Vanilla & Strawberry Tart

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Strawberry season is well and truly upon us – and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Strawberries are one of the few things in the world that I can eat (and eat and eat and eat…) forever without getting sick of them – there’s just something about them that I never get sick of.

With punnets of strawberries lining the shelves in every supermarket and fruit store you visit, Kevin and I have totally given in to strawberry temptation and stuffed our fridge full of the things. So when the working out what dessert to make for when we had friends over for a BBQ there was no question it would be something wonderfully packed with strawberries!

After a bit of fiddling with my dreadful oven I succeeded in getting in a workable state, leaving me with the first opportunity I’d had in weeks to actually bake something! What goes better together than strawberries and vanilla? Not a lot! So I decided to combine the two in a beautifully light, creamy summery vanilla and strawberry tart.

With a light shortcake base and beautifully creamy ricotta and cream cheese filling, the tart is perfectly complemented by a generous topping of thinly sliced strawberries – the result is not only delicious, but rather pretty too!

While this tart does need a bit of baking – the base for 20 minutes, and the filling for another 20 – it’s well worth filling the house with a bit of extra heat for. Once chilled, the filling is an absolute dream – not quite a cheesecake, there’s something deliciously different about the filling; it’s smooth and rich, but far from sweet.

That’s where the strawberry topping comes in. More than just a decoration, the finely slices array of strawberries gives the tart just the right amount of sweetness. And because the strawberries themselves aren’t baked, they keep the tart feeling wonderfully fresh and beautiful – I’m sure you’re going to love it!

This tart went down an absolute treat at our BBQ and certainly didn’t last long – which is a good thing or Kevin and I would still be eating it! I hope you like it too.

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Recipe adapted from Sprinklebakes

Ingredients

Shell

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 113g butter, cold, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp water

Filling

  • 113g cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Topping

  • 500g fresh strawberries (approx)

Method

Shell

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Grease an 11″ tart or quiche pan and set aside.
  2. Place flour and sugar in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add butter and pulse until fine crumbs form.  Add yolk, vanilla and water.  Pulse in quick bursts until dough forms a ball.
  3. Press dough into prepared pan. Chill shell for 40 minutes, then prick with a fork and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

Filling

  1. In a large bowl, combine softened cream cheese, ricotta and sugar until smooth and well combined.
  2. Add egg whites and vanilla seeds, and mix until combined.
  3. Pour into cooled tart crust and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until centre is slightly wobbly but edges firm. Refrigerate until cool.

Topping

  1. Carefully slice strawberries into thin pieces, slicing from top to bottom.
  2. Place slices in a ring around the outside of the tart. Continue to place slices on tart in rings, working inwards. Overlap slices as required.

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