Nikki has to take breakfast into a department at work tomorrow and she asked for my help making goodies. As long as I’m capable of cooking, I seldom pass up a chance to do it. She made her famous lavender currant scones and a crustless broccoli, cheddar and onion quiche. After a quick look in my freezer, I decided on strawberry tarts. Nikki suggested using muffin tins to make small individual sized tartlets since I don’t have enough custard cups to make a large batch. It worked brilliantly.
Now I couldn’t make plain strawberry tarts and leave it at that, I have to be more creative. I made strawberry balsamic tartlets instead. Since I wasn’t eating the tartlets and I didn’t need to worry about keeping them gluten free, I used commercial pie crust. My gluten free pie crust recipe, though, can be found here. I couldn’t bring myself to use cane sugar in the strawberries so I used honey to sweeten them instead. Agave nectar can easily be substituted.
6 cups strawberries
3 Tbs honey
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs corn starch
1 batch of pie crust, cut into four inch circles
1/2 cup slivered, toasted almonds (optional)
fresh ground black pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 450* F. In a large bowl, mash berries with the back of a spoon or a potato masher and pour off at least 6 oz of juice. Reserve the juice for later use. In a saucepot, bring strawberries to a simmer. Add honey and vinegar, stir well. Combine reserved strawberry juice and corn starch to make a slurry. Add to the saucepot and stir constantly until the strawberry filling has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
To prepare the tartlet crusts, grease the cups of a muffin pan and careful fill each muffin cup with a round of pie crust. To prevent the pie crust from bubbling up during baking, place a cupcake paper inside each muffin cup and on top of the pie crust. Place a teaspoon of uncooked rice or dried beans inside the cupcake paper. Bake tartlet crusts for 9-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, remove the cupcake papers and rice or beans. Careful take the tartlet crusts out of the muffin tins and fill each one with several tablespoons of the strawberry filling. If desired, lightly sprinkle black pepper on each tartlet and top with slivered almonds.