Strawberry or Fruit Cookie Tart

  • Serves: Makes one 9- or 10-inch tart pan
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 400 for the crust
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This recipe makes a wonderful summer treat. You can vary the type of fruit used! Mango slices make an especially refreshing recipe. Brush with lime marmalade.


Red, ripened strawberries are essential to this recipe. Select those with a fresh, shiny, firm look and a bright-red color as they do not ripen after they are picked. The stems should be green and not look wilted. Look underneath the first layer of berries in the carton and make sure none are smashed or moldy. If they are, select another box.

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spoon into measuring cup and level to top
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, well chilled
1 large egg, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
ice water, if needed

1, 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened; preferably Philadelphia Brand
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups (about 1 pint) whole fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

3/4 cup seedless strawberry jam

Pat-in-the-Pan Cookie Tart Crust:
1. Grease the bottom and side of 9- or 10-inch tart pan. Set aside.

2. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and chill.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Add the butter and toss.

Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse cornmeal -- no distinguishable pieces of butter should remain. (If you wish, use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture, but a pastry blender is much quicker. Be sure to use only your fingertips, not the palms, which are warmer. The butter must stay cold). Make a well in the center of the flour ingredients.

4. Beat the egg and vanilla extract in a small bowl and pour the egg into the well of the flour ingredients. Blend with a fork until incorporated thoroughly and just clumps together.

To test the consistency, press the dough between your thumb and forefinger -- it should just hold together. If it won't, sprinkle ice water over the mixture, 1 teaspoon at a time, and toss with a fork to incorporate. Do not add so much liquid that the dough clumps into a solid ball -- wet dough bakes into a tough pie crust.

5. Press dough evenly on bottom and side of prepared tart pan. Trim the edge of the tart with a sharp knife. Chill dough for 1 hour.
Dock the crust by pricking all over the bottom and side with the tines of a fork.

6. Position an oven shelf to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes.

7. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool crust thoroughly on wire cake rack.

Make the Cream Cheese and Strawberry Topping. Fill the Tart and Glaze with Strawberry Jam:
1. While crust cools, make the cream cheese topping: with a hand-held mixer on low, beat together softened cream cheese, sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.

2. Spread topping, while still softened, evenly over cooled crust. Arrange the strawberries, either sliced or bottom-side down, evenly in cookie shell.

Refrigerate tart until cream cheese filling stiffens, about 1 hour.

3. Melt the strawberry jelly over low heat. (Strain seeds, if necessary). With a pastry brush, brush strawberries lightly with the glaze.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

1. Remove the tart pan.

2. To serve, slice into thin wedges and eat out of hand, just like a cookie!

The tart is perishable because of the cream cheese (and cut fruit). Cover and refrigerate any remaining tart. Keeps for a few days, refrigerated.

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