Depending on your choice of cheese and jam, this delicious tart can be made lighter in fat and sugar but still taste like a non-diet food. The tart in the picture was made with low fat ricotta cheese, low sugar jam and no corn syrup in the glaze. So when it comes to this tart and those who also eat with their eyes, I think half the battle is won.
- 1 lb/450g strawberries
- 1 1/4c/175g all-purpose white flour
- 2 tsp white granulated sugar
- 4oz/100g cold butter, cut into cubes
- pinch of salt
- 4 TBSP cold water
- 2 eggs
- 1c/240g ricotta, or other creamy cheese of your choice
- 2 TBSP half and half (single cream)
- 1/4c/50g superfine (caster) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2c/115g strawberry jam
- 1 TBSP Corn/Golden syrup (optional)
Note – You will need a 9″/23cm loose bottom tart pan for the best presentation, but a standard shallow pie tin will work just fine.
Prepare the strawberries…
Start by hulling, rinsing and drying the strawberries then line them up in the tart pan so that you know you have enough to generously and completely cover the top of the tart. It looks nicer when all the strawberries are the same size so if you can’t get enough of the same height, you can always slice off a bit to make it even with the others. Once you are satisfied that you have enough to cover the whole tart, put the strawberries on a plate, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
- Put the eggs and cold water into a bowl and beat until well combined, set aside.
- Put the flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Pulse until you have a texture like fine bread crumbs.
- Add a bit more then 1/2 of the egg mixture, then pulse just until the mixture starts to come together.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and kneed it for a few seconds. The dough should be smooth, if it seems overly wet, kneed in a little more flour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is approximately 2″/5 cm wider then the tart pan. Line the tart pan with the rolled out dough, pressing it gently into the crevasses/grooves on the sides of the tin. Do NOT trim off the excess pastry! leave it draped over the sides.
- Put the pastry case in the fridge and let it chill for 30 minutes. Put the oven rack in the center of the oven and put in a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 340f/170c.
- Remove the chilled pastry case from the fridge and prick the bottom well with a fork. Line with parchment paper then fill with baking beans. Place the pastry case on the baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, take the pastry out of the oven and remove the parchment paper/baking beans. Brush the pastry case with the left over egg mixture and return it to the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned.
- Cool the pastry case on the baking sheet until it is at room temperature Once the pastry case has cooled, take a sharp knife and cut off the pastry along the top of the tart pan. Leave the pastry case in the tart pan, brush off any crumbs and set it aside.
Filling, Assembly & Glaze
- Put the cheese, cream, sugar and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Whip until light and creamy.
- Put the filling carefully into the pastry case, smooth out evenly and then arrange the strawberries point side up in a single layer. With out pushing the berries into the filling to much, really crowd the berries in so that there is little to no filling showing through.
- Put the jam and syrup (if using) into a microwaveable bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute, stir and check the consistency Once the jam is warmed through but not hot, spoon just enough over each strawberry to coat it and fill in any tiny gaps where the cheese is showing through.
- If you are using a loose bottom tin you can now remove the tart and place it on a serving plate. The tart is ready to serve, but if you are making it ahead then refrigerate until needed and remove it half an hour before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes 1 x 9″/23cm Tart