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Cream Cheese & Berry Tart

Published on May 20, 2013 . Blog, Charlotte Taylor, Issue 57

berry-tart

Growing up, I always looked forward to our large family gatherings and reunions because I knew one of my aunts would bring a long, narrow Danish or two, made with puff pastry and filled with cream cheese. It seemed like they were two feet long. Another aunt would always bring Kolaches filled with cream cheese or fruit from her favorite big city bakery. The cream cheese ones were what I lived for. There they’d be, both in their cute little bakery boxes waiting to be devoured the next morning at breakfast. And big surprise, those would always be the first things to go. Hats off to the creator of cream cheese.

A few of my most favorite things are cream cheese, powdered sugar and puff pastry. For years now, I’ve kind of done the easy peasy danish thing by spreading cream cheese on crescent rolls and then roll them up, bake them, drizzle a little powdered sugar glaze on top and OH. MY. That’ll definitely fulfill your cream cheese craving.

This time though, I wanted to make things a bit more summery and incorporate some summer berry goodness. Mmm and I am so glad I did. Simple ingredients, super taste. This recipe is so versatile. You can double the recipe for two tarts or make little individual ones, cut the dough however you’d like. Switch up the berries to whatever is available or eat it without the berries at all. Cream cheese and puff pastry are winners even by themselves!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • zest of ½ of a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • (more for dusting)
  • assortment of fresh berries, your choice
  • (we used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • a tiny bit of flour for your work surface
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • parchment paper

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. In a small bowl, beat together the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.
  3. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment, gently open up the thawed puff pastry and roll the dough out ever so slightly.
  4. Work fairly quickly because as the pastry warms it becomes a bit soft and sticky. Gently score a 1 inch border around the edge of the pastry with a knife, being careful not to cut all the way through.
  5. Brush the border with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  6. Slide pastry/parchment onto a baking sheet and bake for appx. 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and with the tip of your knife, gently re-score the border of your pastry in the same groove, so that the center will fall in a bit. This gives you a place to pour in your filling and fruit.
  8. Let the puff pastry cool for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, using a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon zest in a medium size bowl. Mix well.
  9. Slowly add the heavy cream to create a spreadable texture. If the mixture is still too thick, slowly add a little more cream.
  10. When pastry has cooled, gently spread on the cream cheese mixture. Arrange fruit into desired pattern and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This fresh berry tart is simple and surprisingly addicting. The flavors of the berries along with the lemon zest in the cream cheese are so delicious. A fresh berry tart is great for breakfast or dessert any time of day and may very well become your new summer favorite thing. ENJOY!