Summer is finally here, which means graduation parties, pool parties, and many more festivities abound. One of my favorite desserts for the Summer is Paula Dean’s delicious fruit tart. Although you can find this recipe on the Food Network website, I am going to show you step-by-step pictures of how to make it. I wish I had known these tips when I first made it. This colorful, sweet, and refreshing dessert will have everyone smiling.
The first thing I strongly recommend buying is an actual tart pan.
How to make the crust:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: In a food processor, combine the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
My tip #1: Spray bottom of the pan with a cooking spray. To cut down on the mess, place tart pan on a cookie tray. The butter has to be softened to handle the crust properly. If you did not allow enough time to soften the butter, microwave the butter in a bowl for approximately 30 seconds. Do not despair if you melt the butter too much, the crust will still turn out okay. It is very important to let the crust cool so that the filling is easier to apply without crumbs sticking to it. Instead of a food processor, you can also use a Kitchen Aid mixer.
How to make the filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, raspberries
For the filling and topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries, filling in any spaces with blueberries. Cluster the raspberries in the center of the tart.
My tip #2: Make sure cream cheese is at room temperature for smoother filling. There again, you can use a Kitchen Aid mixer. Start by putting a clump of filling in the center of the crust and spread it out to the edges, slowly trying not to get crumbs in the filling. Decorate your tart with any fruit of your liking and any design.
How to make the Glaze:
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Whipped cream, for garnish optional
For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart. You will not use all of the glaze.
My tip #3: This glaze recipe makes a good amount and can be used for multiple tarts. Extra glaze can be put in a container and frozen to use at a later time. I defrost the glaze, use the appropriate amount and then refreeze it.
Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into 8 wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream if you desire.
My tip #4: Make sure you refrigerate the tart before serving for at least an hour to harden the tart. When you take it out of the refrigerator be sure to pop the bottom out of the pan separating the outer rim (refer to picture above of pan).
For the original recipe check it out at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/fresh-fruit-tart-recipe.html
Waiting for the tart to be ready is the hardest part of the recipe. Good thing I have these boys to keep me company while I wait. I hope you enjoy this recipe and find my tips helpful.
Hannah Marie Tree