Hello there lovely juicy strawberries I have missed you all winter. Strawberries were probably one of my first fruit loves. I am not a fan of them baked, but I will eat a large bowlful every night in the summer. Sometimes I actually end up choosing them over a bowl of homemade ice cream which for me is a big deal. I have had my eye on this gorgeous tart for the longest time, but needed to wait for strawberries to be back in season. When the prices for them dropped at my grocery store, I knew I had to jump right on it. You start with a sweet tart that you spread a thin layer of ganache on. After that you blend together cream cheese and some sugar to make a light, creamy layer. All of this is then topped with fresh strawberries and some drizzling of more chocolate. It ended up being just as I had imagined, heavenly. You also didn’t feel quite as guilty eating it knowing you were getting a fresh serving of fruit.
I have to admit I had a hard time with the tart itself, I didn’t quite understand the directions the first time about rotating so I ended up with a very unevenly cooked crust. Think burnt on one side and uncooked on the other. I apparently also have the world’s fastest cooking tart pan that required less baking time. After making the mistakes the first round, I adjusted and it came out just how I wanted it, a beautiful golden brown color. The process may seem daunting and a lot of steps, but it can be easily broken down over the course of a few days. One other quick note, I took some chocolate chips and melted them in short intervals in the microwave for the chocolate drizzle. I scooped the melted chocolate into a plastic baggie and snipped a very tiny corner to create the drizzle effect. I guarantee it will be a crowd pleaser at your next gathering.
For the crust:
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. heavy cream
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
For the ganache:
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk or cream
Fresh strawberries, sliced (approximately 12 oz.)
Melted bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, for drizzling (optional)
What you’ll do:
To make the tart shell, whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Process briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. (If refrigerated for more than an hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.) Unwrap and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan. Mold the dough to the sides of the tart pan and remove the excess off the top. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 375° F. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen shell and over the edge, and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating your tart pan halfway through the baking time(this will create an even browning). Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5-8 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit 1-2 minutes to melt the chocolate. Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms. If there are still bits of unmelted chocolate, microwave in 10 second intervals, whisking in between, until the ganache is completely smooth. Whisk in the butter. Spread the ganache in a thin even layer over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Allow the ganache to set before proceeding.
To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl on medium-high speed until smooth. Blend in the vanilla and milk or cream. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled ganache in the tart shell.
Starting from the outside and working toward the center, place the sliced strawberries in concentric circles slightly overlapping each other. Gently press the berries into the cream cheese mixture to help keep them in place. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired. Chill until ready to serve.