Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Strawberries 'n' Cream Tart

When I was making a peanut butter pie to bring to my family's for the weekend, I also wanted to bring some sort of dessert to my mother-in-law's. However, time was at a premium, and I needed something that was sort of make-ahead.

I was hoping to use strawberries, because my mother-in-law adores strawberry pie. So I made a quick graham cracker tart crust, and then made a cream filling that used the same basis as the peanut butter pie. (But without the peanut butter, obviously.)

I packed up my crust, my filling, some strawberries, and some strawberry glaze, and assembled everything a few hours before lunch. My only casualty was losing a few of the tart crust edges on the trip; as mama always says, tart crusts don't like gravel roads.

The result was a sweet, light, and fruity dessert that was the perfect end for our grilled meal. It wasn't too filling or too heavy, but just right.

Strawberries 'n' Cream Tart
Serves 6-8

9 sheets honey graham crackers
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, melted

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/3 c. whipped topping

1/2 pint strawberries, washed and hulled
1/4 c. strawberry glaze or melted strawberry jam

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 10-inch tart pan with cooking spray.

2. Place crackers in blender or food processor, and process until crumbly. In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter.

3. Mix with a fork until well combined. Pour into tart pan and push down against bottoms and sides.

4. Bake crust for 10 minutes and let cool.

5. For filling, mix cream cheese and sugar in stand mixer until thoroughly mixed. Add extracts and mix again. Fold in whipped topping.

At this point, I put my crust in a cake carrier and my filling in a cold, covered bowl, and off we went.

6. To assemble, spread cream mixture evenly over crust.

7. Slice strawberries very thinly. And let someone else use the camera, because you need both hands.

8. Layer the strawberries either from the inside out or the outside in.

Hello, messy, wet hair. Hello, baby belly. Hello, glowing-eyes Charlie. (Whenever there's food involved, Charlie is watching.)

I prefer layering thin slices to using thicker pieces of strawberries because it's easier to serve and eat that way.

9. Drizzle with strawberry glaze or some melted strawberry jam -- just something to sweeten up the strawberries. (Sugar would tend to macerate them, or soften and break them down, but you want your strawberries to stay intact.)

10. Slice and serve, and garnish as desired.

We kept things basic, but you could certainly top this with a dollop of whipped cream, some mint, toasted almonds, or whatever floats your boat.


girlichef said...

This is just gorgeous...I've been wanting to make a strawberry tart lately. And what? Baby belly...are you pregnant!? AW.

girlichef said...

p.s....I left something for you at my kitchen today, come pick it up when you get a chance :)

Kristen said...

Thanks for visiting my site! Your recipes look absolutely delicious - I'll have to come back for seconds :o)

zoe said...

mmm so refreshing and pretty!

foodcreate said...

Your recipes look delicious...
Thanks for sharing your recipe!

and you can visit me if i can visit you:)