Thursday, September 29, 2011


We had company over for a cookout last night, and for dessert I made a couple of fresh fruit tarts. This dessert always tastes good on a warm summer evening (and yes, we’re still experiencing summer in Texas!). The recipe is below. This makes one 9-inch tart.

1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
½ tsp. salt
3 T. unsalted butter (straight out of the fridge so it's very cold)
1/3 cup Crisco (frozen)
3 T. cold water

Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut in butter and Crisco until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (If there are some pea-sized pieces of Crisco or butter in the mixture, that is fine.) Sprinkle water on top of flour and salt mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time. After each sprinkling of water, gently mix in the water drops with some of the dry mixture. After 3 tablespoons of water has been sprinkled in, the mixture should hold together in a ball. Roll each into a large circle (about 11 inches in diameter) and press into a 9-inch round tart pan. Bake in a 375°F oven for 15 minutes to prebake the crust. While crust is cooking, prepare filling.

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon or orange rind (optional)

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and fluff. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the cream, vanilla and lemon or oran the tart for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove from the oven. Cool at room temperature for about an hour, and then place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Right before serving, or 1-2 hours before, wash fresh fruit to top the tart with. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and kiwi all work well. For a glaze, dip raspberries and strawberries in melted courant jelly (melt in microwave for about a minute—just until warm and melted but not hot). An ideal glaze for the non-red fruit like kiwis, blueberries and blackberries is melted apricot jam (melt in microwave as with the courant jelly, and then press through a sieve to remove the apricot pulp). Dip fruit in glaze and arrange on tart.

Happy tart making!

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