As we walked around the market on Friday the aroma of Michigan Strawberries was absolutely intoxicating. It was hanging in the air sweet and sultry. I bought a biggie box and we ate them, shared them and talked endlessly about their unrivaled beauty and flavor. I forget what a real strawberry tastes like and am lulled throughout the long Michigan winter into a “forgetting”. A forgetting of what food grown in season, in its region can be; absolutely breathtaking. The red goes all the way to the stem, there isn’t a speck of inedible white on the berry. They are fleshy and dripping with sugar. I could hardly believe how they tasted, no one could.
That night I rescued enough to make tarts and honor their magnificence and unique relationship with balsamic vinegar and rhubarb, a trio worth celebrating.
Strawberry Balsamic Rhubarb Tarts
By: S. Duquet
3 1/2 C rough chopped strawberries
3 C chopped rhubarb
1/3 C packed brown sugar
1 Tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 Tsp Balsamic vinegar
3 Tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp water
Make It Happen
Place rhubarb in a saute pan with the brown sugar and cook for a few minutes until the rhubarb begins to soften and caramelize. Add strawberries, cinnamon and balsamic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Add the cornstarch mixture , turn up heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens. It will also thicken when it is baked so don’t worry about it getting too thick before you spoon into the shells. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
As your filling cools, rock out your crust.
From: Joy of Vegan Baking
Halve the recipe if you only need a single crust, this will make enough to roll the top and bottom of a pie. (Or 9-10 muffin size tarts) You can freeze unused portions.
The key is cold ingredients so stick everything in the freezer for 30 minutes for best results. (Critical step do not skip this.)
2 1/2 c flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
1 Tsp sugar or 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 Tsp salt
1 c vegetable shortening or 1/2 c shortening and 1/2 c nondairy butter (I used vegan shortening and vegan butter cut into small pieces)
1/3 c plus 1 Tbsp ice water
Make It Happen
Blend dry ingredients. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or crisscross action with two butter knives.(I pulsed mine in the food processor and it worked really nicely. Crust was crumbly and buttery) Add water until no dry patches remain and the dough clumps into small balls.
~Spray a 12 capacity muffin tin with non stick spray.
~Quickly, and handling the dough as little as possible, mold each tin with dough and form a small crust on each tart.
~Put tart shells in freezer for 15 minutes to chill
~Remove shells from freezer and fill 3/4 full with strawberry rhubarb mixture.
~Top with a heart cut out of left over dough or any other shape you would like. Lattice top would also be lovely. I brushed each heart with water and sprinkled with natural sanding sugar so it would glisten when baked.
~Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour or until browned. Mine were actually in for just over an hour. I couldn’t believe it but when I tasted them I became a believer.
Serve warm with a biggie scoop of vegan vanilla bean ice cream. The outside is flaky and luscious while the filling is grown up and luxurious. Sit on your front porch with your shoes off, watch the lightening bugs and revel in the bliss of summertime.
Have a delicious day.
Tags: buy local, compassionate eating, dairy free, farmers market, going veg, in season recipe, plant based diet, strawberry balsamic pie, strawberry balsamic rhubarb pie recipe, strawberry rhubarb tarts, strawberry tarts, trying vegan, trying vegetarian, vegan, vegan challenge, vegan dessert recipe, vegan entertaining, vegan experience, vegan pie recipe, vegan recipe, vegan wannabe, vegetarian recipe