Fresh Strawberry Tarts
Make the most of the British strawberry season, with these delightful fresh strawberry tarts
Mark Stower, DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND SERVICE
- Preparation time: 20 mins
- Cooking time: 15 mins
- Serves: 6
Preheat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6.
Place a sheet of greaseproof paper onto your worksurface and roll out the puff pastry block, until the thickness of approx. 0.5cm, keeping to a rectangular shape.
Cut the rolled-out pastry into 6 equally sized rectangles. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg. Now score a 1.5cm border around the edge of the pastry (do not cut all the way through).
Bake the pastry in the oven for approx. 10mins or until it is puffed and golden. Set aside to cool. When cool, remove and discard the central piece of pastry.
Prepare the strawberry coulis – place 200g of the strawberries into a saucepan with the granulated sugar, squeeze of lemon juice and cook over a medium heat until the strawberries have softened. Allow to cool and blitz with a blender. Set aside.
To assemble the tarts – fill each of the cooled tart cases with a heaped tablespoon of crème fraiche, using the remaining strawberries, divide equally and arrange over the top of the crème fraiche. Now drizzle over the cooled strawberry coulis.
7. For a final flourish – dust the top of the strawberry tarts with the icing sugar. Enjoy straightaway.
Strawberries belong to the rose family and an average strawberry contains around 200 individual seeds!
Traditionally the British strawberry season only lasted six weeks - from mid-June to August. However, thanks to polytunnels, giant glasshouses, and new sustainable technologies such as vertical growing, we now have the joy of British strawberries from early spring well into the autumn.
Very small wild strawberries appear to have grown in Britain since the Ice Age, over 10,000 years ago and were eaten by the Romans and used as medicines.
The relatively large strawberries we eat today or ‘garden strawberries’ were first developed as a hybrid of European and American fruits at the beginning of the nineteenth century but eating small strawberries with cream was first recorded in Tudor times.
Strawberries are very low in calories as they are so high in water – around 90% - and fibre, which makes up around a quarter of a strawberry’s weight and are therefore good for digestive health.
They are one of the best sources of vitamin C, which is important for immune function and skin health. About eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange! They are full of many other vitamins and minerals too, including the B vitamin folate and potassium.
Each portion of Mark’s lovely summer recipe provides around 1.5 portions of your 5 A Day.
Dr Juliet Grey, Company Nutritionist