Prep 2 hrs
Cook 30 mins
Maida Heatter; you will need a 9-inch flan ring, ¾ or 1 inch deep.
- 1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shells, french tart pastry dough (French Tart Pastry)
- 2 -3 lbs fresh strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1⁄2 cup water, plus
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup sugar or 1⁄4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pastry: Prepare French Tart Pastry; flour the ball of dough lightly; roll out (Maida recommends rolling out on floured pastry cloth with floured rolling pin) into a 12-inch circle.
- Place the flan ring on a cookie sheet; transfer pastry to flan ring, centering carefully; with your fingers, press in into place.
- With scissors, trim excess, allowing ½ to ¾ inch overlap; fold excess inside to form a double thickness on the rim and press together firmly (the rim should be upright a scant ¼ inch above the flan ring.
- Place the pastry shell on the cookie sheet in the freezer at least until it is frozen .
- When you are ready to bake, adjust oven rack to the center of the oven; preheat to 375°; line the frozen shell with foil and fill it with dried beans or pie weights to keep the shell in place.
- Bake for 20 minutes; remove from oven and carefully remove foil and beans; return the shell to oven and bake 10-15 minutes until the shell is thoroughly dry and lightly browned.
- Remove shell form oven and let stand until completely cool; remove the flan ring by lifting it off.
- Place the berries in a large bowl of cold water; agitate them briefly, and then immediately remove them from the water (the sand will settle to the bottom; pick off the stems and hulls and drain on towels.
- In a blender or food processor, puree 1 pound of the berries to make 2 cups puree.
- Strain the puree through a large strainer set over a large bowl.
- Place the strained puree in a 2-quart saucepan and add in sugar and salt.
- In a small custard cup, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of the water; let stand.
- Place the remaining ½ cup water minus 1 tablespoon of water and the lemon juice in a small bowl with the cornstarch; stir to dissolve.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the strained berries.
- Place over medium heat; stir constantly but gently with a rubber spatula for about 6-7 minutes until the mixture comes to a low boil, thickens, and becomes rather clear.
- Then decrease the heat to low; add the softened gelatin, and stir to dissolve.
- Continue to cook and stir gently for 3 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and gently transfer to a wide bowl to cool.
- While the cornstarch mixture cools, place the berries in the baked shell (if berries are very large, you can cut them in half).
- They may stand upright, in a pattern of concentric circles.
- Or, if they are large, they may be cut in half and placed on their cut sides, overlapping one another in concentric circles; either way they should completely fill the shell.
- With a teaspoon, gently spoon the cooled gelatin mixture evenly all over the berries and the spaces between them.
- If the berries are halved and are overlapping, it may be necessary to raise some of them a bit to allow the mixture to run under and around them, and to fill up all the spaces.
- Refrigerate the tart for at least a few hours.
- Whipping Cream: in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip all the ingredients until the cream holds a soft shape but not until it is stiff.
- Serve the cream separately, placing a spoonful alongside each portion.