Sunday, July 1, 2012

Berries and Cream Tart



 Every so often, I'll decide to try HALF of a recipe. Have you ever done that? No, I don't mean reducing the quantity by half. I mean only making a portion of it. In other words, I'll take just the part that I like from one recipe and put it together with part of another recipe and boom, we have a new recipe! This is exactly what I did when I decided to make a red white and blue tart to celebrate the 4th of July. I knew I wanted to do berries and cream, but I didn't want to make just a regular pie crust. I didn't want to do a graham cracker crust either. So I decided to go to Ina's Easy Lemon Tart recipe that I posted a while back and use the shortbread cookie crust. THAT's exactly what I had in mind! It's really easy to make, it's OMG good, and it goes perfectly with a summer fruit and cream topping, perfect for your next BBQ. Btw, does anyone else mix and match recipes like this?  Well, now you know one of my secrets for always coming up with something new!!! Enjoy!


Crust: 
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 


Filling:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Topping:
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries


Grease with butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable cooking spray, an 8 - 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. 
In a large bowl, sift together the flour sugar and salt. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter and vanilla until it resembles coarse crumbs. Scoop up a handful and squeeze it to make sure it easily clumps together. If you have a food processor, just throw everything into the bowl and pulse it until it forms a clump. Place the pastry in the prepared tart pan and, using your fingertips, evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (You can use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a measuring cup to smooth the surface of the pastry.) Pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes.) Cover and place the pastry crust in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. (This will help prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes.)
When the pastry is completely chilled, place the tart pan on a larger baking pan and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 13 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

 Beat all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Spread mixture evenly into cooled tart shell. Arrange berries on top. Chill 2 hours for easiest slicing.

Tips:
It's much easier to work with the crust dough if you chill it for a while before you press it into the pan.
I like to use an 11" tart pan instead of an 8" or 9", so I increased all of the crust and filling ingredients by half.
If you're not doing a patriotic theme, use any kind of fruits you like. Ripe peeled peaches or nectarines, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries. ALL fabulous. You could even forget the fresh fruit and top it with your favorite pie filling. Cherry pie filling would be delish!

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