This is a perfect dessert for your Valentine! I was inspired to create this dessert because of the gorgeous California strawberries pretty much in my back yard. Locate the highest quality strawberries you can find to flavor this beautiful mousse and decorate your tart. I am lucky enough to have the Carlsbad Strawberry Company located right down the road which makes this tart extra special.

a beautiful tart featuring local strawberries
Beautiful local strawberries from the Carlsbad Strawberry Company were my inspiration for this dessert!
straining the purée insures a beautiful smooth mousse!
gently folding in the reduced purée gives the mousse great flavor and consistency

Serves 12


for crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour (I love bobs red mill pastry flour)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon (about) ice water

for strawberry mousse:

  • 2 pints of strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

for tart:

  • 2 pints strawberries, washed and hulled, sliced thinly for decorating
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling, optional


for crust:

Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add diced butter and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg yolk and 1 tablespoon ice water in small bowl to blend and to processor until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if necessary. Gather dough into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll out dough on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom and trim overhang to about 1/2 an inch folding overhang onto sides. Pierce crust all over with fork.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with parchment and fill with pie weights. Bake until crust sides are light brown, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake crust until it is cooked through and golden about 15 minutes longer. Cool crust completely while you prepare mousse.

for strawberry mousse:

Clean and slice the strawberries. In a blender or food processor add the sliced strawberries, orange juice and the sugar and puree until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to insure you remove any fine seeds. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the strawberries by about half. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of purée. Take 2 teaspoons of gelatin, and place in a small bowl and allow to dissolve with a tablespoon of water for 3 minutes. Heat the mixture in the microwave to dissolve the gelatin completely (15 second increments). You don’t want any clumps. Add gelatin mixture to strawberry reduction and place in fridge so mixture is at least room temperature or a bit cooler.

In a mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Remove puree from fridge and using a spatula, fold in about 1 cup of strawberry mixture into whipped cream until mousse is pink and no streaks appear. Reserve remaining half cup of sauce for serving. Transfer mousse to the prepared tart shell and spread in an even layer.

Decorate tart with sliced strawberries beginning on outer edge of tart, overlapping slices of strawberries in a circles working your way inward. Store tart in fridge. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and a dollop of purée underneath each slice of tart. Enjoy!