Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tart Meets Her Maker

Ha! Thought that might get your attention. Well, actually, that title's not quite right, strictly speaking. I didn't really make it; my great friend Ruth, who lives just down the block from Jean-Robert's new Greenup Cafe in Covington, generously offered to stop by there to find a scrumptious treat to bring me on her Saturday afternoon visit. And what a lovely little still-life it was: an individual fruit tart filled with pastry cream and decorated with slivers of tartly ripe nectarine, slices of perfectly ripe strawberry, and deliciously sweet whole blackberries and raspberries. The only difficulty came when we tried to cut the crust with my cafeteria stash of heavy black plastic cutlery. Even Ruth, with two good hands, couldn't do much more than break it up with the knife and fork. Instead of flaky pastry, it was more like the Pillsbury premade sugar cookie dough we used for making "fruit pizza" the other week in recreational therapy!


Fruit: Plus
Filling: Plus
Crust: A definite Minus!

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tart

1 18-ounce package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mixed fruit (berries, sliced kiwi, peaches, nectarines)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and side of 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom and press cookie dough evenly into prepared pan. Or press cookie dough into greased baking sheet to measure 8-inch circle.

Bake for 22 to 27 minutes or until lightly golden and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled cookie crust to within 1/2 inch of edge.

Arrange fruit in concentric circular pattern or as desired on top of cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove rim of pan if using a tart pan; slice into wedges.

Makes 10 servings.
Source: Nestle


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