Having children is the most wonderful thing in the world, but it is also demanding. They need good food, especially when it comes to desserts. I've always cared for my children's health, so I prefered to give them homemade food. That's how I learned to make all manner of desserts, even the specialties that are usually bought from a store. For years we all prefered fresh strawberries because both my husband and I thought it would be such a shame to bake or boil those delicious fruits and ruin their taste and scent. I even tried a strawberry cake once , but no one liked it although it was a good sponge cake with lots of strawberries inside. The flavor was altered by baking so I've never tried it again. However, I am making two desserts with fresh strawberries which we all love in our family.
I used to buy strawberries from the market in a large quantity and some of them would always get crushed in the bag on my way home. While washing them I used to separate the mashed strawberries from the healthy ones and used them for making a strawberry fluff, with egg whites and sugar.
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup strawberries
- salt, as on the tip of a knife (makes the egg white tougher)
Beat egg white with a bit of salt until fluffy, then add sugar one spoon at a time. Add strawberries a few at a time and beat well. If you have a food processor it's easy; just put all in the blender and let it work for one minute. You can also add whipped cream to the fluff and turn it into a strawberry mousse. Put the fluff in the fridge for 10 minutes, then serve with waffles and strawberries inside. It's delicious!
WARNING : Eat the fluff within 24 hours after breaking the egg because the raw egg white can become contaminated after this period of time.
This next dessert was a challenge for me and a goal I've had since I was very young. A friend of mine told me about her aunt who used to make tart crusts and custard, then leave them in the refrigerator with the strawberries, so that everyone in the family would be able to make their own strawberry tarts. She told me how she used to go home and take a tart crust, add custard and strawberries on top. That seemed like the most delicious dessert ever - and so easy to make! This story remained in my memory, and years after that, after learning more about making desserts, I was able to do those tarts myself and do like my friend's aunt did, but for my children. Sometimes I gave some to my friends too. I was amazed once when someone told me that those tarts couldn't have been done by me, they were too good! But I made those tarts and many more every year, especially when I have strawberries. They can be prepared with other fruits too.
Whenever I'm making a strawberry fluff, I use the one remaining yolk in the pastry or the custard for the tarts - why throw it away? This recipe makes five tarts. If you need more tarts, just double or triple the recipe.
Tart crust ( pastry)
- 1 cup allpurpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup butter, in small cubes
- 1/4 cup powder sugar
Mix all ingredients in a bowl quickly, by hand; don't overmix, Just knead until it forms a tender dough ball, without breaking. Take a small ball of dough and put it into the small pan. Use your fingers to roll it all over the pan, by pressing gently, begining from the center bottom to the edges, same thickness all over. You can roll the dough on the table, cut a round shape using the pan's shape (but larger) and put it gently into the pan. But this is harder because the dough breakes and you would have to fix it with your fingers anyway. Meanwhile , preaheat oven at 170F for 10 minutes, put the pans with the crust inside and let for 30-40 minutes. Get the tarts out of the pans immediately after taking them out of the oven. Squeeze gently the pan and pull gently the edges of the tart using a kitchen glove.
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoonsful white sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- Strawberries, cleaned and washed
Boil 2/3 cup milk , add mixture of egg, sugar, flour and rest of the milk, then stir until the custard thickens - DON'T LET BOIL ! When boils, set appart. Let cool, then put to fridge. Before serving, fill in the crust with the custard and stick strawberries in it. Whipped cream would be a delicious addition!
A delicious combination of the two desserts I mentioned above can be a sponge cake with custard filling and strawberry fluff frosting. Only you need to remember to eat the whole cake until the next day, otherwise the fluff becomes toxic. But that shouldn't be a problem for you, same as it wasn't for us - no cake left after the party!
Bon appetit !