Did anyone else go through a Strawberry Shortcake doll phase as a child? No? What about My Little Pony? I used to force the dolls to ride the poor, pastel coloured equines. They also had tea parties with Transformers (I was a girly tomboy.) As terrible as each sickeningly sweet doll must have smelled to my parents, and any adult for that matter, I loved it. My favourite scent was the evil Sour Grapes, followed by Blueberry Muffin's pet, Cheesecake. And yes, I did have to Google all these characters to be sure I had the names right. During the dysfunctional, Bluth family-like doll/pony/Transformer tea parties, I always imagined serving a strawberry tart very similar to this.
Nothing can compare to fresh strawberries. They made me forget my initial disappointment over not being able to find raspberries and blueberries. I think they match perfectly with the sweet filling. Everything about this recipe is classic and simple, with maybe the exception of the pastry cream, whose silky smooth texture can easily trip over the thin line that separates it from scrambled eggs (just watch the cornstarch.) The tart shell could easily pass as a giant shortbread cookie. Dorie's pie and tart crusts are so flavourful and buttery, even non-crust eaters will devour everything on their plate. This is a perfect dessert to serve during the warmer months. It's easy on the eyes and has the bright flavour of Spring and Summer combined. Even macho Transformers would have seconds.