Fresh Fruit and Cream Cheese Tart

strawberry tart

When you walk into a bakery, or even by the bakery section of the supermarket, what catches your eye? Is it the tray of perfectly decorated cupcakes? The seven-layer chocolate tortes? The piles of huge, perfectly-formed chocolate chip and shortbread cookies? Each and every option has its appeal (which is precisely why bakeries cleverly use clear cases to showcase their product), but I would put money on the fact that fresh fruit tarts will almost immediately grab you attention. When well-made, the tarts are a rainbow of colors glistening under a clear, satiny glaze. The fruit is almost always a mix of berries, kiwi and/or stone fruits, all of which look excellent on top of a creamy white background nestled in a shortbread crust.

This fruit tart is one of my favorites. It is easy to make and looks fantastic. When you serve it, people are just about guaranteed to ask you where you bought it because it is so elegant.

The tart has a shortbread-type crust, which can be made by hand or mixed up in the food processor. The crust is baked and cooled completely before being spread with a very thin layer of dark chocolate, which protects the crisp crust from becoming soggy after sitting with the filling in it (only a problem with leftovers, almost never an issue if the tart is made the day it is to be served). A sweet cream cheese filling is spread on top of the cooled chocolate layer and topped with fresh fruit and another drizzle of chocolate.

I tend not to measure things like chocolate and strawberries when I make this tart. For the chocolate, I simply melt some to coat the bottom of the crust, then remelt it (along with more, if necessary) to do the finishing drizzle. For the fruit, I always overbuy. This allows me to pick and choose the best looking berries, etc. for my topping and gives me plenty left over for munching while I work. It’s hard to go wrong with fresh fruit and chocolate, so keep in mind the fact that if you have both leftover, you can always indulge in a bit of chocolate fondue before serving the tart.


Strawberries and Cream Cheese Tart
Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter
1/4 cup ice water

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Rub in butter with your fingertips (or use “pulse” on a food processor) until mixture is crumbly and resembles wet sand. Stir in water, adding an additional tablespoon if necessary, until dough starts to come together and clumps easily.
Press dough into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out dough between two sheets of wax paper and press into a 9 or 10-inch round tart pan. Pastry will be a bit thinner with a 10-inch pan.
Place tart pan on baking sheet and place a piece of aluminum foil on top of pastry. Fill foil will pie weights (or uncooked beans/lentils) and bake for 12-minutes at 350F.
Remove foil and weights and continue baking for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. (May need an extra minute if using a 9-inch pan).
Cool completely before filling.

Filling
Dark chocolate (approx 6-oz.)
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbps Bailey’s irish Cream*
Fresh strawberries (approx 2 pints), sliced

Melt 4-oz dark chocolate in a small, microwave-safe bowl and pour into crust. Spread evenly to coat the bottom with a thin layer of chocolate.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until cool and firm.
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and Bailey’s in a large bowl until smooth. Pour into cooled crust.
Top cream cheese filling with sliced berries (or other fruit).
Melt remaining dark chocolate and drizzle over the berries.
Refrigerate tart for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.

Serves 10.

*Feel free to use vanilla extract and 2 tbsp milk or cream if you don’t want liqueur. Bailey’s works well with strawberries and raspberries, but if you want to use other fruits – oranges, kiwi, blueberries, etc., try using an orange liqueur.

chocolate strawberry close up

15 comments

  1. Hi there

    Hope you can clear my doubts on these..=D

    (1) Do we need to store our cakes in a tin after its cooled? As i left my cake ( butter, chiffon..) out in the open and it loses its moisture the next day =(

    (2) what is the difference between chocolate emulco and chocolate paste?

    Hope you can help me on these…thanx =D

    Cheers
    Saori

  2. I have been looking for a cake to make for my daughters birthday. She does nbot enjoy icing cakes so this looks like a winner!!!!

  3. At what temperature should the tart shell be baked? Did I miss that in the recipe?

  4. how do you get your “drizzle” so perfect?

  5. I have never made a tart before so bear with me. How do you get the crust out of the tart pan without it breaking?

  6. at what temperature should be the tart be baked? and how do you drizzle the chocolate?

    pls advise!

  7. I did not make this recipe, but I can tell you that drizzling chocolate is not as hard as it looks. I usually dip a spoon in and just wave it back and forth (make sure you cover the surface beyond with plastic wrap or wax paper). If I’m not sure what thickness I want I’ll practice right over the pan I melted the chocolate in…you can see the pattern you get for a moment before it’s reabsorbed.

  8. delphine: tart pans are a special pan that has a removable bottom. do a quick internet search and you will find a photo of one.

    For drizzling chocolate, the spoon method works or put the melted chocolate in a zip lock bag and snip the end then just squeeze away.

  9. just made this tart and i have to say – WOW!
    even if it takes some time to make it, it’s definitely worth the effort. the cream cheese filling is just delish’!
    will make it again!…and again, and again, and again :)

  10. hi there. i’ve got my pastry dough chilling and will soon be making this tart. the recipe reads great and seemed like just the thing to make for dessert today. I have some amazing dark chocolate on hand, so liked the melted chocolate layer part of the recipe a lot. will be adding some whipped cream and perhaps raspberry sauce I have instead of the chocolate drizzle on top. looking forward to the outcome!

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