Our good friends Casey and Jen, who have the most adorable little boy Phineas, invited us over for dinner the other night. Even though I’m not a baker, I somehow always get assigned dessert duty, which is surprising since the last time we were there, I brought a complicated, from-scratch butterscotch pudding that was so über-sweet, our teeth practically fell out. I saw this as a chance to redeem myself.
When I think dessert, I rarely think cake. Instead, I have a total penchant for fruit tarts and custards. There were to be six of us at dinner so a tart seemed fitting. Since I wouldn’t have time to make it the following night after work, my mission was to find a recipe that could be made ahead of time and assembled the day of. And in my opinion, Deb of Smitten Kitchen is the dessert queen.
The Strawberry Tart -- whose crust and pastry filling can be made the night before -- caught my attention for obvious reasons. Plus the Pate Sucre with ground almonds and the pastry cream with real vanilla bean promised exquisite results (not to mention that it gave me the perfect excuse to snatch up the last of the season's strawberries).
Not only did we gobble up the entire tart, even little Phineas wanted seconds.
*Note: While it is wonderful as is, a simple fruit glaze (made by melting down fruit jelly and then brushing over the strawberries) would make this tart even prettier.