I first experienced fresh fruit topped cheese tarts in New Zealand. Lined up in the pastry cases they screamed healthy and decadent simultaneously. I had one at least once a day.
Then in Rome, Italy they turned up in the Borghese Gardens at the snack cafe. Again in Troyes, France this past autumn.
I knew I wanted to be able to reproduce something as beautiful and tasty as the creations I had found abroad. It also had to be easy and quick because of my busy schedule.
So I played around with ingredients and came up with something that I think is close. The ones in France have a shiny glaze over the entire tart, but I skipped that as I am sure it is mostly sugar. Ooh la la, it is still fabulous.
Begin with prepared refrigerated pie crust. Unroll and fit into your tart shells. Bake as recommended for your brand – usually pricked with a fork and baked at 425 for 11 minutes – but follow the directions for unfilled crust.
Then mix together:
2 pkgs cream cheese – 8 oz. each
1/3 cup cream – (can use half ‘n’ half)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp good vanilla
Blend until really smooth and creamy, as well as spreadable though not too thin.
Right before serving spread mixture into tart shells and top with your choice of fresh fruits. I like strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, blueberry and raspberry. Garnish with fresh mint and serve to the ooks and aahs of your guests.
You can prefill the cooled tart shells with the cream cheese mixture. But I advise saving the fruit for last minute unless you are using mostly berries. This prevents the bleeding of color onto the white filling and making the crispy shell a little less so.
These are great for bridal showers and tea parties. They make nice Mother’s Day Desserts. I actually like them for breakfast and they are quite beautiful to look at.
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