Unfortunately, this week has been a bit sad for me. One of my students recently had a death in her family, and if that wasn’t bad, a close family friend of ours just past away after a two year battle with cancer. I feel for my student, and, while our family friend fabulously outlived her doctor’s guess of “six months left” by a year and a half, it still hurts to have lost a friend.
Nothing heals an aching heart better than dessert, for two main reasons. 1) Distracted hands tend to distract me from other, more troublesome things and 2) Good food can’t fix a hurting heart, but it can definitely fill in at least a few of the cracks. Even more than that, food is a wonderful way to remember people and moments in time. Every time I make a lemon-almond cake, I think of my grandma, because she taught me how to make it in the first place. I never made a strawberry tart for our family friend but she looooved dessert, and would come over to eat with my family every Sunday.
I chose to make this dessert for the ties to the anime- in Plastic Memories, a little boy is mourning the deaths of his parents and come to terms with the semi-permanence of his android caretaker, Marcia, who is basically being repo’ed by the government because she’s approaching old age and the subsequent instability that comes with older models. He’s frustrated with her for leaving, because she’s his only family member left. To cheer him up, she makes this dessert, which his mother used to make for him on his birthday. His family would gather around, and they would celebrate together, and she wanted to remind him of this last good time before she had to leave.
In honor of all the people we’ve ever lost- my family friend, my student’s family member, whoever you’ve lost in your life- let’s make this dessert to commemorate the good times we had with them. Losing people is a horrible feeling, but, in the end, the best way to remember someone is with joy and happiness, and not with the pain of your own aching heart.
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch
1/2 cups almond flour
Splash of vanilla extract
Equal parts sugar and water, dissolved together.
2 lbs Strawberries
You will need a 9.5 inch tart pan.
Making the Tart
Ok! First things first- rinse the strawberries. Cream butter and sugar together for the crust.
Then, mix in the eggs.
Finally, sift in flour. If you don’t have a sieve, just whisk it before you put it in, to aerate the flour.
Put in a plastic bag, flatten out, and set aside in the freezer to chill.
Then, for the filling, cream butter and sugar again. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients. In a minute you’ll notice that my filling doesn’t quite fill up the whole tart shell. This is because I took this recipe from another place and altered the measurements to fill my tart pan. However, because the filling is a volume measurement, I only doubled it when I should have tripled it. The recipe I’ve given you is the correct amount- not the doubled amount I’d made.
Set this aside, and take crust back out. If it’s cold enough (it can be rolled out, but won’t melt to the counter), roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
When it’s big enough that the pan can sit on it and still have extra crust going over the side, you’re ready. Peel off one piece of parchment paper, and then flip the crust into the pan.
Peel off the second piece of parchment paper, and work the crust into the tart pan. If it rips at all, just fill in the rips with extra pieces of crust. Make the edge as even as possible, and then prick the bottom of the tart shell.
Spoon in the filling and even off. A note here- in the anime, it really looks kinda cake-like when removed from the oven. I couldn’t find a single recipe that could recreate this look, and this was the closest I could find.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit about 20-25 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool off. In the meantime, prepare simple syrup. Melt the apricot jam in the microwave, just to make it a little more fluid.
Then, brush the tart with the simple syrup, then the apricot jam. Make sure to take the leafy parts off the strawberries.
When completely cool, arrange the strawberries in the shell.
Re-heat the jam, and mix with a little water to make it even more fluid. Use as a jam to coat the strawberries. Not necessary, but it’ll give the whole thing a nice shine.
And now it’s done!
This strawberry tart is really tasty, and surprisingly easy. I had my doubts when starting it, but it came together really quickly, and, though I thought it would be a bit tasteless, was actually very satisfying. Not too sweet, not too plain, it has a simple, almost healthy feel to it. I ate two slices for breakfast and didn’t feel a whit of shame.
I hope you enjoyed this post! To check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog for more anime and manga themed food. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! 😀
In case you missed it, check out our last dish: omurice from “Mob Psycho 100”. What other famous anime dishes would you like to see Emily make on COOKING WITH ANIME?