Thursday, July 08, 2010

Balsamic Strawberry Tart with Olive Oil Crust

It is too %#!@$@$ hot here to think straight right now.

I know, I know, you guys living in really hot places will laugh at me. But really, it is S.O. H.O.T.

It's a whopping 25 C to 30 C! (That's probably 75 F to 85 F.) Fine, you can laugh a little.

Hence, I don't seem to be physically able to write much. This will be a short one... well, "short" by eatingclub standards. ;)

Bimbo Strawberries

We had these bimbo-esque strawberries in the house, so they weren't very good for eating out of hand. Look at it! They were huge! They looked "pretty" enough, but they were tasteless.

So, I knew we had to do something with them. This is what I came up with.

I cooked together some butter, brown sugar, strawberries and balsamic vinegar.

I used this classical pairing of strawberries and balsamic vinegar as a tart filling. Since I had balsamic vinegar, I thought, why not make an olive oil tart crust!

I tried to do the easy way by having a press-in crust. Hmm, I don't know if I made it wrong, but it turned out that I didn't have enough dough to properly cover my tart pan. Oh well. The crust was just thin and patchy, but still edible.

I blind-baked the crust and simply filled it with the balsamic strawberry filling. The color wasn't that attractive because the balsamic vinegar turned everything brown. So, I decided to cover it up with whipped cream.

And there you go! I had the hardest time photographing this as well.

In any case, strawberries + caramel + balsamic = yummy. The olive oil crust was decidedly olive oil-y and worked quite well, I thought. The whipped cream didn't hold up well, though. It just drooped. But, that didn't affect the taste, so all was well.

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Balsamic Strawberry Tart with Olive Oil Crust
Makes 1 8 to 9-inch tart

Balsamic Strawberry Filling
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 to 1 pound strawberries, halved, sliced, or diced
lemon zest (optional)
cornstarch slurry (optional)

In a pan/skillet, heat butter and add the sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook for a few minutes until slightly thickened and reduced. Add the strawberries and lemon zest (if using) and cook until strawberries are cooked through.

If you wish, add cornstarch slurry to thicken the filling and help it set. (Cornstarch slurry = cornstarch dissolved in cold water.)

While the filling is hot, add the cornstarch slurry, stirring, until mixture has thickened.

Olive Oil Press-In Tart Dough
tart dough recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar (white or brown)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons ice water

Process the flour, sugar and salt together in a food processor until combined. Drizzle the oil over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about 12 pulses.

Add 2 tablespoons of the ice water and continue to process until large clumps of dough form and no powdery bits remain, about 5 seconds. If the dough doesn't clump, add the remaining tablespoon water and pulse to incorporate, about 4 pulses. Press the dough into a 9=inch tart pan.

Making the tart
Preheat oven to 350 F.

If dough is soft from working into the tart pan, place in refrigerator or freezer to firm up. Cover tart shell with parchment paper and add baking weights. Bake until crust is lightly golden. Let cool.

Pour in the balsamic strawberry filling into the tart shell and refrigerate to set. Top with whipped cream, if desired.


  1. What a creative and lovely tart! I love sweet and savory pairings for dessert and I would have been all over this one. Absolutely gorgeous, and I just LOVE the idea!

  2. Oh, and PS - in Toronto it's about 34 today, and with the rampant humidity it "feels like 43". So...yeah. I've been miserable for about a week now and we could fry eggs on our driveway.

  3. Balsamic strawberry tart? hmm I haven't tried it. The only tart I tried is the durian tart that is so yummy. I have been looking forward to bake this tart. I will try this recipes :) Thank you

  4. Beautiful! Looks great! I tend to use a lot of liquor with strawberries, but love the balsamic idea.

  5. It looks good! I've never really tried pairing strawberries with balsamic vinegar, although I've heard about it a lot and that it's really good. I should try it.

    My, I can't believe you had the guts to bake and use your oven at this crazy weather! I try to avoid using mine, it turns my whole house hotter than usual. It sounds silly, considering that I grew up in a tropical country... but I seriously CAN'T STAND THE SWELTERING HEAT. It's really killing me and making me miserable.

  6. The strawberry is huge. I heard that irregularly shaped strawberries are actually very sweet. Wonder how true is that....

    It is hot in the past week too.

  7. The whipped cream on top is so nice and fluffy looking! I much prefer press in crusts. I hate rolling out pie dough!

  8. This really is a heavenly combination! It looks wonderful!

  9. It looks amazing! Now i crave something sweet and yummy.

  10. Looks great! Maybe you could also try using a baked meringue on top which won't melt like the cream and provides a nice crunchy texture. I stumbled on your blog by accident and really like it. Didn't realised you watch Food Safari or Kylie Kwong in Canada!

  11. absolutely LOVE balsamic strawberries and whoa! look at the size of THAT strawberry!!! Maddd!!! Agree with Lisa, maybe merengue on top instead of cream (although I dunno how to make merengue heheh)

  12. ChoosyBeggarTina:
    My execution could've been a lot better, though. OMG, the weather there! You get really cold and really hot: how do you do it?!

    balsamic vinegar recipes:
    Thanks for the visit.


    kaye i.
    I totally understand what you mean. I have no heat tolerance!

    I don't know if it's the shape, necessarily, but the nice ones I've tried are quite, quite small. But, the whole fruit would be red (none of that white tasteless part in the middle like the "bimbo" strawberries usually for sale).

    eat me delicious:
    Thanks! I was a little annoyed that my crust was too thin. Should've used a smaller tart pan.

    Thanks! =)

    Lisa Oz:
    Thanks for the visit and the comment! Oh, a meringue is a great idea! When I feel non-lazy (very seldom, I must say), I'll definitely give that a try. =)

    M Rita:
    Hehehe... maybe I'll just skip making the meringue altogether and just get some really good vanilla ice cream. =)


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