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Strawberry–Cream Cheese Tart

With this recipe, you’ll have enough dough for two large tart shells plus four tartlet shells for creating other desserts (see related recipes at left). The dough comes together quickly in a food processor and bakes up to a sweet, crumbly, buttery finish.

Storage tip: The dough disks can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If freezing the disks, wrap in plastic wrap and place in heavy-duty sealable plastic bags; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. Or, roll out the dough and line a tart pan, place the pan in a plastic bag, and refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Ingredients:

For the tart dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 24 Tbs. (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  •  

For the filling:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups strawberries, stems removed and berries halved lengthwise

Directions:

Make the dough
In a food processor, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar and butter and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Add the water and process just until fine crumbs form.

Transfer the dough to a work surface, divide into 3 equal pieces and press each into a flat disk. Set 1 disk aside and wrap the remaining 2 disks in plastic wrap for future use (see note above).

Bake the tart shell
Preheat an oven to 425°F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough disk into a 10 1/2-inch round. Gently transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold the overhang back over itself and press it into the sides of the pan to make a sturdy rim. Freeze for 5 minutes.

Bake the tart shell until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan.

Finish the tart
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light. Add the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

Spread the filling evenly in the tart shell. Place the strawberries, cut side down, on the filling. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Remove the pan rim, cut the tart into wedges and serve. Makes one 9 1/2-inch tart; makes 3 disks tart dough total.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).