I do love it when life presents you with a delicious conundrum. In this case: What do I do when my mother-in-law presents me with a heaving gallon-sized bag of perfectly ripe and luscious strawberries from her garden? Lots of answers to this question come to mind, such as:
1. Break out the melted chocolate and the Downton Abbey box set. Every time the Dowager Countess is appalled by the modern world, dip a berry (this doubles as a drinking game).
2. Create a legion of these adorable Strawberry Mice!!
3. Make this incredibly easy, remarkably delicious and surprisingly good-for-you strawberry ta
The last one is the option I went with, which might surprise anyone who knows how much I love Downton Abbey. But as it is, I happen to be pretty proud of this crust recipe and I don’t waste any opportunities to march it out in any number of configurations.
The first time I put this recipe together, frankly, I wasn’t sure if it would work. A good crust is is a lot like an awesome mom: able to handle all the sloppy, soggy, sticky things in life and do so with style…. and while staying light and crispy (that last part doesn’t really fit the mom analogy, but you get the idea). With only 2 basic ingredients and virtually no prep time it was also one of the easiest crusts I’ve seen. Oh, and it’s completely grain-free, did I mention that bit? Even Mrs. Patmore would be proud.
No Pain, No Grain: No Bake Strawberry Yogurt Tart
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hrs 15 minutes
Gluten-free, grain-free, all natural, vegetarian, easy, minimal mess
Special equipment: 9-in tart pan with removable bottom
For the crust
2 cups / 200g roasted, unsalted pecans (or use raw nuts and toast them yourself)
1 ½ cups / 175g pitted dates (about 9 large)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
A little neutral oil for brushing the pan (optional, I don’t find that I need it if I have a good pie server)
For the yogurt filling
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
½ cup / 125 ml whole milk, plus 2 tablespoons
1 ½ cups / 350ml full-fat (whole milk) Greek yogurt
¼ cup / 55g natural light brown sugar (or palm sugar)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt
20 – 30 hulled strawberries, based on size… and how much you love strawberries!
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse all the crust ingredients until crumbly and hold together when squeezed (you still want to see pieces of pecan, that’s what makes the crust crunchy!). Press mixture in an even layer into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch fluted tart tin with a removable bottom. Set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cold milk and let stand 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, warm milk over medium. When it begins to steam, add gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved, about 1 minute. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, brown sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt. Stir warm milk mixture into yogurt mixture. Pour filling into tart shell, and carefully place hulled strawberries (flat side down) into mixture. Refrigerate until set, 2 hours or up to 1 day. To serve, keep chilled, remove ring to slice.
Hungry for more? Try one of the below…