Monday, January 14, 2013

Fresh Fruit Tart

I really like fruit tarts. They make me happy. They're pretty. And yummy. And easy to make. And I can't think of a better way to end a meal. This sugar cookie-esq crust is filled with a lemon and cream cheese filling and topped with what ever fruit your little hear desires. I went with berries because I love me some berries, but you could get fancy and use kiwi and mango. Like I said whatever your heart desires. This tart comes together quickly, and easily and is always impressive.

Fresh Fruit Tart

For the Crust:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, divided (use the other half for the frosting)
1 1/4 cups four
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (1-2 tablespoons)
Other half of lemon zest from above

Fresh Fruit Topping:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan or tart pan with non stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in egg, vanilla, and 1/2 of the lemon zest. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and add to bowl mix until just blended. Press the dough into the prepared pan, making the edges thicker than the center. Bake the dough for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Do not over bake or the crust will become dry and crumbly. The center of the crust may look undercooked, don't worry pull the crust out when the edges look done the center will set up as it cools. Cool the crust completely before adding the cream cheese filling.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, and few lumps remain. Add the granulated and powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice, and other half of the lemon zest. Remove cooled crust from tart pan or cake round and using an off set spatula spread the filling onto the cooled crust to within 1/2-inch(ish) of the edges. Arrange fruit on top of the tart and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Chill until serving time.

*I would shy away from fruit like bananas or apples because they brown quickly and may look a little unappetizing.

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