Strawberry season is short. Oh, I know that I can buy those crunchy, tasteless, beautiful looking imported strawberries for many months of the year. I usually succumb once a year, then vow to never buy them again. Real strawberries are worth the wait: soft, juicy, impossibly sweet and flavorful. And the scent - almost as sweet as the taste.
This tart showcases the best of local strawberries. There's little to distract from the intense berry flavor. A shortbread crust and some cream with a hint of lemon curd enhance the strawberry's true nature. This tart is best served the same day it's made, although if you have some leftover, it's not bad for breakfast.
1 baked and cooled shortbread crust (I used this recipe) in a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1/2 cup lemon curd
fresh strawberries, rinsed and dried, stems removed (about 2 cups, plus extra for garnish)
4 Tablespoons peach jam
fresh mint (for garnish and for chewing on)
Whip the cream with the icing sugar until soft peaks start to form. Add the lemon curd and continue whipping for 15-20 seconds until incorporated. The mixture should retain its shape when a spoon is dragged through it.
Spread 1/2 of the cream and curd mixture onto the crust.
Cut the strawberries in half from top to bottom and lay them in concentric rows on top of the cream, beginning with the outside of the crust.
Heat the peach jam slightly and strain it to get about 2 tablespoons of peach jam liquid. Drizzle the liquid over the berries.
Spoon the remaining cream/curd mixture around the top of the tart. Use extra berries and fresh mint as a garnish. Place in the refrigerator and chill for an hour before serving.