Lemon curd gets a lot of attention, but I’m about to make strawberry curd your new obsession with these Strawberry Almond Tartlets!
I have to admit that when I saw a recipe for strawberry curd, it blew my mind a little. I never considered that I could make pretty much any fruit curd my little heart desired. With this new (how did I never know this??) information, I set out to making a dessert using strawberry curd…because STRAWBERRIES. They might be the best fruit on the planet. They’re definitely the best fruit on the planet this time of year. 😀
These Strawberry Almond Tartlets are vanilla almond pastry crusts filled with velvety strawberry curd, all topped off with toasted meringue. The combination of textures and flavors will have you rolling your eyes and wondering if it’s socially acceptable to have than one (it totally is).
There are several components to these little tartlets, but none of them are very difficult to complete. The pastry for the crusts mixes up easily, using cake flour to make the pastry more tender. You can substitute all-purpose flour if you’re in a pinch, but the cake flour will result in a more tender crust.
The crusts are chilled in the freezer prior to baking, so you won’t even need pie weights! I used six 4″ tartlet pans with removeable bottoms (like these [here]). You could make one large 8″ or 9″ tart with this same recipe, you will just need to increase the bake time for the crust.
It’s no secret that I LOVE vanilla bean paste, so I added it to both the crust and the meringue. Just look at those black flecks in the meringue! <3 If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, you can find it [here]. If you prefer to substitute, you can use vanilla extract.
I use a kitchen torch to toast my meringue. You can put the tartlets under the broiler, just don’t take your eyes off them for a second! I prefer the torch, since it gives more control over the toasting. The curd will stay chilled that way, too! My torch is old so I don’t even know what kind it is, but this one (link [here]) has great reviews. Seriously, get a torch. It’s so fun. 😉
These little tartlets are definitely going to be an every-summer-bake at my house from now on. (And you know that’s saying something, since I’m always making something new.) I’m also dreaming up more fruit curds that I can make in the future… 😀
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Strawberry Almond Tartlets
Vanilla Almond Pastry:
- 2½ cups cake flour (see note)
- ¼ cup almond flour
- pinch salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, diced (1/2 stick or 4 Tablespoons)
- 1 egg white
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- fresh strawberries, if desired
- sliced almonds, if desired
- In a small bowl combine cake flour, almond flour, and salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla bean paste (see note), and almond extract and beat to combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly to form a disc. Wrap the disc in plastic and refrigerate 2-3 hours (or freeze 30 minutes).
- Grease six tartlet pans (see note) and set aside. After chilling, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8" thick. Line each of the pans with the pastry, taking care not to stretch the dough as you do so. (Pastry scraps may be gathered and re-rolled as needed.) Place crusts on a baking sheet and freeze 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Leaving the tartlets on the baking sheet, bake 15-20 minutes. Pastry will appear dry and very slightly browned. (If you're making a large, 8"-9" tart, it will need to bake for 25-30 minutes.) Allow crusts to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a food processor, puree the strawberries. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the puree of all the pulp and seeds.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks. Whisk to combine. Add lemon juice and strained strawberry puree and whisk to combine.
- Over medium heat, cook the mixture until thickened, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, allowing the butter to melt into the curd before adding more. Allow curd to chill in the refrigerator until it is chilled through.
- Combine egg white and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- Bring a small pot of water to a simmer, placing the heatproof bowl on top. Be sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.
- Cook, whisking often, until sugar has dissolved completely.
- Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on high speed until stiff peaks form and mixture is no longer hot to the touch.
- Add vanilla paste (see note) and whip to combine, about one more minute. Transfer meringue to a piping bag, if desired.
- Fill cooled tartlet crusts with chilled strawberry curd.
- Pipe meringue on top of curd, if desired, or dollop it on with a spoon. Toast meringue with torch or broiler (see note). I also garnished my tartlets with fresh strawberries and sliced almonds.Enjoy!