with the strawberry preserves evenly over the dough, leaving a 1⁄4-inch border and then scatter with the chopped strawberries and the lemon zest.
Crumble the remaining dough into large crumbs and scatter evenly over the filling, covering most of the surface.Bake the tart for 40 – 45 minutes, until lightly browned.
Leave to cool completely in the pan.
*If you do not have a tart pan, I do think that this would also work in a 9-inch round cake pan, you just won’t be able to lift the whole tart out of it. It’ll still taste great though.
Sharing at Fiesta Friday #439.