(This recipe appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
In creating this dessert – a strawberry tart with wild strawberry ganache and topped with strawberry-marjoram gel – I wanted to transform the traditional look of a tart. I really wanted to come up with a new design that had never been done before. My main guidelines were that it should not be round; that it should be easy to bite into; that it have a color that corresponds to the fruit used for it; and that it have a true, full flavor of that fruit in every component of the dessert.
Yield: 12 individual tarts
Sweet Strawberry Sugar Dough
- 258 g unsalted butter
- 96 g whole eggs
- 50 g almond powder
- 160 g confectioners’ sugar
- 9 g dehydrated strawberry powder
- 1 g water-soluble red food coloring
- 2 g salt
- 330 g T55 flour
- 93 g cornstarch or potato starch
- Egg white, as needed
1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened, then add the eggs one at a time.
2. Put the almond powder, confectioners’ sugar, dehydrated strawberry powder, food coloring and the salt in a food processer and blend to combine. Add half of the egg mixture and half of the flour and potato starch mixed together and process just to blend (be careful, as soon as you add the eggs, do not mix the dough too much – the mixture must be kept sandy). Add the remaining egg mixture and the remaining flour mixture and process just until blended. Use a spatula to make sure there are no bits of flour around the edges. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
3. Roll the dough to 2 mm thickness, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. For each portion you need to cut 18 plain discs of different sizes: 6 of 1.2ʺ (3 cm); 4 of 0.79ʺ (2 cm); 4 of 0.6ʺ (1.5 cm) and 4 of 2.5ʺ (65 mm). These will be for the bottom and middle layers. For the top layer, you will need 9 rings of different sizes: 6 of 1.2ʺ (3 cm); 4 of 0.79ʺ (2 cm); 4 of 0.6ʺ (1.5 cm) and 4 of 2.5ʺ (65 mm). Lay the discs and rings close to each other, sticking them together very lightly with some egg white (see photo for design).
- 300 g strawberry purée
- 50 g fresh marjoram (don’t use dried, which will impart a bitter taste)
- 1.2 g gelatin sheets (silver)
- 33 g granulated sugar
- 1.2 g agar agar
- 33 g fresh orange juice
- 5 g lemon juice
- Infuse the puree with the marjoram for 24 hours.
- Soak the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes.
- Sift together the sugar and agar agar.
- In a small saucepan, combine the strained puree with the citrus juices and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar mixture. Return to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the drained gelatin. Transfer to a container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours, until set.
- Blend the jelly until very smooth and thick (if the gel is too thick, add a little water). Place in squeeze bottle and refrigerate until ready to use.
Strawberry Whipped Ganache
- 16 g gelatin sheets
- 900 g heavy cream 35%, divided
- 300 g white chocolate 36%, melted
- 100 g wild strawberry purée
- Soak the gelatin in very cold water.
- In a saucepan, bring 300 g of the cream to a boil. Add one-third of the hot cream at a time to the melted white chocolate, emulsifying well so that the ganache is very elastic. Add the remaining 600 g of cream. Add the wild strawberry purée and mix with an immersion blender. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Fresh strawberries, as needed
1. Assembling this tart does require lots of patience and care with each step of assembly, as the layers of sweet dough are very fragile. Remove the Strawberry Whipped Ganache from the refrigerator and let soften for about 1 hour.
2. Once softened, blend in electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (never use a whisk on this type of ganache) until you obtain the desired texture. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a plain 0.6ʺ (15 mm) tip.
3. Arrange the bottom layer of plain Strawberry Sweet Dough discs on a plate. Pipe 3 0.4ʺ (1 cm) drops of ganache on the edges and in the middle on each disc. Add a drop of Strawberry Gel into each drop of ganache. Add a 2 fresh strawberry slices (cut in 0.4ʺ/1 cm flat rounds) in between the 3 drops of ganache. Repeat process for the next layer. Top with the final layer of rings.
Chef photo by Launa Schems Allereau and dessert photos by Laurent Allereau
About Laurent Allereau
Laurent Allereau is the Executive Chef and Production Director at L’Atelier Antik in Vitrolles, France, and a member of the Académie Culinaire de France. His biggest influence came from working in Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and working for 22 years in royal palaces around the Maghreb and the Middle East. These experiences gave him the capacity to adapt his management skills in multi-cultural environments and to create unique desserts using local products.