Before the strawberry season is over — which all signs indicate will be sooner than usual this year — make a simple, luscious, low-fuss tart. This recipe needs fresh berries, sliced straight from the container (frozen ones are way too drippy when thawed — perfectly all right for other dishes but not this one).
Truth be known, I could make myself perfectly happy with berries sliced with granola and yogurt for breakfast, whole berries snacked on all day, and strawberry shortcake every night for a week. Other people’s eyes glaze over when faced with such delicious repetition, so for the sake of variety, strawberries enfolded with pie crust or galette dough is a welcome change. I favor galette dough because of the buttery richness of the crust, and in the recipe that follows, a bit of cornmeal makes a good crunch. Or try a simple rustic tart made with your favorite pie pastry, even a premade one is entirely acceptable since it is summer and you might want to take a little break from time in a hot kitchen.
What makes it rustic is that you don’t roll out dough to fit into a pie plate, neatly add a top crust, then crimp the edges with pretty fluting as in a traditional pie. Simply roll it more or less into a circle, plop the berries in the center and flip the edges toward the middle, leaving a little breathing space in the center. It’s a little untidy but just as tasty.
Using parchment paper on the baking sheet means that the inevitable berry leakage doesn’t weld itself to the pan, making cleanup a good deal easier.
Obviously, this technique will work for any berry and fruit as it comes in season, or even combinations of fruit. We look forward to cherries, blueberries, blackberries, plums, peaches and apples. Obviously, grocery stores carry apricots, nectarines, plumcots and others that not all farmers markets display. Fresh fruit really stars in this kind of dessert, so relish them over the summer
And, yes, of course, serve it with whipped cream or ice cream. Did you have to ask?