I just can’t get enough of our local strawberries. The season will last another ten to twelve days depending on weather and I feel compelled to eat them in one form or another on a daily basis. I think that part of the enjoyment is the knowledge that the season is short, and when it’s over, we won’t have these treats for another year.
Family came over for dinner yesterday and I needed a quick strawberry dessert. I bought a good supply of little baked and unbaked tart shells on a recent trip into Portland. Helen Bernhard’s Bakery (by the Lloyd Center) has been around forever, and they carry special items like these little tarts, so handy to have in the freezer for occasions like this. I have a terrific fruit stand down the street so can buy just picked berries. Making a dessert couldn’t have been easier.
I made a basic pastry cream, let it cool, and folded in some whipped cream to lighten it up. I crisped up some of the small baked pie shells in a 300 degree oven for five minutes. When cool I spooned in some cream filling, topped the tarts with sliced strawberries, and then drizzled a little heated strawberry preserves over the top. I add a dollop of whipped cream just before serving, but I wanted you to see how beautiful the tarts are without it.
Everybody loved the dessert. There’s something wonderful about the combination of flaky pastry, cream filling and ripe strawberries. I may just have the last one for breakfast.