Summer Strawberry Tart

The Last Bite

Recipe and photography by David Santori

The sweet, heady smell of ripe strawberries waiting to be devoured on the counter in my kitchen reminds me how much I love to make fruit tarts and how much they remind me of home in France and summer.

Like the apricot tart my grandpa used to lovingly prepare for my brother and me when we came to see him for lunch or after school. Or the strawberry tart my dad always requests as a dessert for his birthday dinner. Or perhaps the cherries my grandma pitted carefully to prepare her famous clafoutis. I guess you could say summer fruits and tarts are une tradition de famille for me!

I’ve always been interested in making French desserts gluten-free ever since a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with a strong reaction to gluten and mourned the idea of having to give up French cakes and tarts. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed the process of creating new dough an crust recipes as well as cakes to put a smile back on his face and really experiment with new textures, flavors and consistency. It’s been quite fun.

So of course I wanted to share with you a tart I created a while back—updated and tweaked for this occasion. A soft, crumbly, buttery tart crust. Hints of mint and orange. Let me be very honest and already tell you that trying to resist eating a second piece is impossible. Une tarte vraiment délicieuse.

Happy summer!

David Santori, on Instagram @frenchieyankee

Summer Strawberry Tart with Grand Marnier and Mint

Makes 1 (9-inch) tart

For the gluten-free crust

  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon gluten-free oat flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
  • 1 stick or 8 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
  • 4–5 tablespoons iced water

For the strawberry purée

  • 7 ounces strawberries, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons blond cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch

For the topping

  • 16 ounces sliced strawberries
  • ⅓ cup red currant jelly
  • 1½ tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped mint

To prepare the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer sift the brown rice, oat and tapioca flours with the powdered sugar, xanthan gum and baking powder. Add the sea salt and mint and mix well on medium speed with the paddle blade.

Drop the butter cubes in the bowl and work until it becomes crumbly and sandy.

Drop the iced water in the bowl 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to come together and form a ball.

Flatten the ball, cover and wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Using some of the tapioca flour to prevent sticking, roll out the dough to fill a 9-inch tart pan. Line the pan with the dough, pressing in the corners and sides, and trim it without any overhang.

This crust recipe does not leave much overhang. Leave the crust thick to absorb the strawberry juices as much as possible.

With a fork, make small holes over the entire surface of the bottom. Place the dough and tart pan back in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Prepare the purée in the meantime. In a small food processor, purée the strawberries, sugar and orange zest. The purée should stay chunky, not liquefied. Transfer the purée to a pot and bring to a simmer. Add the cornstarch, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Let the purée cool in a small bowl.

When the dough is ready, line the bottom of the tart with parchment paper and pie weights (or baking beads; dried beans work as well) and blind bake the dough for 10 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven, remove the parchment paper and the weights, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Pour the strawberry purée into the crust and return the pan to the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the tart is cooling, prepare the topping.

Melt the jelly in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.

When it is melted, simmer for 3–4 minutes until it becomes a thicker and denser glaze and coats a spoon well.

Whisk the Grand Marnier in the glaze. Add the salt and stir again. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Slice the strawberries lengthwise and put them in a small bowl. Pour the glaze over the strawberries, add the chopped mint, stir delicately and make sure they are all coated.

Arrange the slices of strawberries neatly in a circle in the tart, starting from the outside and going in. Place the tart in the fridge until ready to be served. Keep the strawberry and glaze juice at the bottom of the bowl and drizzle a teaspoon or 2 on the plates upon serving slices.

Tiki Cocktail Mohan Travels to Peru and Gets a Haircut

Drink: Mohan Travels to Peru and Gets a Haircut

 Photo by Rey Lopez

Photo by Rey Lopez

What is it? An untraditional tiki drink filled with the fruity flavors of Peru and topped with fresh sprigs of rosemary.

How to garnish: The garnish is critical for this drink’s smell, Thompson says. If you have an herb garden, be sure to pick the rosemary fresh for the drink.

How to make:

  • 1 ounce aged Demerera Rum
  • 1 ounce Peruvian Pisco
  • 1½ ounces Chicha Morada (typically found in the international aisle of grocery stores)
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ¼ ounce vanilla syrup
  • ¼ ounce ginger syrup
  • ¼ ounce walnut liqueur
  • Semi-crushed ice
  • 2 dashes Amargo Chuncho Bitters
  • Garnish with fresh rosemary

Pour all the ingredients, except the Amargo Chuncho Bitters, into a tiki mug. Then, fill the glass ⅔ of the way with crushed ice. Stir until the mug is chilled. Top off with crushed ice. Take several sprigs of rosemary and insert across the drink to make the mohawk.

To make the ginger syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger

In a small saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil, until dissolved. Add chopped ginger and let steep for 2 minutes. Let the syrup cool, strain out the ginger, then cover and store in a refrigerator.

To make the vanilla syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3–4 vanilla beans

In a small saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil, until dissolved. Add vanilla beans and let steep for 2 minutes. Let the syrup cool, strain out the vanilla, pour into a jar or clean container, cover and store in a refrigerator.

Tiki Cocktail Banana Daiquiri Take No. 653

Drink: Banana Daiquiri Take No. 653

 Photo by Rey Lopez

Photo by Rey Lopez

Find it at: Archipelago, 1201 U St. NW, Washington, DC, 202-627-0794,

What is it? This old-school tiki cocktail has been on the menu at Archipelago since day one, and it’s easily a top favorite among the DC tiki-obsessed.

How to garnish: The drink is most recognizable for its garnish: A banana dolphin or octopus rests casually on the rim. Either garnish is easy to make and sure to wow guests.

How to make:

  • 1 ounce Cana Brava rum
  • 1 ounce El Dorado 8 Year rum
  • ½ ounce Giffard Banane du Brésil
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup (Archipelago uses Demerara Simple Syrup)
  • Half of a ripe banana
  • Crushed ice
  • 2–3 dashes Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters

Add all the ingredients to a blender, except the blackstrap bitters, then add 1 cup of crushed ice. Blend until mixed thoroughly to your liking. Pour the mix into a tiki mug. Finish with 2 to 3 dashes of blackstrap bitters. Garnish with a banana octopus or dolphin.

To make the banana octopus:

  • 1 ripe banana, in peel
  • 2 cloves

Cut off the bottom third of a banana. Then, cut 1-inch strips, or legs, into the rind and core out the inside of the banana. Insert 2 cloves as eyes for the octopus and place on top of your drink.

To make the banana dolphin:

  • 1 ripe banana, in peel
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 pineapple leaf

Cut off the top ⅔ of a banana and leave the stem on. Split the stem in half to make the dolphin’s mouth. Add 1 maraschino cherry to the mouth. Insert 2 cloves as eyes. Finally, cut a small slit halfway down the dolphin’s back and insert a pineapple leaf as the fin.