A strawberry tart cannot pay your bills, run for president, or call your mother. It will not clean out your fridge or write your thesis. It doesn’t calm a colicky baby, mow the lawn, or do the laundry. These things need to be said because after one bite, you’ll probably feel that this strawberry tart can do anything—or, at least, that you can while enjoying it.

If such praise seems a little excessive, consider this: strawberries arrive at the market in spring, a season known for its joy-inducing qualities.

Call it spring fever. Sweet and juicy and vibrant, strawberries are nature’s giddy invitation to have fun. Set your salad aside—it’s time for dessert. Of course, strawberries are plenty satisfying on their own, but turning them into a simple tart will give you the double pleasure of making and enjoying something delicious.

This strawberry tart seems made for a Saturday, and for getting the most from your market haul. In the early morning, cobble together a rustic dough before you head out for the farmers’ market, coffee in hand. The butter will form geological striations in a crust that’s chewy, crisp, and faintly nutty. Pick up a few pints of the reddest local strawberries while you’re there. Quarter some and slow-simmer them into a ruby jam while you catch up on Netflix. Assemble it all in a beautiful tart just before dinner—with plenty of time to invite a couple of friends over to share. Like spring, this strawberry tart is short-lived and best enjoyed immediately.


Rustic Strawberry Rye Tart
Serves 8

Ingredients:

For the pie crust:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups rye flour
1 tsp. salt 1 c. + 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
8 Tbs. ice water

For the preserves:
3 cups quartered strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
A few dashes of grapefruit bitters (optional)

For the tart: 
1 egg, beaten
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 cups hulled strawberries, slices
3 Tbs. sugar

Instructions:

1. Whisk the our and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into cubes and then work it into the our until well-mixed and our has reached a crumbly consistency.

2. Add vinegar to the ice water; then add water to the our mixture, a few tablespoons at a time until the dough just comes together. Add a few more tablespoons of icy water if the dough seems dry. Press it together into a ball, split into two disks, wrap each disk well with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. (You will only need one disk; the other will keep in the freezer for three months.)

3. To prepare the preserves, combine 3 cups of quartered strawberries, 3⁄4 cup of sugar, lemon juice, and bitters (if using) in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the juices thicken and become jammy, about 30–45 minutes. Allow it to cool completely.

4. Preheat the oven to 400F. On a floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out the dough into a long oval, about 15 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 1⁄4-in thick. Prick all over with a fork
to prevent bubbles during baking. Transfer parchment paper and crust to a baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and bake until the crust is a deep, golden brown about 25–30 minutes. Cool completely.

5. Meanwhile, combine 3 tablespoons of sugar and mascarpone cheese. Once crust is cool, spread the mascarpone mixture evenly over the tart, followed by the preserves. Arrange fresh sliced strawberries on top. Cut into slices and serve.