Sunday, August 5, 2007

the art of the tart

As the title of this post implies, sometimes you experience food as not only something nourishing and delicious, but also as a visual masterpiece. With Dina often putting down her own baking skills, I'm starting to think that she does so for my sake. The fewer baked goods in the house, the better control she will have over my ever expanding waistline. But today, thanks to my parents and brother coming over for lunch, she flexed those baking muscles once again and I'm so very thankful for it.

Part cheesecake, part berry tart, she succeeded beyond even her own expectations with this dessert. We had some fresh blueberries and raspberries at our disposal, so Dina whipped up this quick tart in no time. Adapted from a recipe she found in The Joy of Baking cookbook, this dessert had very few ingredients and came together very easily. It combines everything you love about cheesecake with the summeriness of a tart—perfect for those conscious of their waistline as it isn't as substantial as your typical cheesecake and can be made with sugar substitute and low fat cream cheese.

Berry Cheesecake Tart

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, cubed
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
cold water, about 1-3 tbsps.

1. Mix butter, salt, sugar and flour together in food processor until it resembles coarse meal.
2. Add a tablespoon of cold water at a time until dough comes together.
3. Refrigerate dough for 30 min.
4. Roll out dough until about 1/4 in. thick and put in tart pan.
5. Place pan in freezer for at least an hour before baking.
6. Prick bottom of dough with a fork all over before placing in oven.
7. Bake dough until lightly browned in 425 degree oven (about 10-12 mins).
8. Let dough cool down.

4 oz (125 grams) of cream cheese
1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries or combination of both
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute
2 eggs
3/4 cup of half & half or light cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest from 1 medium lemon

1. In mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar. Mix until smooth.
2. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
3. Add vanilla, half & half, and lemon zest until combined.
4. Carefully pour the mixture onto room temperature crust.
5. Place berries all over filling.
6. Bake in 350 degree oven in middle rack until filling is just set, it should jiggle slightly in the middle (about 25 min.).
7. Let cool to room temperate and then refrigerate until it's time to serve.
8. If you wish, sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

This was a luscious and utterly decadent dessert that tasted more sinful than it actually was. And it looked just as great as it tasted. Dina, you've done it again. Making us all think that you still haven't mastered the art of baking, when you're clearly becoming the Dali of desserts.

I'm thinking that this may be worth the spare tire.


ima said...

Just picture perfect !!!! heavenly tasting !!!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

What a beautiful tart, Mony - I love berries!