Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TWD: Fresh Berry Tart



Strawberries remind me of my childhood summers. We used to have a big yard and my dad used to have a ton of strawberry plants which bore the biggest, reddest, best strawberries. He used to lovingly slice them and arrange them on a plate, each slice overlapping the previous one just-so. Served with sweet whipped cream of course! As a little girl I felt so special picking berries with my daddy.

With summer around the corner, this tart is my way of welcoming Mr. Sun. I have been so cold all year long, even wearing a scarf in the office! I am ready for some heat and a chance to wear some of the cute summer tank tops and flip flops I've been storing in my closet. Some women have a thing for shoes - I have a thing for flip-flops!

There are 3 parts to the classic tart: crust, filling, berries. The filling would normally be a traditional stove cooked pastry cream but I opted for an easier and just as yummy alternative - a white chocolate cream cheese filling. Reminiscent of cheesecake with a tangy sweetness from the interplay of melted white chocolate. It's less finicky to deal with than 'real' pastry cream (no eggs, no stove!) and absolutely delicious to boot. This made a great Mother's Day dessert. This tart is one of those desserts that appears way more time-consuming and impressive than it actually is. Love it.

The recipe this week was chosen by Cristine of Cooking with Cristine. See her blog for the original recipe. I have posted mine including adaptations below as it is quite different from Dorie's.

Fresh Berry Tart
1 - 9" Tart | heavily adapted from Dorie


Sweet 9" Tart Crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon very cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg yolk

1. Pulse together the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter cubes and pulse until resembles coarse peas. Add the egg and process in long pulses until the dough forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change. Turn the dough out onto the counter and gently/carefully knead.
2. Roll or press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes before baking.
3. Line the crust with waxed paper and pie weights then bake at 375°F for 25 minutes. Remove weights and bake another 8 minutes until firm and golden brown, fully baked. Storing: Dough can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. The fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, I prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer – it has a fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes to the baking time.

Easy White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
1 1/2 cups white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

In a small mixing bowl, beat melted chips and cream. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Spread over crust and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Berries, Glaze and Assembly
2 pints fresh berries/fruit (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, pineapple, etc.)
2 tbsp apricot jam or strained raspberry jam
2 tsp water

1. Arrange fruit on top of the pastry cream in the crust. I find it looks best to put the tallest berries in the centre and taper out from there.
2. For the glaze: Combine jam with water then brush over the fruit. This keeps it from drying out and gives the tart a pretty sheen.

The tart is best served immediately but can be kept refrigerated for a few hours or up to a day (the only problem is the fruit juice seeping into the filling and coloring it).

37 comments:

CheapAppetite said...

Wow, your tart looks so yummy. I wish I grew up in a house that grew their own strawberries like yours. Strawberry is one of my favorite fruit. I want some sweet strawberries now!

CheapAppetite said...

Wow, your tart looks yummy! I love strawberries. I wish I grew up in the house that grew their own strawberries like yours. I'm going to buy some strawberries tomorrow!

Marthe said...

White Chocolate Cream Cheese filling? How decadent!! Yum!

SiHaN said...

white chocolate and cream cheese?!?! double sin yet it sounds sooo GOOD!

alvarosa said...

White chocolate and berries are such a winner!

Actually, this is the second time you convince me that white chocolate is great to combine with (especially red) fruits. I copied/adapetd your idea from the chocolate-berry-tart we made some weeks ago - maybe I will "steal" this idea, too :o]

Flourchild said...

Your tart looks very good. The fruit is placed so nicely!

Helen said...

Mmmm I love the addition of the white chocolate. It's sometimes beter to simplify things, and the result you got is equally as yummy!

Nickki said...

That white chocolate cream cheese filling sounds amazing! What a delicious looking tart.

My dad grew strawberries in the garden when I was a child. They always tasted so wonderful :-)

Romaine said...

Is icing sugar the same as powdered sugar?

What a nice memory about picking strawberries with your Dad! At my house, it was on the list of chores--not nearly as fun.

The filling sounds quite interesting. Wonder if it is richer than Dorie's filling or not as much.

Natalie... said...

Wow your fresh berry tart looks absoloutely delicious, im sure it counts as one of your five a day too hehe ;).

miss kate said...

That looks so good! And good idea on the "tallest in center" thing; must try that next time. I have the hardest time figuring out how to arrange the berries to look all pretty and horn-of-plenty-esque.

Rachel said...

It looks perfect! How pretty. Great job on your tart!

Anne said...

Oh that filling sounds amazing- wow!

Whitvia said...

Beautiful photo.

thymeandspace said...

Your filling sounds (and looks) absolutely wonderful!

Cristine said...

I bet it was awesome with white chocolate cheesecake filling! Your tart looks beautiful! Thanks for baking along with me!

Tia said...

@Romaine - Yes, icing sugar = powdered sugar. LOL Canadian lingo. I think the white choc cheeesecake filling might be a bit richer and sweeter than Dorie's but it complements the berries so well esp. if they are not super sweet berries. ~Tia

bexbakes said...

oh white chocolate, what a fab idea. Your tart looks beautiful!

Mary Ann said...

Yum- the white chocolate cream cheese filling sounds really tasty!

Lauryn said...

ooooh, white chocolate cream cheese filling!! That sounds delish!!! Those strawberries look gorgeous!

Jodie said...

Wow, look at those strawberries! Sounds delicious!

CB said...

Stop. You had me at white chocolate cream cheese! Thanks for posting the recipe. I'm SO gonna make your adaptation next time! So glad you enjoyed the tart.
-CB
http://iheartfood4thought.com

Leslie said...

White chocolate cream cheese would be insane in this! I bet it was perfect with the sweetness of the berries.

The Mortensens said...

Your tart looks beautiful and your crust looks perfect!

Maybe you should take a little vacation to the South. Be sure to bring your flip flops because it's hot here! :)

Jencrafted said...

That's a fantastic combo, Tia! White chocolate and berries!! I can just imagine the burst of flavors and the balance of sweet and tart. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!

Teanna said...

Your tart is so gorgeous! The white chocolate is so inspired!

TeaLady said...

Love the filling = white chocolate sounds wonderful with straw and blue berries. Looks lovely.

Bridgett said...

Wow, look how lovely and plump those strawberries are! You did a gorgeous job and I think this has to be my favorite fruit tart by far. Your blog is so much fun!

natalia said...

Tia , first thing thank you for making me realize how my brain is gone !!! But then I want to try your filling !! It sounds so delicious !! Bravissima , and thanks again !

Nichi said...

the white chocolate cream cheese filling sounds to die for. beautiful tart!

Mimi said...

I'm with you, I can't wait for the weather to warm up. Of course by August I'll be begging for cooler temps. Your tart looks perfect and your filling sounds heavenly.
Mimi

Jeannette said...

You can have our hot weather!! We are already hitting 90 degree weather!

Great looking tart!

Heather Davis said...

Tia I am a flip flop freak as well! Can't have enough. And I would also like the weather to be better so I could wear mine. Great tart. Love the idea of white chocolate with it. It looks beautiful!

~Nikki~ said...

This tart looks absolutely delicious!


check out my blog: nikkiscakery.blogspot.com

Meg said...

Your tart is beautiful! I will have to try the cream cheese filling next time!

mike said...

I love how you go beyond the norm - white chocolate and cream cheese! what a great combination - it looks heavenly - thanks for making such a great variation!

Baking Monster said...

If it's gonna sit for more then a day I usually put a thin layer of white or milk chocolate ganache on the bottom of the crust so it stays nice and hard.