Strawberry season comes in fierce here in California. All of the sudden, those red little beauties are everywhere and so cheap, they’re practically free. This week, at my favorite local market, I bought 3 pounds for only $2.50. So let the baking begin!
The crust. My favorite part of any tart. I used lemon shortbread cookies, about three cups in my food processor
Spray the inside of your tart pan with butter flavored cooking spray. I like to dump the contents of my food processor into the tart pan (use a tart pan with a removable bottom) and then assemble the sides before packing the bottom, it makes it easier to get even, sturdy sides
Then make the curd. It’s really an unappealing term for such a lovely treat. Lime curd is:
2 tbs lime zest
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup lime juice
5 tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Add the first 4 ingredients to a bowl and mix well then add to a pan over medium/low heat along with the butter
Then I made some whipped cream. Not because this was my original plan but because I felt there was a desperate need, and because I love homemade whipped cream. Now, you can add this to the top, but I didn’t want to hide the beauty of the berries under all of that fluff, so I added it to the middle.
3/4 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar, blend in a stand mixer on high for about 4 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add this to the top of the cooled and set curd.
Cut the berries. I make two cuts down the center of the strawberry like this
Then stack up about 5 basil leaves and roll them up tight like a cigar and chop them really finely to make skinny tiny ribbons
If you plan to make the tart ahead of time, it really doesn’t sit well. You can make the tart crust, curd and whipped cream (store curd and whipped cream in Tupperware), cut the strawberries and basil but keep them separate, and assemble it all right before serving.