Raspberry Tarts

Tarts are typically an open faced pie, no top, and most generally have fruit with a custard type filling; not to be confused with torte, which is a European cake.  They are historically a British dish, though they have found themselves on the menu of many restaurants across the world.  Random trivia for your guests:  What was believed would happen to you if you ate a tart made by a witch?  Answer:  You’d become mean.

If you have used my recipes in the past you will know I don’t do pastry breadings – not pie shells, puffs, dough, etc.  I fail at it.  So for this recipe I use pastry puffs which you can buy at your local grocery.  You can also layer phyllo dough in a well buttered dish, or use a flaky deep dish shell.  This recipe will fill about 18 pastry puffs – so you can cut it down if you need to pretty easily to 6 puffs.

There is nothing I love more in the fruit department than raspberries, their smell, their taste, their everything.  And while you can make this recipe with just about any fruit you desire – strawberries, cherries, rhubarb, blueberries, blackberries, peaches – I love raspberries.  And the only thing that trumps raspberries is raspberries with cream cheese.  You can serve this as a dessert, snack or even as a breakfast dish.

Ingredientstart4

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cup half & half cream

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese at medium to high speed for 2 minutes, scraping walls.
  • Add in sugar slowly, beating at a high speed until well blended.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, continuously beating.
  • Add in vanilla and cream and beat at high speed for 2 minutes more, scraping walls.
  • In a small saute pan or skillet over low heat, warm raspberries, shuffling often in pan.  Be careful not to stir them as they can break up.  Heat only until they begin to bleed and remove from heat.
  • Strain raspberries well and fold into cream cheese mixture.
  • Discard raspberry juice.
  • Pour mixture into prepared puffs*.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 – 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

*Puffs should be baked in advance to a golden hue, just barely crisp.  Cool them at room temperature or even for fifteen minutes in the freezer if you are under the gun before you pour the filling in.  Otherwise the cream cheese mixture may crack and separate from the shell.

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