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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Strawberry Cream Tart

I saw this in my most recent issue of Cooking Light magazine and immediately added the ingredients to my shopping list. Then, I started seeing it pop up on a couple of food blogs, all with rave reviews. I made it last week for our weekly community group, in particular for my friend Maggie, who's a huge strawberry lover. The original recipe is called Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart, but I accidentally forgot to add the almonds after work (I made the tart the night before)...and thus it became the Strawberry Cream Tart. With or without almonds, this tart is a great dessert! It has several steps, but the recipe is easy to follow. I chose to lay my strawberries flat rather than standing them upright as the recipe suggests. This might not have been as visually appealing, but my strawberries were CRAZY in terms of shape and size so I opted for this method instead.

This would be a great addition to a Mother's Day meal or a dinner party! Try it and let me know what you think!

Note: I made this a day ahead of time and it was fine when I served it. Ryan and I ate the leftovers 2 nights later and they were definitely not as delicious...so be sure to serve the day you make it or the day after! Also, the strawberry glaze you make is yummy! I have the other half saved in my fridge waiting for something else...stay tuned...

Strawberry Cream Tart
from Cooking Light May 2010

-36 honey graham crackers (9 sheets)
-2 tbsp sugar
-2 tbsp butter, melted
-4 tsp water
-cooking spray
-8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese (original recipe called for 5 oz...but definitely spring for the 8!)
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp almond extract
-6 cups small fresh strawberries, hulled and divided
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 tbsp cornstarcch
-1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. To prepare crust: place graham crackers in a food processor and process until crumbly. Add 2 tbsp sugar, butter, and 4 tsp water; pulse until just moist. Place cracker mixture in a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of pan to 3/4 an inch. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

3. To prepare filling: combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and extracts in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart shell.

4. To prepare topping: place 2 cups strawberries in food processor and process until smooth. Combine strawberry puree, 2/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 minute. Remove glaze from heat and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

5. Combine the remaining 4 cups of strawberries with the lemon juice and toss to coat. Arrange berries, bottoms up (or sliced & flattened!) in a circular pattern over filling. Spoon half of glaze evenly over berries (save remaining glaze for something else. Sprinkle nuts around edge. Cover and chill for 3 hours (or overnight)