Of course they were on sale. Strawberries, $1.25 a pound; blueberries, $1.25 a pint. I bought five of each and made the hell out of some jam, and when I was done, there were leftover berries. What to do with them? The answer seemed obvious: Make a tart.

I live about two blocks from my office, and smack-dab in the middle of that short distance is the Whole Foods, a gleaming, delightful emporium of products that someone more ethical than me would be able to figure out a way to afford. I, on the other hand, merely wander its aisles occasionally marveling at the otherworldliness, and/or run in there begrudgingly when I realize I’ve run out of sugar halfway through jam-making and don’t have time to drive to a cheaper store. Whole Foods: my corner bodega.

Anyway, one of the many things I covet at Whole Foods is their tarts. Behind the gleaming, curved glass of the pastry counter, they beckon me with their bright colors and perfect sugar glaze. And they are like $4.99 for a two-bite tart. Now, I will not lie and tell you I have never succumbed. Even the stingiest coupon maven has to throw caution to the wind sometime. But I simply cannot justify the frequent consumption of those tarts.

When berries are on sale, though, I can damn sure make my own.

I used this tart shell recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and it worked beautifully. Which is good, because while berries are tasty and sugar is nice, everybody knows you eat the tart for the rich delicious crust. I made a glaze (3/4 c sugar, dash of salt, 1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch, stirred over heat with 1 c water until thickened; add 2 tsp lemon juice and 1/4 tsp vanilla), filled the baked tart crust with strawberries, scattered the blueberries over them, spooned the glaze over that and refrigerated the whole shebang.


When I cut into it, the glaze spilled out and made a bit of a mess. I’d use only about half of this amount of glaze next time. But it is absolutely delicious, and I am so glad I don’t have to wander the bakery section of Whole Foods anymore, trying to pretend I have a reason for lurking among the vegan cake and whole-wheat tortillas, trying to pretend I’m not just ogling tarts.