At this time of year, when fresh strawberries are ripe for the picking, there is only one way to eat them:
1. Place strawberry in hand.
2. Move towards mouth.
4. Don’t bite stem though.
5. Chew and swallow.
And for my fellow environmentalists, there is the optional step of “carefully discarding stem in that adorable mini compost bucket you keep in the corner of the kitchen”.
|Meh. Ours is cuter. source|
There really is nothing like a strawberry straight off the vine. That is why we always give the farmer an extra dollar or two after going strawberry picking—to, um, account for the pound-and-a-half of berries eaten before they even graced the bottom of the bucket. On a related note: yes, it is possible to get a sugar rush from solely eating fruit. Scientific fact right there.
But sometimes, after eating enough strawberries to permanently stain your tongue red and rot your teeth Lucky Charms-style, some stubborn little gems remain in the fridge, taking up all that space like they don’t even care. What to do? For Baby June, the answer is obvious—put ‘em in some sugary baked goods. The carby deliciousness almost acts like a lubricant, to help those all-too-healthy strawberries slide down your gullet more easily. Already, we have tried banana bread muffins and oatmeal cookie cups; now it is time to try a new tactic for eradicating those pesky strawberries before they rot. Something bold. Something grand. Something that doesn’t require turning on the oven in this goddamn early-summer heat.
|Why do that when you can do this? source|
So, as the courageous recipe developer that this blog requires me to be would do, I set out to develop a recipe to fit those stringent yet necessary criteria. I developed all day and all night, and finally vomited up this delicious, succulent tart, dripping with sugary tastiness straight out of my esophagus.
|Now that is some sexy vomit.|
And surprisingly enough, the tart does fit those requirements of being bold and grand and no-bake all at once. Comprised of a basic no-bake crust, some basic vanilla pudding, and the world’s easiest strawberry chia jam, there’s nothing in here that is not perfect for hot summer weather. Not to mention, it’s pretty healthy too. I mean, check this out:
|Look, ma, no cholesterol!|
This, of course, was calculated with the products that I used in my particular batch, so these nutritional facts aren’t applicable to every possible tart. But still, you’ve got to admit that’s pretty impressive. Sure, there’s a bit of saturated fat, but there is nearly the same amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which are much healthier. There’s a bunch of fiber and protein too. So yeah. That’s healthy, I think.
Under the vitamins and minerals section (not pictured), I also found that this tart was rich in vitamin E and manganese, with one slice containing about 40% of one’s daily needs for manganese. That’s a lot of rock in an ordinary-looking tart.
|Not sure how to feel about this. source|
Why do I care if this is “healthy”, whatever that means? Well, mostly because it determines whether or not I can eat it for breakfast. I decided it was healthy enough; therefore I had a healthy slice of it this morning along with my jug of coffee. My kind of logic.
It turned out to be perfect for a hot summer morning, as luck and my recipe developing skillz would have it—the filling is sort of a mix between an ice cream pie and a popsicle, with icy sorbet-like strawberries alongside creamy frozen pudding; and the crust is perfectly sweet and chewy, almost like an almond butter-oat cookie.
|Haha you're cute.|
But you don’t have to eat it for breakfast. This stuff is perfect for dessert, too. Or a snack. Or dinner. Or any time of the day.
Here’s the recipe.
No-bake strawberry pudding tart
Makes one 10-inch tart
Crust (adapted from Oh She Glows)
107 grams • almonds, raw or toasted • ¾ cup
54 grams • coconut oil • ¼ cup
60 grams • maple syrup • 3 tablespoons
1 gram • salt • ¼ teaspoon
141 grams • rolled oats • 1 ¾ cups
About 2 to 3 cups of your favorite vanilla pudding (such as this)
144 grams • strawberries, stems removed • 1 cup
40 grams • maple syrup • 2 tablespoons
30 grams • chia seeds • 2 tablespoons
Sliced strawberries for garnish
To make crust, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture has become clumpy and dough-like. Dump the whole thing into a greased tart pan (I used one with a diameter of 10 inches) and press crust evenly onto the sides and borders of the pan. Set aside.
To make filling, head over to Oh My Veggies to get instructions for the chia jam. Basically, you boil the strawberries and maple syrup, mash the strawberries, add the chia seeds, and let sit for about ten minutes until the seeds have done their magic; however, if you need more instruction the above link is very helpful.
Once the chia jam is fully cooled, place both the pudding and jam in the tart shell and swirl around a little, smoothing over the top. Place sliced strawberries on top in whatever pattern you choose. Freeze for at least half an hour to firm up. Now you can remove the tart from its pan. Let sit at room temperature for about five minutes before slicing. Serve with whipped coconut cream and fresh strawberries.
As you can see, the dollop of whipped cream I placed so elegantly atop this slice of tart is unnaturally perfect, almost reminiscent of a jar of Reddi-Whip. How could this be so?
The answer is this:
Sometime last year, I discovered the weird and wonderful world of modernist cuisine, wherein you aren’t quite sure what you’re eating but at least it looks cool. It’s like abstract art.
One of the most important elements of this post-haute cuisine is foams—and not just milk foams, but egg foams, juice foams, chicken foams, vegetable foams. If you’ve ever dreamed about spraying fluffy kale juice all over your salad, today you can make that happen that simple piece of equipment you see above.
As a world-class whipped cream aficionada, I just had to have one. So for Christmas, we took the plunge and invested in a half-pint sized Gourmet Whip from Isi. It’s about a hundred dollars, but so far I’ve found it to be totally worth the price. I have made eggnog, chocolate mousse, (totally non-vegan) hollandaise, and of course batch after batch of fresh whipped cream, of many flavors and levels of sweetness.
In addition, because it uses a fancy schmancy nitrous oxide (a.k.a. laughing gas) charger, it can create whipped cream with about four times the volume of the original liquid, compared to the whipped cream only twice the volume that is produced by an electric stand mixer. It works beautifully with both dairy cream and coconut cream, even with additives like cocoa powder, spices, and
spinach puree I mean, what?
Basically, it’s pretty awesome. Not to mention surprisingly easy to use. So consider that my product review du jour.
I just love kitchen things, can’t you tell?
|And this. source|