Strawberry tarts - How do you eat yours?
These delicious delicacies have been consumed for hundreds of years as a seasonal end to a meal or an afternoon treat with a cup of tea. Traditionally made using smaller berries grown in kitchen gardens to the new hybrid strawberry we know today which is much larger and sweeter, but equally as seasonal. The flavour and the size of the strawberry is integral to the overall enjoyment of this dessert. Sour... and the whole experience is tainted. Small ... is just disappointing.
Our strawberries are hand picked to the biggest and freshest possible. Only the best will do. That is why, at Christie the Baker, we only make these seasonally using local Scottish fruit markets and growers to ensure you have the finest, juiciest strawberries available. This not only guarantees the best quality of finished tart but also supports the shop local campaign and reduces our carbon footprint.
So now to the next main component, the pastry encasing the fresh fruit. It was originally designed to be a carrier of the strawberry and cream and was never actually intended to be consumed. However this changed in the late 16th century. The pastry became sweeter, lighter and softer to eat thus creating the holistic flavour and texture we enjoy so much today. At Christie the Baker, these cases are individually made using our traditional sweetpaste recipe and baked in our ovens by our talented bakers. These are allowed to cool before we pipe in the cream and place the strawberry into the centre. Each one is then finished with our speciality sauce to give that glistening sweet gooeyness to each strawberry tart.
Now, the all important question .... How do you to eat them?
Simply it is not easy. Expect to get messy but have some fun with them.
The least tricky would be as part of an afternoon tea or dessert, served on a plate with a small cake fork and knife. This way allows you to delicately eat this tart and be treated to a little bite of strawberry, cream and pastry all at the same time. Mmmmm.....
Or you could go for the "whole in one!" Wow go for it if you can! With the size of these strawberries, don't expect to have any conversation with anyone for at least five minutes and have napkin at the ready, that sauce is sticky. You'll be wiping it off your chin!
Another option is to eat the succulent strawberry first, then lick out the remaining sauce and cream and finally that all important sweet pastry case for that crunchy texture to complete your journey.
So have you've decided which way you want to eat yours? If you would like to see how Callum Grant tackled his strawberry tart have a look at the link below. These little delights have been around for centuries, introduce them to your younger generations as surprisingly many comments on this link suggest young people don't even know what a strawberry tart is! Hopefully this has given some insight into what you might be missing. Enjoy...whatever way you choose to eat one!
These treats are available in our shops in Airdrie and Coatbridge from May to September.
Christie the Baker - Quality baking through the generations.