Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Raspberry Cream Tart

Last weekend I was lucky enough to find super-cheap copies of Anna Olson's Sugar and Another Cup of Sugar in a small bookstore. I bought a copy of each and was eager to try out the Rhubarb Cream Tart from Sugar. As you have probably figured out from the title of this post, raspberries were substituted for the rhubarb for the topping because I couldn't find any in my grocery store... not even frozen!

I guess I'm feeling comfortable enough about playing around with recipes now because instead of freaking out about it I just picked up two packages of frozen raspberries and prepared myself to wing it once I got home.

To make the crust and cream filling, I used the recipes from Sugar with a few adaptations, but I found a simple raspberry filling recipe on the Internet and made my adaptations from that. The result: A creamy, smooth, tart, well... tart. :)

Already I'm planning on making this again - I think it will be very refreshing at my sister's bridal shower in June. But I will definitely be making some alterations.
For one, I used a clear artificial vanilla extract in the cream filling which tasted HORRIBLE. I bought it initially because it was clear, but I will never use it again - it leaves the strangest aftertaste. I'm just fine with going back to my regular vanilla extract.
Secondly, I think that this recipe would be better in a larger tart pan, as there just seems to be too much crust and raspberries, and not enough cream filling.
Which leads me to my last change: doubling the recipe for the cream filling to balance out all of the components.

This tart is really more of a cheesecake, but it's lightness makes it a great addition to any summer picnic or tea party. Or in my case, Sunday night dessert, Monday night dessert, Tuesday night dessert... you get the idea.

The crust, baked and cooling:

The cream filling:

The raspberry topping, cooling:

The tart, starting to come together:

Raspberry Cream Tart

Rasberry Topping:
6 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water
3 tbsps. corn starch
3 tbsps. lemon juice

1. Over medium heat, whisk together 2 cups raspberries, sugar, water, corn starch and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.
2. Cook until thick, and then fold in the remaining raspberries. Allow to cool completely.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar and stir in melted butter until the mixture comes together in an even crumbly texture.
3. Press into a 9-inch (23 cm) square fluted tart pan and bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Cream Filling:
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
3 tbsps. sugar
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup whipping cream

1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixture until smooth.
2. Blend in sugar, lemon zest and vanilla.
3. While beating, add whipping cream and mix until thickened, about 2 minutes.
4. Spread filling into crust and top with raspberries. Chill for at least 2 hours before slices, but for best results, chill overnight.

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