Recipe: Very Berry Tart

I call this my Very Berry Tart… a simple fruit tart … I use strawberries and blueberries… you can use raspberries instead of strawberries or a combination of all three… or even one of them only… this is so easy to make.. and so eye appealing… it will definitely wow your family and friends.

And its wow appeal is what I’m going to rant about a little now… nothing irks me more than all these fabulous looking desserts in magazines and websites… and I’m talking the major professional sites… that woo into buying the magazine so you too can make the featured unbelievable looking dish. They do a little write up and give you the recipe… and with the exception of Martha Stewart (sometimes) … they don’t show you how to get it to look like that or even give you pointers on how to get it like that.

I know mine isn’t totally professional looking .. and honestly.. I’m not sure I was aiming for that anyway.. but I did want a little wow factor… so trial and error … lots of trial and error later … and this is the result… I hope you like it… because this is about as good as it gets for me.


Arranging the strawberries

I spent many an hour trying to get my strawberries to look good on a cake…. I’ve cut them in half and put them cut side down…. which looks nice… but inevitably the filling does show quite a bit.. something I didn’t want.. I put them cut side up.. but they don’t lay right… so how do you get a more professional look? …. slice them.

Simple answer… took me a long time to figure it out… guess I’m not quite as smart as the average baker.

The trick for me… is to … first…. find medium to large ripe strawberries. Cut the top off, then slice them in even slices. The end slices you will need to cut a sliver off so the bottom will be flat and lay better.

Then lay them in little piles with each strawberry pile separately … the reason for this.. is that the strawberry will lay easier and better when piled on its exact match… start at the rim and work inward, laying one slice down and the next one overlapping it slightly.

I use blueberries to fill in the little “in-between” triangle of exposed filling along the rim… I like the color contrast. When I’ve covered the entire tart.. I make a pile of blueberries in the middle… again I like the color contrast… and it also hides any unevenness of strawberries in the middle.


Don’t fret if your strawberries look too light… unless you happen to get perfectly ripe strawberries.. you get some white in the center … and you’re right… it takes away from the look… BUT… you need to glaze the tart to add that glisten to it… I use melted jelly… in this case I used red raspberry jelly… about a tablespoon and a half.. put it in a small custard cup and cover with waxed paper.. nuke it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until melted. Then use a pastry brush and lightly brush your fruit… all the fruit… including the blueberries….. refrigerate and it will look perfect.

I like to use red raspberry jelly because it adds a bit of raspberry flavor… and it’s very red… so it adds great color to the tart.

The filling recipe is a slight version from others I’ve seen …particularly Paula Deen… however.. I use more cream cheese and a little more powdered sugar… I also add almond extract or vanilla extract… I prefer the almond extract… but vanilla works equally as well.

For the tart shell… you can use any pie crust you prefer… homemade or commercially made… bake it as directed and allow it to cool completely before filling.

This recipe works best if refrigerated at least two hours before serving.

I hope you like it!

Recipe: Very Berry Tart

All you need:

1 (9- inch) tart shell, baked
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ -1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract (to taste)
Strawberries, sliced
1 ½ tablespoons red raspberry jelly, melted

All you need to do:

Prepare the tart shell as directed in your pie crust recipe or commercial pie crust.

Allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the heavy cream, almond or vanilla extract and granulated sugar until soft peaks.

Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Spread the filling into the cooled tart shell and top with sliced strawberries and blueberries.

Brush the fruit lightly with the melted red raspberry jelly.

Refrigerate 2 hours.

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