Last week, while watching PBS on my iPad, I saw a small video of Aube Giroux’s Strawberry Basil Tart. I fell in love with the film, the music, the recipe and the aesthetic of the dish. As I always say, food IS art, and she proves it. This little thing has managed to jump over several desserts I have in my favorite rotation and jumped to the top 5. Will surely be making it for my next get-togethers.
While her video is impossible to replicate or top, I am being courageous here and posting the photos of my preparing it at home and the end result (I forgot to take a picture of the syrup and of the yolks before adding them to the milk). I actually had to make-do with only one cup of basil, but it still came out delicious!
Creamed butter with ground almonds
I actually did a little dance of joy when this was done. Such great texture and so easy to roll!
Freshly out of the oven
Basil and strawberries waiting
Preparing the custard…
Finger-straining the yolks after one fell into the whites…
The finished product! So pretty, I don’t want to touch it.
Now go, get the ingredients and make it. It’s soooo good!
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It all started with a box of strawberries that looked like they were pleading for help. We hadn’t been able to eat them fresh because they had made one of us sick and we suspected a bug was there. So they were growing old. But they were organic, farmer’s market strawberries. A beautiful thing. I didn’t want to just throw them out. “Seriously?” They kept saying. “Are you going to let us die like this?”
So of course the only thing to do with them was to turn them into a jam. A quick call to
my Encyclopaedia of food technique mom to check on the recipe, and I was in business.
- Equal parts fruit and sugar
- Lime juice
In my case, for 2/3 cup strawberries and sugar (each), I used one lime.
- Wash and remove the stems from the strawberries. For a smooth jam, mash the fruit. For a chunky jam, mash some of it, just chop the rest.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let it rest for about 30 minutes so that the berries can release its juices.
- In a heavy sauce pan, bring mix to boil over medium heat. Lower heat to medium-low. Let it simmer, stirring frequently. For me, it was about a 20 minute cook time. Remember, though, that the bigger the batch, the longer the cooking time. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom!
- You will know it is ready when the boiling bubbles lower and they become a rolling, soft boil, with small bubbles. Another method is to chill a small plate in the fridge, place some jam (about a teaspoon) on the plate and chill it for another minute. Tilt the plate. If the jam runs slightly, but stays as a soft mound, it’s ready.
Mine got a little bit past that state, but it’s still really good. As you can see, it is also a little chunky. I couldn’t get all the pieces really mashed. But who cares.
You can substitute with any berry of your choice, and I can imagine also with any fruit.
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