Strawberries are very plentiful in the grocery stores, all year round. They also appear to be on sale at least in one if not more stores.

The earliest mention of this luscious fruit was in Roman times around 200 BC. In medieval times in Britain, strawberries were part of the wedding feast. Strawberries were mixed with soured cream and the herb borage to be eaten at the wedding breakfast, believing them to be an aphrodisiac.

The heart shape of the strawberry has long been a symbol of passion, purity and healing. Enjoy this recipe, it is simple to prepare and looks spectacular.

Mary Elizabeth Evans teaches classes through her company Teascompany Questions or comments? E-mail her at


Serves 6-8


Tart shell

You can purchase a frozen pie shell for this recipe.

Follow the directions on packet for baking the pie shell without a filling.

Filling / glaze

1 pound strawberries, stemmed and quartered.

Half cup sugar

2 tablespoons orange zest, divided

1 teaspoon fresh orange juice

8 ounces mascarpone cheese (readily available at Trader Joe's or other gourmet stores)

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Half teaspoon vanilla essence

Third cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (substitute red wine vinegar if you like)


Gently combine strawberries, half the orange zest and sugar in a large bowl.

Make sure all the strawberries are coated with the sugar. Let stand 30 minutes.

Mix together mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, remaining orange zest, orange juice and whipped cream. Combine well. Refrigerate until needed.

Now place a sieve over a medium sized saucepan. Put the strawberry mixture into the sieve and let drain into the saucepan. Add the balsamic vinegar to the drained liquid in the saucepan. Bring this liquid to a boil over medium heat. Boil until mixture has the consistency of syrup. Cool.

Assemble tart – Spread mascarpone mixture over bottom of tart shell. Arrange strawberries on top of mascarpone mixture. Brush on balsamic glaze using a pastry brush. Refrigerate until serving.

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