Strawberry and lemon cream cheese tartlet

I think this is actually only the second time I used strawberries in dessert. The only other strawberry thing on my blog is strawberry mint soup with cantaloupe sorbet. I serve plain strawberries as dessert often but somehow never really use them in desserts. For Food in Colours, hosted by Sunshinemum of Tongueticklers I needed something red to match this month’s colour. So strawberries were perfect.

I used a cream cheese crust for this tartlet. Needed to try out the recipe because it sounded so easy. And easy it was. The results were good but not that good that I will be replacing my favourite crust: Donna Hay’s sweet shortcrust pastry. In the Netherlands we’re not used to crusts without sugar for sweet things and I guess I’m more Dutch than I thought 😉 I’ve tried the crust with several fillings and every time I would think: it’s ok but it would have been better with Donna’s crust.

I haven’t tasted the complete tartlet by the way but did taste the combination of strawberry and filling which I thought was very good. Had a cheese cake kind of taste.

I gave the tartlet to a friend of mine whom I wanted to please because I needed a bit of his help while working on some Mesopotamian pottery sherds. He would have helped me anyway but a pretty tartlet always helps 😉 The feedback about the tartlet was that he liked it but it was a bit on the heavy side. Probably because he ate the whole thing by himself 😉 I also made him some tehina shortbread rounds but I will post about these in the future.

I used citric acid (lemon salt) dissolved in water instead of lemon juice because I didn’t want to water the cream cheese down too much and still have a tart filling. You could use lemon juice as well (I think about 2 ts) but maybe you have to add more icing sugar to make a firmer filling. The filling will be a little too much for 1 tartlet so expect to have about ¼ left-over.

Strawberry and lemon cream cheese tartlet

¼ ts citric acid

1 ts water

200 g (7 oz) cream cheese

4 tbs icing sugar

½ lemon peel

about 5 medium strawberries, sliced

1 tbs red preserves (I used home-made redcurrant preserves)

about ½ ts water

an 11 cm (4 ½ in) pre-baked tart crust

Dissolve the citric acid in the teaspoon of water. Add one teaspoon of the mixture to the cream cheese. Add the icing sugar and lemon peel as well. Mix until combined and smooth.

Fill the tartlet with the cream cheese. Smooth the top with a wet spoon. Arrange the strawberries on top.

Mix the water with the preserves and heat until boiling. Brush the preserves on top of the strawberries.

Serve the same day.

Cream cheese crust (from Essentials of Baking by Williams-Sonoma)

makes four 11 cm (4 ½ in) tartlets

125 g (4 oz / ½ cup) butter, room temperature

90 g (3 oz) cream cheese, room temperature

155 (5 oz / 1 cup) flour, sifted

Mix the butter and cream cheese with hand mixer on low speed until smooth and combined. Add flour and mix until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough in four. Press the dough into the tartlet pans. Freeze the tartlets for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Line the tartlets with aluminium foil. Fill with uncooked beans, rice or pie weights. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the aluminium foil can be removed without it sticking to the crust. Lower the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the crusts to a wire rack to cool completely.

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23 Responses to Strawberry and lemon cream cheese tartlet

  1. Rosa says:

    Wonderful and so refreshing!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. You make such great looking desserts, Linda, and this tartlet is no exception! I love how the strawberries look like a flower.

  3. Linda that flower shape you achieved with the strawberries is just gorgeous! That must be like a non-cheesecake tartalette, delicious!

  4. grace says:

    what beautiful tartlets! i love the design created by those strawberry slices–your painstaking effort is appreciated! 🙂

  5. Mike says:

    That is a beautiful looking tartlet. Also, I’m surprised when you pointed out how rarely you use strawberries–you certainly did them justice here! That pastry crust also looks excellent

  6. Niels says:

    Nog mijn complimenten! En ja, ik heb ‘m zelf opgegeten, hoewel de overbuurvrouw het misschien ook wel wilde helpen….maar die geeft niets om scherven 😉 En ja, ik ben dus omkoopbaar!

  7. Kristen says:

    This looks like a gorgeous tart! I love strawberry anything, but especially tarts!

  8. courtney(aka glamah16) says:

    The tart looks wonderful. Lucky friend who was the recipient.

  9. Christy says:

    Oh that is looking delectable!! I envy the recipient…

  10. Dee says:

    Linda, you make the prettiest desserts! I would have eated one by myself too 🙂 Thanks for the tip about the citric acid.

    I can’t imagine how you take care of your family, work on Mesopotamian shards (so cool) and whip up these wonders!

  11. What gorgeous photographs! I love the combination of strawberries and citrus flavors. Looks lovely.

  12. snookydoodle says:

    although i don t like cream cheese this looks really nice. I like the photos of whne u were a child. You were so cute 🙂

  13. Miri says:

    That tart looks wonderful! You’ve made me curious about Donna Hay’s shortcrust, I’m gonna have to try it 🙂

  14. sunshinemom says:

    Linda, thank you so much for the pretty red tartlet. I am not surprised if your friend ate it up all by himself, it looks too delicious to be shared! Especially the arrangement of strawberries – exquisite!

  15. aran says:

    beautiful tart linda!

  16. Sarah says:

    Mmmmmm…that looks lovely! I started drooling as soon as the page loaded. 🙂

  17. ingrid says:

    Your tart looks beautiful. You arranged the strawberries so well. I wish I could do have as well!

    ~ingrid

  18. I just saw a recipe for cream cheese crust today, and again here. It sounds like something I’m going to have to try. Your tart looks lovely. I love the fanned strawberries!

  19. Vera says:

    Linda, the tart looks lovely! What a lucky recipient! I also prefer sweet tart dough 🙂

  20. Y says:

    Love those juicy looking strawberries. There’s a cream cheese pastry cream that I’ve been meaning to try, but haven’t decided what to pair it with yet. Strawberries certainly sound like a good idea 🙂

  21. Madeline says:

    WOW, that is beautiful! You did such an amazing job. I’m not surprised your friend finished it off himself. I wouldn’t be able to contain myself either!

  22. Tartelette says:

    Love this tart Linda! Cut strawberries are so pretty on tarts! Well done!

  23. Rhiannon says:

    These look really beautiful. Well laid out strawberries, really pretty tarts! I love the lemon strawberry combo!

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