The hard part was the strawberries. You see, I'm a bit of a stickler for the local/in season thing. I know that, for most places on the East Coast, this was a seasonal recipe. But, up in New Hampshire, strawberry season has not yet sprung.
So, I sat with my conscience to figure out how and if I could do this recipe. On Sunday, I determined that I could--I would just go to the local farm stand, which would have gotten the strawberries as locally as possible (they have sister farms throughout the East Coast). I resolved to start the crust when I realized that I was out of powdered sugar.
I went to the supermarket to fulfill my powdered sugar need (and, in the meantime, restock my butter supply, which it seems TWD quickly depletes). The heat got the better of me. It went from 60 degrees on Friday to 95 on Saturday, and it maintains, still today. At the supermarket, I got to thinking "do I really want to go all the way to the farm stand in this heat? Nah. Better to pick up the strawberries now, while I'm here." So, I did. My good, usually localvore self, bought California strawberries at a huge chain supermarket. Shame on me.
And, honestly, my dessert showed it. My tart would have been so much better with local, just-picked strawberries. The tart crust was wonderful (I've eaten pieces of the unassembled, leftover crust on its own since Sunday). The jam--which was locally produced in MA by Trappist monks--was wonderful. The fresh whipped cream, heavily dosed with vanilla, was wonderful. The strawberries...were okay. They were cold. And, in that point in time, this was a major attribute. But, they weren't strawberries. They were...well, strawberries.
So, I found myself a great recipe to use the next time that I have real, fresh, locally-picked fruit in season. At that point, this recipe will be nothing less than stellar.
As a side note, I did end up going to the farm stand later in the afternoon. So, this dessert followed the first all-local meal of my season--scrambled eggs with asparagus, spinach and blue cheese. Here's to the start of a season filled with ripe local fruits and veggies!