Rustic Strawberry Tart

Cover Recipe- Woman’s Day, Rustic Strawberry Tart: June 2009

Strawberries have been very inexpensive lately.  I find myself picking up at least a couple of baskets a week, mostly picking off the stems and eating them on their own but they’re fun to utilize for desserts too.  This recipe is from a Woman’s Day cover from last June, which features fresh dessert recipes for strawberry season.  A beautiful, Rustic Strawberry Tart is on the cover, and is part of a piece boasting “Easy-to-make desserts bursting with fresh-picked flavor.”  Since rustic tarts are so simple to make, and are generally a nice way to showcase fresh fruit, I decided to give this recipe a shot.

See my notes below to see how it turned out.

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Rustic Strawberry Tart

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 35 min + chill/freeze time

Cook Time: 40 min


Pastry Dough-
1 stick (1⁄2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1⁄4 tsp salt
3 to 4 Tbsp ice water

1 1⁄2 lb strawberries, hulled
1⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1⁄2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1⁄8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp red currant jelly plus 1 tsp water, whisked smooth


1. Pastry: Place butter pieces in freezer 20 minutes or until semi-frozen. In food processor, pulse flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt until blended. Add frozen butter; pulse about 15 times or until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.  Sprinkle 3 Tbsp water over mixture and pulse until dough just comes together. Remove from food processor; with floured hands, gather into a ball, flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
2. Flour a sheet of parchment paper; roll out dough into a 12-in. round. Slide dough on parchment onto a baking sheet;  refrigerate while preparing filling. Heat oven to 375°F.
3. Filling: Halve 1⁄2 lb of the berries (choose ones similar in size) and reserve. Quarter the remaining 1 lb strawberries lengthwise. In a medium bowl, toss 1⁄4 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and nutmeg until blended; add quartered berries and butter, and toss to coat. Remove dough from refrigerator. Pile berry mixture in an even mound in center of dough within 2 in. of dough edge. Gently lift the unfilled dough edge up and onto the filling. Brush dough with egg; sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp sugar.
4. Bake 40 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is juicy. Remove from oven; slide parchment onto a cooling rack. Let cool 15 minutes. Arrange remaining halved strawberries cut side down on top of cooked filling. Lightly brush berries with red currant glaze. Cool completely.


*The dough for the tart was very simple to make, especially in the food processor.  It rolled out well, and it was easy to work with.
*I've made strawberry tarts before, and I seem to remember that when strawberries are cooked... they give off a lot of liquid, leaving the tart rather soupy.  I always sprinkle a few shortbread (or graham cracker) crumbs underneath the filling so there is something there to soak up the liquid.  This recipe didn't call for anything like that.
*This recipe called for 2 teaspoons of butter in the filling.  It absolutely doesn't need any butter.  Initially all looked fine when the tart was taken out of the oven, but given a chance to cool, the butter congealed between the fresh strawberries that were placed on top.  Yuck.  The filling would be just fine without butter.
*I didn't have red currant jelly and didn't want to buy a jar just for this recipe, so I used strawberry jam instead.  It served the same purpose.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/8th of the tart
Calories per serving: 275
Fat per serving: 14g
Saturated Fat per serving: 8g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">84g
Fiber per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 3g
Cholesterol per serving: 60mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 36g

  Woman's Day, June 2009

The results:

I cut a piece from the tart to give it the taste test, and then I ended up tossing away the rest.  The congealed butter really grossed me out, and it made the tart look entirely unappetizing.  My family didn’t want to eat it.  The flavor of the tart itself was just “okay.” If you’re looking for a good rustic strawberry tart recipe, here’s one that I made that was much more successful:  Rustic Strawberry Galette.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Unfortunately, no.  As pretty as the photograph looks, it just wasn’t all that great, and the addition of butter in the filling was a big mistake.  There are better recipes for strawberry tarts out there.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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10 Responses to “Molten Chocolate Cakes”

  1. 1

    Jenny — January 25, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    I’ve had molten lava cakes on my list for a long time and keep forgetting to make them. These are so easy. I’m wondering how they would be with the chocolate mint chips I bought at Xmas and haven’t used yet. Love the little candy hearts. Very cute.

  2. 2

    Kelly — January 25, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    Jenny – I think mint chocolate chips would be out of this world delicious! Of course, I LOVE that flavor combo, so I might be biased. Great idea!

  3. 3

    Caroline — January 25, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    I’ve always wanted to make these, but I am so tenative because I feel like the molten center means the eggs haven’t fully cooked. I always buy pasteurized eggs, but I always worry about making people sick with undercooked eggs. I may have to try them though, these look way too tempting to pass up!

  4. 4

    grace — January 27, 2011 @ 1:01 am

    i can’t believe they’re so simple! this qualifies as a fun and delicious project for sure–thanks for the review, i’m sure it was rough to try it out for us. :)

  5. 5

    Heather — January 29, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    Oh my! These look so delicious!! They are def going on my valentines menu for my hubs!!

  6. 6

    Kelly — January 30, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

    Grace – Yeah, it was tough. ;)

    Caroline – I believe the internal temperature is hot enough to fully cook the eggs. You can always do what I did and slightly over bake. They’ll still be molten just not overly so.

    Heather – Enjoy!

  7. 7

    Alissa — February 7, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    Love it!

  8. 8

    Haley Hogan — February 14, 2011 @ 6:58 am

    Amazing recipe! Can’t wait to make it for my boyfriend’s birthday this week.

    Do you think it would effect the end result if I used a hand whisk instead of an electric mixer?

    xo H

  9. 9

    Kelly — February 15, 2011 @ 4:16 am

    Haley – I don’t see why you couldn’t use a whisk, it’s just going to take longer for the mixture to get thick and will give your arm a bit of a workout. :) I think you should be fine. Enjoy!

  10. 10

    Vanessa — January 16, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

    I made these little Molten Cakes last night after having bookmarked them ages ago. They were easy and absolutely delicious! They also looked as though I had been working all afternoon on them and plated beautifully. Thanks for sharing, they are a keeper!

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