After making a delectable strawberry birthday cake on Friday, we still had a lot of strawberries to use up (thanks Costco, 1.5kg for £4!) Not that I’m complaining, they are big, juicy fruits, and so nice to enjoy in this lovely weather we’re having.
Of course this got me thinking – what more could I bake with them? In the sticky heat (it was 80% humidity yesterday, yuck!) I didn’t want something that was going to need a lot of time in front of the oven or even in the kitchen – I’d rather be outside with a cool drink (or giant ice cream sundae).
The pastry was made from Delia’s shortcrust recipe – she has such lovely simple steps on how to make it perfectly, I’m not even going to try and recreate them here. For my 2 small tart tins, I used 75g of flour, and 35g of fat (a mix of butter and trex).
After chilling in the fridge, it rolled out smoothly and easily, before blind-baking (with ceramic baking beads) at 180 degrees C in our fan oven.
And that was the hardest bit done!
At the same time as the pastry came out of the oven, I mixed up the Quick Gel – this is an essential – normal jelly will soak into your base and not set quickly enough at all. I picked mine up easily in the supermarket – on the same shelf as the normal jellies.
The name is a little deceptive, you do have to make it 20 minutes before you want to use it, and keep stirring as it sets. Still pretty simple though, as baking goes 🙂
When the 20 minutes was nearly up, I started slicing the strawberries and arranging in the pastry cases. After another quick stir, I simply poured the quick gel slowly over the tarts, making sure to cover all the strawberries, so they had a nice glossy finish. Refrigerate until you’re ready to eat (around 15 minutes minimum).
And… that’s it! Simples! I told you so 😉 *
*That’s nearly it.
There were a few small offcuts of pastry which I used to make some jam tarts with fresh strawberries. I rolled the pastry thinly into a rough circle shape, pressed it into a paper cupcake case, and added a good dollop of jam.
They baked for 12 minutes (slightly less than the bigger tart cases), and as soon as they came out I pressed half a strawberry into the melted jam. A couple of minutes in the fridge to cool, and they were ready for a quick afternoon snack!