When your waffle maker breaks mid delicious waffle-making? Or your lemon tartlets crack? Or the chocolate chips melt inside the cookie batter you make? Or your poppy seed cake explodes?
What do you do in such situations?
Yep, that’s what I do.
I’m sure you are much more mature than I am. I’m sure you handle kitchen disasters with poise and grace. You’re not like me, are you?
If you were as silly as I was in the first place, and you overfilled your little strawberry tarts with strawberry filling, and your tarts turned your oven into a giant jar of strawberry jam, and then they stuck in their tins and you couldn’t get them out, would you whinge and whine and sook and stress like I did?
I’m sure you wouldn’t.
Besides these strawberry tarts turning my oven into a jam jar because they leaked their juices everywhere, and apart from the fact that I struggled getting them out of the muffin pan, they were beautiful.
And I definitely learned my lesson about over-filling strawberry pies.
For the pastry
This recipe calls for almond meal, which is just finely ground almonds. You can buy it at some supermarkets or you can make your own. Just put 60g of almonds in a blender or food processor and blend until the almonds turn to a fine powder.
350g plain flour
55g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
60g almond meal
A pinch of salt
200g unsalted butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
40ml water, chilled (4 tbsp or so)
For the strawberry filling
This pie filling calls for tapioca flour. If you can’t find this, try using extra cornstarch or some flour as a replacement thickener.
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar, salt, almond meal and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a food processor) and mix on a low speed until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolks and the cold water while the mixer is still running. Continue to mix until a dough forms. Divide the dough in half, one half slightly larger than the other and shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make your filling. Take the stems off the strawberries and slice them up finely. In a large bowl, mix the strawberries together with the sugar, tapioca flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a 12-hole muffin pan.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger disc of dough until it is 1/3cm thick. Cut out 12 11cm circles. Line the muffin holes with the pastry discs.
Fill the pastry cases with the strawberry filling. Use the strawberries only, not the juices, and only fill them 3/4 of the way, unless you want a jammy oven and lots of whingeing.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the smaller disc of dough until it is 1/3cm thick. Cut it into 1 x 10 cm strips. Arrange the strips into a lattice over the little pies (see here on how to arrange a lattice crust) and trim the edges.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden. Makes 12 little pies.