I wanted a new dessert recipe for our Memorial Day party last weekend. I decided on this one because I like fruit tarts, but I am not a big fan of pastry cream. So I thought the substitution of sweetened cream cheese would be more appealing. Also three of Mike’s favorite things are tart crust, strawberries, and crumble topping, so I thought he would probably like it, too.
It turned out even better than I had hoped, crunchy, buttery, and sweet all at once. The recipe is not difficult, but you do have to prepare it in advance. I did it in two stages: made the tart dough and baked the crust and crumble on Friday, then made the filling and assembled it on Sunday.
I highly recommend it, and I think it will be my go-to fruit tart recipe in the future. I’d like to try a raspberry version next. I am pretty sure you could substitute almost any berry out there, and many other kinds of fruit, too.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart
From Nick Malgieri’s Bake! via Brown-Eyed Baker
Cookie Dough Tart Crust:
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
6 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 8 pieces
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Almond Crumb Topping:
1-1/4 c (150 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 c (75 g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c (1-1/2 oz or 40 g) slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling:
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c (115 g) powdered sugar, sifted
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
16 ounces fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved (quartered if large)
Make the Tart Crust: Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse repeatedly until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add the flour and salt and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter and pulse again repeatedly until no visible pieces of butter remain. Add the yolk and vanilla and continue pulsing until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, shape into a thick disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften at a cool room temperature for about 20 minutes, just until it is soft enough to roll without cracking, but still firm. Unwrap it and place it on a floured surface. Use the palm of your hand to press it to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Flour the work surface and the dough and gently roll the dough into a 13-inch disk, adding pinches of flour under and on top of the dough as needed. Transfer it to a 10-inch tart pan. Evenly fit the dough into the pan, making sure it’s flat against both the bottom and side of the pan. Trim away any excess dough at the rim of the pan by rolling over with a rolling pin or scraping it away with the back of a paring knife. Slide the tart pan onto a cookie sheet, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight before baking.
When ready to bake, arrange the racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil; set aside.
Make the Crumb Topping: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the chopped almonds. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the butter until all of the dry ingredients have been evenly moistened. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, then use your fingertips to break the mixture into crumbs. Scatter the crumbs on the prepared pan.
Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator, and remove the plastic wrap. Line with a piece of parchment paper and fill the pan with pie weights. Bake the tart crust in the lower third of the oven and the crumb topping in the upper third. After 10 minutes, remove the paper and pie weights from the tart shell and place it on the upper rack, and move the crumbs to the lower rack. Continue baking the tart shell until it is dry and light golden, 15 to 20 additional minutes.
Bake the crumb topping until it is deep golden and firm, 10 to 15 additional minutes. Cool the crust and the topping on wire racks.
Make the Cream Cheese Filling: Beat the cream cheese on medium speed just until it is smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until lightened, about 1 minute.
Assemble the Tart: Spread half the cream cheese filling on the bottom of the tart crust and arrange the sliced strawberries on it, cut side down. Spread the remaining filling over the strawberries. Evenly scatter the crumb topping over the filling. Right before serving, lightly dust the topping with powdered sugar and garnish with additional strawberries, if desired. Wrap and refrigerate leftovers.