Unlike raspberries and blueberries, strawberries hit their peak in spring, and this tart is a perfect way to enjoy these bright, juicy jewels before the season passes by. The light crust is gluten-free, and the turmeric adds both a rustic yellow color and a smoky bitterness to the tart. Delicious right out of the oven, this dessert also keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days. As other delicious berries appear at the farmers’ market, feel free to use them in a late summer adaptation of the tart.
Strawberry Tamarind Tart Serves 4-6
Pungent Spice Mix (1 portion):
3/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ajwain powder or anise seeds
One 16-ounce block sweet tamarind pulp
1 cup water
1 portion Pungent Spice Mix, finely ground
1 cup coconut sugar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup brown rice flour, plus more for rolling the dough
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 large organic egg, beaten
3 teaspoons cold water
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
2 vanilla beans
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons honey, preferably raw
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
For the filling: Place the tamarind in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the block of pulp is completely broken down. (You should have a thick brown liquid puree.) Remove the pot from the heat and pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, stirring to separate the pulp dissolved in the liquid. Return the pulpy seeds to the pan and add a cup of water. Once again, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain into the bowl with the first round of pulp. Stir the spice mix into the tamarind purée. Discard the seeds and rinse out the pot. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, and spread the sugar on the bottom of pan in an even layer. Place over medium heat and cook undisturbed until the sugar begins to melt and turns golden. Add the liquid tamarind pulp to the melted sugar and whisk together. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the candy thermometer reaches 220°F. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cayenne pepper and salt. Let the mixture cool, and set aside. Place the strawberries in a large mixing bowl, then pour in two thirds of the tamarind sauce. Toss to combine.
For the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine rice flour, baking powder, turmeric, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the butter, then smash the mixture together with a fork. Add the egg and water, and stir until the mixture is sticky and forms a dough. Sprinkle some rice flour on a work surface and roll the dough out into a rectangular shape, about ¼-inch thick. Trim the rough edges and transfer to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Spoon the strawberry filling into the crust in an even layer, leaving about a 1-inch border all around. Fold the crust edges up, then bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust has turned golden brown. Remove the tart from the oven, place on a wire rack to cool, and set aside.
To finish: Cut the tart into squares or slices. Place the mascarpone in a bowl. Split open the vanilla beans, scrape out the seeds, and place them in the bowl with the mascarpone. Add the remaining tamarind sauce, honey, and coconut sugar; mix to combine. Serve the tart topped with a dollop of the mascarpone mixture.