In late May I packed up my car and dog and drove to Colorado to spend a week with my mom. We had a busy and wonderful week full of planting flowers around her new house, playing with the dogs at the river, walking around town, running a 5k, and cooking (and eating!) lots of delicious food. My mom is a great cook and I definitely got my interest in cooking from her.
In college I called her dozens of times from the middle of the grocery store to ask questions like “how do I tell if this cantaloupe is ripe?” or “what do I need to buy so I can make spoon bread for dinner?” I tend to experiment a lot in the kitchen and enjoy modifying recipes or creating my own. There are definitely still occasions when I call her for help in troubleshooting a recipe that isn’t going the way I’d hoped!
While I was visiting I wanted to cook a belated Mother’s Day dinner. When I was a kid, we always bought her a strawberry pie for Mother’s Day. Once I was old enough to have an interest in baking I started to take charge of making a strawberry dessert. I’m sure there were a few early years when the dessert left something to be desired, but fortunately my skills have improved! Last year I made a Cream Cheese Poundcake with Strawberry Coulis that was pretty incredible, but I think I was able to top that this year with the Chocolate Truffle Tart.
The bittersweet chocolate filling is creamy with a hint of almond. A buttery crust, fresh, sweet strawberries, and whipped cream are the perfect complement to the rich chocolate. The whole tart comes together pretty easily. You do need to plan ahead since both the crust and the filling need a chance to chill, but the actual hands-on time to prepare the tart is minimal. In this sort of dessert, high quality ingredients are important. Naturally I recommend Organic Valley butter, eggs and heavy whipping cream. Pick up some good chocolate and fresh strawberries at your local farmer’s market and you’ll be set!
Prepare the tart crust by whisking the egg yolk, cream and vanilla together in a small bowl. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter pieces and pulse briefly to cut the butter into the flour, the mixture will resemble coarse sand. With the machine running, pour in the egg mixture and process for about 12 seconds until the dough loosely comes together, it will still appear crumbly. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch circle. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 48 hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge, if it was refrigerated for more than an hour let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes until it is malleable. Roll the dough into a 13-inch circle then transfer to a lightly greased 9-inch tart pan. Press the dough into the base and sides of the tart pan and remove the excess dough from the top (I used the extra dough in a mini-sized tart pan to make an additional tart). Set the pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Press a square of foil into the shell and over the sides, then weigh down with pie weights (dried beans or uncooked rice will also work). Bake for 25-30 minutes then take the tart out of the oven and remove the foil and weights. Bake an additional 5-8 minutes until the tart is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate filling. Place the butter and finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer in the microwave or on the stove, then pour over the chocolate and butter. Allow it to sit for about 2 minutes so the chocolate can melt, then gently whisk until smooth. Add the Amareto then pour into the tart shell. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours until the filling is firm.
To serve, slice the chocolate tart then top with fresh berries and whipped cream. Enjoy!
A former member of CROPP’s Sustainability Department, Annie has relocated to Indiana but remains a CROPPie at heart. Annie has a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and continues to work in the field of environmental sustainability. When she and her yellow lab Boomer aren't outside exploring local hiking trails, Annie can usually be found in the kitchen. While she cooks for subsistence, Annie’s real passion lies in creating indulgent baked goods for friends and family.