Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and a Happy early 4th of July to those south of the border! Hope both days are filled with happiness and celebration ... and dessert!
My girls and I went strawberry picking a few days ago and now we have baskets and baskets of red to the core strawberries that are just begging to be eaten. While eating them straight up is our favorite way to go I decided to include them in last nights post iftar dessert. I don't usually have dessert after dinner, but after a long day of fasting a little sugar seems needed!
The Graham Cracker crust has a lovely crunch that contrasts with the creamy filling and the juicy slightly tart strawberries provide the perfect contrast. Learn from my mistakes though and keep this baby in the fridge until you're ready to eat!
Strawberry and Cream Cheese Tart with a Graham Cracker Crust
Graham Cracker Crust
1 ½ + 1 tbsp cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
Cream Cheese Filling
6 oz cream cheese (at room temp)
½ a cup whipping cream
½ cup fine sugar
1 tsp gelatin dissolved in 2 tsp hot water (optional, but recommended)
Zest of half a lemon or ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups or more of strawberries
Crust: Preheat the oven to 350. Butter your tart pan or pie plate. I like tart pans with removable bottoms for this. Melt the butter. In a seperate bowl stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and put aside a tablespoons worth of crumbs for patching. Press evenly and firmly into your pie plate/ tart pan.
If you are using a tart pan then I suggest building the sides first and then the middle. The middle is far easier to patch. When you're done look for little holes and fill them with the reserved tablespoon. Bake for 12-14 minutes till the crust takes on a darker hue. Your kitchen will smell amazing.
FIlling: While the crust is cooling whip the cream cheese till smooth then add your whipping cream, keep whipping till it starts to become fluffy, add your sugar and zest/extract and whip for another 2 minutes.
Spread evenly across your cooled tart base. This is a very 'creamy' mixture which is why I recommend dissolved gelatin but if you don't have it handy then make sure to keep it cold till serving.
Topping: Wash and halve your strawberries and make your design of choice. If you choose to make rings in the centre then use a bowl, invert it and press the rim gently onto the surface of the tart to make an indentation you can follow to ensure you get a neat circle.
Serve cold and watch it disappear 🙂