I came up with this tart about 4 years ago. After graduating from pastry school, I experimented with dessert catering. Haha, I can laugh about it now, but it’s definitely not my thing. A couple of my initial requests were for tarts. I love adding cheese to desserts, whether it’s cream cheese or mascarpone, because it adds a nice tang that then allows for sweeter ingredients to shine.
The recipe for the cheesecake filling is pretty traditional with the addition of lemon for brightness. Proportionally, the layer is a bit thin because I wanted the focus to be on the berries. To finish, I smeared some softly whipped cream and scattered slightly sweetened strawberries on top.
Crisp crust, creamy tangy filling and super sweet berries. Checking off all the components of the ultimate dessert!
Strawberry Cheesecake Tart
9″ tart, serves 6
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cold water, plus extra if needed
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Large pinch of salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1″ cubes
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
zest from half a lemon
2 cups halved strawberries (if small) or sliced (if large)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
9″ tart pan with removable bottom
For the crust:
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and water until combined. Set aside.
In a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. Slowly drizzle in the egg mixture while pulsing until the dough just starts to come together. It should clump slightly. To test, take a small portion in your hand and if the dough holds together, you’re done. If it’s a bit crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it holds.
Transfer the dough to your counter and bring together to form a round disc. Flatten to about 1″ thick. The flatter the disc, the more quickly the dough will chill and the easier it will be to roll out. Let chill for at least 1 hour. I like to leave it overnight and resume the process the next day.
Preheat oven to 350.
Once the dough has chilled, take it out and leave on the counter for about 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of your room, to soften slightly before rolling. It should be cold but pliable. Roll out the dough into a 1/8″ thick circle. If at any point it gets too soft, place the dough onto a sheet pan and place in the fridge for 5 minute before resuming.
Fit the dough into your 9″ tart pan. Place into the freezer for 15 minutes or until firm. Then line with parchment, fill with pie weights and bake for 20 minutes or until the dough appears dry. Remove the parchment and weights and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool completely in the pan.
For the filling:
In a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, heavy cream and lemon zest and beat until just combined.
Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and bake until the filling is set, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the topping:
Combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice and let sit 10 minutes to allow the berries to macerate and create a lovely strawberry juice.
Meanwhile, in the stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, whip together the heavy cream and powdered sugar to soft peaks.
Smear the whipped cream onto the cooled cheesecake. Spoon the sliced berries on top. Pour the strawberry liquid over.