I’m glad that the last time I made tart dough I opted to make a pile of it, as I put together at least three tart shells at the time, and freezing two of them for later use. Wrapping them tightly, keeping them frozen…very convenient for last minute desserts, quiches, or even savory tarts.

Simply defrost the night before and proceed as normal. One note–I usually don’t make sweet tart dough as I like having the option to make savory items should the spirit move me. No one has ever complained to me that my tarts aren’t sweet enough, so the tart’s purpose is simply to provide the delightful, buttery crust to counterpoint the soft sweetness. I’m certainly not averse to pâté sucree versus pâté brisee (no sugar tart shell) but leaving the sugar out hasn’t proven to be a problem.

Currently the shell is in the oven at 400 deg for about 15 minutes, filled with pie weights to keep the crust flat. Then ten more minutes to gently brown it through this ‘blind baking’ process. Later this afternoon I’ll spread out the pastry cream, cut the strawberries into appropriate sizes, and decorate the surface. If I’m feeling particularly frisky, I may add a soft apricot jam spread over the strawberries for a nice sheen and added layer of flavor.

Here–came out perfectly, the butter-encrusted dough browning wonderfully.

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