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Summertime is the perfect time for strawberry desserts, and a strawberry tart is one of my favorite summer desserts to make. I went strawberry picking for the first time ever recently and it was so much fun! Totally relaxing and the smell of the strawberry fields was amazing. This recipe is super easy to make and comes out exactly perfect every single time. One of the nice things about this recipe is that it is great with strawberries and blueberries. I have been making this tart for years and years and it is always a hit! This summer I decided to mix it up a bit and try a graham cracker crust and we all loved it! I’m sure you and your family will, too!
Isn’t that the most perfect farm stand and strawberry field you’ve ever seen? It’s been down the road from our lakehouse for years and I can’t believe we’ve never been there!
Ready to make some deliciousness?
First things first, we need to make the crust.
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C sugar
4 T butter, melted
Mix the crumbs, sugar and butter into a crust. Press crust into the bottom of a well-greased tart pan. (You could use a cheesecake pan, too.) I have a tart pan that is about 9″ round, and also a tart pan that is about 5″x14″ or so and these measurements fit both sizes. Bake the tart crust at 350*f for 10-12 minutes. It should be firm, but be careful not to burn it. Let the crust cool.
Next, it’s time to make the cream cheese spread:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 T sugar
2 T amaretto
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Cream all ingredients until smooth. If you do not have a bottle of amaretto on hand, I found a mini “airline” bottle at a local liquor store for less than $1.00. After seeing a full bottle was around $25, I opted for the tiny bottle, which worked perfectly. (When we moved, I purged a lot of older liquor, which was not too smart in hindsight!) Once combined until smooth, spread the topping over the cooled graham cracker crust. Refrigerate to keep cool.
Next, heat the cornstarch and water to boiling and stir until smooth. This will become a thickener that will coat the strawberries. Once the cornstarch has dissolved, stir in the sugar until it is dissolved, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Stir until combined. Stir in the berries until coated. Let cool.
If you are serving this dessert right away, spoon the chilled berry mixture over the cream cheese spread and serve. If you are making this in advance, cover the cream cheese topped tart with plastic wrap and store the berries in an air-tight container. When you’re ready to serve it, top the cream cheese with the berry mixture. If there are leftovers (not likely, lol!) you can cover them with plastic wrap and store, refrigerated, up to 2 days. The leftovers pair nicely with coffee for breakfast. 😉
Doesn’t it look good? I promise, you will not be disappointed! I really liked the graham cracker crust. I had a box on hand that I didn’t use for a different dessert, so I thought I’d try it. I was happy with it and will definitely use it again! If you would prefer a more traditional tart crust, here is the ingredient list and instructions for the crust I’ve made for years:
1/4 C ground almonds
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
-combine ingredients almonds through flour.
-mix in ingredients yolk through almond extract.
-press into bottom of a well-greased tart pan.
-bake at 350*f for 15-18 minutes until cooked.
-let cool. Follow instructions for cream cheese spread and fruit topping as below.
Looks Like Happy’s Favorite Baking Supplies
Tart pans! This link directs to a 9″ round pan that has a 14″ rectangular option. Both are Wilton (can’t go wrong!) and both are non-stick. Even with non-stick they still need to be greased. I use original Pam cooking spray for just about everything! I find the off-brands, no matter what they are, always stick. If you’ve had success with a store brand I’d love to hear which one!
I love glass Pyrex measuring cups. I have several in all different sizes. They are great because you can microwave them and the handle doesn’t get hot, and for being glass they hold up great being banged around the kitchen. This set is nice because it has every size you could ever need. I use the 8 cup one all the time as a mixing bowl for pancakes, scrambled eggs, soups…just about everything! The 2 cup size is perfect for melting butter for popcorn. Yum!
The other measuring cup type thing I use all the time is a little measuring “shotglass” type gadget like the above. It has ounces, tablespoons and teaspoons. I am a sucker for gadgets, but this one is actually really useful. So many of my recipes call for multiple tablespoons of the same ingredient that it is a lot quicker to use this cup to measure them out at once.
So, I’ve now opened myself up to gadget suggestions! If you have any useful gadgets I’d love to hear about them in the comments! I can always make room in my drawer for a gadget….