Strawberry and Vanilla Tart

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With BBQ season well and truly upon us, it’s always a good idea to have a favourite summery dessert recipe up your sleeve. The best desserts for summer entertaining are quick to prepare, pretty to look at and even better to eat – and that’s where this strawberry and vanilla tart comes in; it ticks all the boxes.

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 little bit of baking 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 strawberries come in. The finely sliced strawberries give the tart just the right amount of sweetness, while making the finished tart look wonderfully fresh and summery too.

Like all cream cheese creations, this tart needs to remain chilled so be sure to pop your leftovers in the fridge (if you have any!) I have my eye on this gorgeous Adirondack Bench Seat for our deck and can just picture how lovely it would be lounging out in the sunshine with a slice of this tart the following day… perfect!

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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.