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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Strawberry Tarts

Strawberry Tarts
Cream cheese pastry coated with chocolate and topped with fresh strawberries and a strawberry glaze--what could be better for dessert?


Strawberry Tarts:
  • 1/2  cup butter, softened
  • 1  3  ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1   cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3  cup water
  • 1/3  cup sugar
  • 1   tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2  teaspoon finely shredded orange peel, optional
  • Several drops red food coloring, optional
  • 1/3  cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1   teaspoon shortening
  •  Sweetened Whipped Cream, optional
  •  Fresh Mint, optional
  • 3   cups small whole strawberries
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
  • 1   cup whipping cream
  • 2   tablespoons sugar
  • 1   teaspoon vanilla


Strawberry Tarts:

1. In a mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese until well mixed. Stir in flour. Divide dough into 16 pieces. Press into 16 ungreased, 2 1/2-inch muffin pan cups, pressing dough onto the bottom and halfway up sides. Bake in a 400 degrees F. oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack. Remove shells from muffin cups.
2. For glaze, in a blender container or food processor bowl combine 3/4 cup of the strawberries and the water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. If necessary, add enough additional water to make 3/4 cup. In a small saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in pureed strawberry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in orange peel and red food coloring, if desired. Cool for 10 minutes.
3. In a heavy small saucepan melt chocolate and shortening. Drizzle chocolate mixture into the bottom of the cooled pastry shells. Arrange whole strawberries, stem end down, in tart shells. Cut any large berries in half. Spoon glaze over berries. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. (After 2 hours, filling may begin to water out.) Serve with Sweetened Whipped Cream and garnish with fresh mint, if desired.
Sweetened Whipped Cream:

1. In a chilled small mixing bowl beat whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Make-Ahead Tip: 

 Prepare and bake the tart shells. Cool completely. Place shells in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Up to 2 hours ahead of serving, drizzle chocolate in bottoms of shells and add berries and glaze. Chill. Before serving, garnish with whipped cream and mint, if desired.


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