A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strawberry Torte(s)--June Dessert of the Month

This is the most scrumptous strawberry dessert I have ever tasted.  It's a bit putsy, but it draws raves from guests I serve it to.  If you like strawberry desserts, you'll be delighted!  Just be sure you plan to make it ahead, as it needs to chill in the fridge at least two hours before serving.  Also, chill a bowl ahead of time for whipping mixture.

Strawberry Torte          Preheat oven to 450
Put bowl in fridge to chill for filling.

For Crust: 
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup lard (or 2/3 cup plus 2 TB shortening)
4-5+ TB cold water
-Stir together flour and salt; add lard and chop in with pastry blender until particles are size of tiny peas.  Sprinkle in water 1 TB at a time, as much as needed until dough cleans sides of bowl and can be gathered together in a firm ball.
-For one torte:  Divide dough into 6 equal parts, roll in approx. 7" circles
-For several individual tarts, divide dough in half to make it easier to work with.  Roll out thin and cut 4-6" circles using a biscuit or cookie cutter.  Continue rolling small circles until dough is used up.
After rolling out large or small circles, prick circles with fork.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Bake 6-8 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

For Filling:
2 pints fresh strawberries, plus some for garnishing top(s)
2 pints chilled heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
-Wash, hull and chop strawberries.  In chilled bowl, whip cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla until stiff.  Fold in chopped strawberries.

Stack large circles, spreading about 3/4-1 cup of cream mixture in between.  You may stack as few or many as you'd like of the smaller circles, depending on how many people you are serving and you will use less cream mixture--about 1/4" thick.  Put dollop of cream mixture on top circle and top with a few fresh strawberries.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

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