Strawberry crumble tart


That luxurious 'mhhhhh' and the ever satisfying 'ahhhh' that is produced whenever someone takes a bite out of this tart is exactly the reason that I make it. I said I would make a strawberry dessert, but I didn't think it would be this magnificent; I not only enjoyed eating it, but I enjoyed making it.

In my early days of TV baking I watched Ina Garten's 'Barefoot Contessa' religiously but used to scrutinise her constant 'ahhh'-ing at her food... Well Ina, this is my apology to you, because I finally understand why now. 

 Tart crust:

 I have had one packet of  frozen  pastry which was made a couple of weeks ago following Malgieri's recipe. The recipe makes enough for two 25 cm flan tins, so either half the amount of the ingredients . or simply freeze half of the dough:

30 g blanched slivered almonds
85 g icing sugar
325 g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
225 unsalted butter, cold cut into pieces
2 medium egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor  until finely ground, with no visible pieces of almond. Add the flour and salt and pulse, then add the butter mix until no visible pieces remain, then add the egg yolks and vanilla, mix until the dough forms a ball.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces, make a thick disc and wrap separately in cling-film. If you are not going to make 2 tarts, freeze one half.  Refrigerate the other half for at least one hour. It could be left in the fridge overnight.
 When you are ready to bake it, remove from the fridge and leave on a room temperature for 20- 30 minutes. The dough has to be soft enough to roll, but still firm. Use your fingers to stretch it a little bit,  place it between 2 sheets of baking paper, slightly floured and roll into a 33 cm disc.
Transfer it to the lightly buttered tin. If the dough tears, press it back together. Fit the dough into the tin and trim any excess dough at the rim, using a knife or rolling pin. Cover with cling-film and refrigerate for few hours. If you are in a rush pop it into a freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 C/gas mark 4.
When the dough is chilled, prick the base with a fork, line it with non grease paper (36 cm in diameter  and fill with dried or baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes, the remove the paper and beans and return to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is light golden. Let the crust cool on a rack.

Almond crumb topping:

160 g plain flour
70 g brown soft sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons flaked almonds, chopped
110 g unsalted butter, melted
 Preheat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 4

Stir the dry ingredients together, and then stir in the melted butter. Using your fingers  break the mixture into small pieces and place them on a tin lined with baking paper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is dry and light golden. Leave it to cool and then brake into smaller pieces if they clumped 

300 g Philadelphia cream cheese
150 g Mascarpone cheese
110 g  golden icing sugar
grated lemon zest of one lemon
vanilla sugar
400 g strawberries

Wash and cut the strawberries in half. On a low speed, mix the rest of ingredients in a mixing bowl over low speed, until smooth and firm.

Assemble the tart:

Spread half of the filling on the base of the tart, put the strawberries over it, cut side down, then  spread the other half of the cream cheese filling over the berries. Almond crumbs on the top.  Keep it at a cool temperature.  If you refrigerate it, the crust may soften.

I'll try it with raspberries next time.

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