Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Weekend Highlights: Super Simple Strawberry Tart, Pies and Peonies

I have had a bit of a three day weekend revelation: when you don't go anywhere, the extra day is a remarkable, open span of unexpected vacation. Most Memorial days past, I've gone to the Jersey Shore, which is always lovely, but as the getting there takes up so much time and I've never quite felt the luxury of free time. And while I was of course wishing fervently that I was there with my family, I definitely managed to make the most of my time off.

Above is the strawberry free form tart that I baked on Friday night. After being away earlier last week, I had a strong need to be in the kitchen and I figured a super easy tart would be a great way to start. This is literally the simplest tart:

Free Form Strawberry Tart
1 recipe favorite pie crust (or store bought)
2 c strawberries, washed and sliced in half
2 T unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Roll out crust until it's roughly a 9 inch circle (doesn't need to be perfect!). Place berries on top, leaving about an inch around the edges. Fold up the edges, then brush with a bit of melted butter (you can put a bit onto the fruit too, for good measure, but it's not necessary).
3. Bake for 25 minutes until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbly. Remove from oven and cool slightly on a rack. Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream or dusted with powdered sugar,

On Saturday we hosted a house warming party, so I spent the better part of the day in the kitchen getting ready for company. It was a potluck, which took the pressure off, but there was the issue that I wasn't quite sure what people would be bringing (apart from things to grill, which we specifically said they should bring), so I tried to cover the basics. I made a huge roasted vegetable pasta salad (farfalle, roasted zucchini, squash and onions, tomatoes, olives, mozzarella with balsamic vinaigrette), a skillet of cornbread and put out chips and salsa.

And for dessert, I made two pies, one apple and one strawberry rhubarb. To go with it, I also made vanilla ice cream and all of it went over extremely well. I've realized that even though making ice cream (with an ice cream maker) is the easiest thing in the world, it never fails to seriously impress guests. The strawberry rhubarb was sublime and I think I did a good job with adding enough sugar to balance out the rhubarb, but not so much as to kill it all with sweetness.

We also went for a long bike ride, spent many hours on the porch reading, and weeded in the vegetable garden. And stared at the lovely peonies. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend as much as I did- and that you enjoy this short work week!


  1. My fiance is such a fan of these free-form tarts and yet I never remember to make them. Thanks for the reminder about how easy and satisfying they can be!