This past weekend, many southern Louisiana residents gathered to celebrate one of the state’s most popular springtime crops — strawberries. Self-proclaimed as the “Strawberry Capital of the World,” Ponchatoula is a favorite place for finding farm-fresh berries. Between our farmers’ markets and produce stands, Ponchatoula strawberries are never too far out of reach.
With April and my favorite seasonal festival underway, a glamorous dessert must be made in celebration of one of the state’s sweetest crops. Tarts filled with fresh strawberries evoke springtime warmth and local flavor. Made from ruby red Ponchatoula strawberries bedded on a light amandine tart crust with a simple homemade gelatin mixture produced with boiling water and strawberry preserves, the ingredients are easy, the preparation is almost effortless, and the final product is pretty outstanding.
Although a friend inspired this dish with memories of German gelatin-filled strawberry cakes (what’s referred to as an “Erdbeerchen” Cakes in German cooking), this tart’s local berries, easy construction, and French amandine crust are entirely Louisiana.