Friday, July 6, 2012

Fourth of July Fruit Tarts

I started out at the beginning of last month dreaming up ambitious tricolored cake projects for the coming July 4th. Calling to mind years gone by, I reminisced over the berry topped cheesecake I'd baked up two years in row. Last year I toiled over heaps of red, white and blue cake pops. This year, the change in a new domain warranted a not so enterprising, nor ambitious Independence Day project. High heat combined with a long, dry airless summer pushed me into a slothful kitchen existence.  

Mind you, slackness on my part doesn't mean going AWOL from any culinary adventure. There were my kids to consider, who would at repeated junctures come up and remind me incessantly..."got to make the flag dessert, right?" Oh yes, I had to come up with something, right

So the day of, I whipped these fabulous, labor saving lovelies complete with a filling redolent to that of cheesecake, sans the hassle, and topped with berries coordinated to the colors of the American flag.

I streamlined a custard base that I made for a fruit salad many years ago, also another submitted entry during my brief stint in the RWOP competition world. It demands all of three ingredients that you whip, scoop and dollop over preposterously good buttery shortbread shells.

Crested with fresh berries and displayed in harmony with the flag colors brought me to the final phase of my easier than pie treat. So easy, per se, that come next year, you might catch me making these same tarts, and constructing this identical display. A cinch it was, so much so that you should grab a hold of the idea and the recipe, as well and say hello to your new July 4th tradition.

The 13 stripes of the American flag were represented in my abbreviated four. The fifty stars were pruned to four groups of five. The number of stars and stripes of your flag in assembled form should be in balance to the amount of people you serve. 

Both the custard base and the tart can be versatile contributors for other desserts. Serve the cream base in fruit salad form. Alternatively, warmed preserves can fill these shells for some righteously appealing jam tarts. After this, multipurpose will be your new favorite word.

Happy 236th Birthday America! ( belated, no doubt, by a couple of days).


Shell~
Small hands work a meticulous shaped shell.
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ c all purpose flour
  • ½ c confectioner's sugar 
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1½ sticks butter, softened and sliced

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 325° F.
  • Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, pulse till mixed.
  • Add butter in increments and pulse until mixture turns to ball.
  • Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  • Pull off small amounts (heaped tablespoons) of dough and press into bottoms of muffin pan, working dough a little way up sides.
  • Poke holes on the bottom of shells with fork tines.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until shells are lightly browned and done.
  • Take out and set to cool on a rack.
Filling:
  • ⅓ c cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk
  • 1 c heavy cream, whipped till soft peaks form
Method:
  • Using an electric mixer, combine cheese and condensed milk till smooth and uniform. 
  • Using a wooden spoon, fold in heavy cream and slowly mix to incorporate all three ingredients.



Topping:
  • Spoon empty, cooled shell with a generous dollop of this mixture.
  • Use blueberries, strawberries (rinsed, and patted dry) or fruits of choice to top off cream mixture.
  • Chill or serve immediately.
Notes:
The custard base was a last minute idea I came up with a long time ago when numerous, unexpected guests showed up at my doorstep. As mentioned earlier, I leave the cream in a non- whipped form and serve it as a velvety base for a bevy of fresh fruits.

******
 "Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB)

(Source: http://goodnews2.tumblr.com/page/5) 


14 comments:

  1. These are so pretty! I am sure they taste as great as they look.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Angie, yes, they're very very good :))

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  2. wish I could grab some of them.. looks very yummy and beautiful..
    Noel collections

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Julie, yes the kids really went after them- ALL of them!

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  4. These are so pretty. They look so fun!

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  5. Love these quick and easy tarts, for the 4th or anytime!!

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  6. lovely..refreshing feel with all the colours:)

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  7. I love the combination of tarts topped with cream and fruits! I must try this :)

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  8. Hi Tisa

    So lovely and vey yummy :) Loved it,Am new to ur space and happy to follow you.Do visit my blog http://tangymind.blogspot.com/ and awaiting to hear your comments.Plz follow me :)dear

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!