The perfect summer strawberry tart meets a lightly fortified wine called Samos Muscat Vin Doux. The wine is traditionally made in the southern area of the Rhone Valley very close to Chateauneuf-du-Pape. You don’t have to speak French to appreciate this very special wine. It is often referred to as, the sweet nectar of the Gods. Muscat is the grape variety and is known for its abundant aromatics.
This particular selection is from the 3,000 foot slopes of Mount Ambelos in Greece– a place as much in love with this grape as anyone. Besides, since the origin of the grape is Arabic, they are much closer to its original home! Beguiling aromas of over-ripe melon, butterscotch candy, and apricot jam hit you right away. With the first sip you’ll experience a wine with medium body, luscious tropical fruit flavors, a hint of citrus, with some roasted almonds in the finish.
The tart is very easy to make and you see from the photo we made the recipe in individual half-pint jelly jars, perfect for a picnic or dinner party. It is a recipe provided by wine luminary and author Karen MacNeil.
The pairing worked well by matching the fresh strawberry taste with the refreshing and luscious flavors of the wine. The almond in the wine was accentuated by the roasted almonds of the tart. The light creamy filling has a similar texture you find in the wine. For a contrast, the toasted almonds and crust highlighted that same creamy mouth feel and added interest. Matching textures is an important element in pairing wine and food. Pairing desserts with wines can be a challenge; just keep this in mind: the wine should always be sweeter or more fruit forward than the food or dessert you are matching.
Enjoy the freshness of summer with this delicious dessert and wine. Another great way to enjoy this wine is over some fresh fruit and serve with a slice of warm pound cake. Cheers!
Strawberry Almond Cream Tart
Source: Karen MacNeil
36 Graham crackers, 9 sheets
2 T sugar
2 T butter, melted
4 t water
2/3 C light cream cheese
1/4 C Sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t almond extract
6 C small fresh strawberries, divided
2/3 C sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T sliced almonds, toasted
1. Preheat oven 350. Prepare crust, place crackers in food processor, process till until crumbly. Add 2 T g, butter, and water, pulse till moist. Place mixture in a 9 inch round removable tart pan, or 10 pie plate, coated with cooking spray. Press into pan to 3/4 inch; Bake 10 minutes or lightly browned, cool on a rack.
2. Prepare filling, cream cheese, add 1/4 C sugar, and extracts in a medium bowl, till smooth. Spread mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart.
3. For topping, place 2 C strawberries in food processor, process till pureed. Combine puree, 2/3 C sugar and cornstarch in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring with whisk. Bring to boil, stirring constantly, reduce heat to low, 1 minute. Remove glaze and cool stirring occasionally.
4. Combine 4 C strawberries and juice toss to coat. Arrange berries, bottoms up in a circular pattern over the cream layer, spoon the glaze over the berries, sprinkle nuts around edge. Cover and chill 3 hours.
Join me at our next Food & Wine Pairing adventure on July 10th, 2012. Just like in April, we’ll precede our class with a fun, hands-on tour of a farmer’s market, sourcing items for preparation. Our theme in July is all about GRILLING!