I love that quote from "Friends!" Interesting fact about me: I love "Friends"! If I had my way, I'd have one of those multi-DVD player things that hold 5 or 6 discs, I could put an entire season of Friends in there and let it play all day long. But, alas, my hubby thinks I'm weird and therefore, I don't do that (except on days that I have off and he has to work, tee hee!)
My dear friend's birthday was coming up, and I had absolutely NO time to prepare dessert for his birthday BBQ. It was finally sunny outside, which put me in a stellar mood, so I hopped on over to the grocery store for inspiration. Immediately upon entering the produce section, the sweet smells of berries started to crash over me like waves of deliciousness. I grabbed a bunch of different berries, some kiwis, a package of cream cheese, plus some other miscellaneous items, and rushed home to make this beautiful tart for my friend on his special day.
I found the recipe on FoodNetwork.com a while ago, and always fall back on it, depending on what's in season, whenever I need a quick & easy recipe that will impress whoever I'm cooking for. I actually featured a picture of it in my very first blog posting almost a year ago! Here's the link to Paula Deen's Fresh Fruit Tart http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_32767,00.html
And the recipe:
-1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
-1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, raspberries
-1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
-1 tablespoon cornstarch
-1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
Whipped cream, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
For the filling and topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries, filling in any spaces with blueberries. Cluster the raspberries in the center of the tart.
For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart. You will not use all of the glaze.
Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into 8 wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
My thoughts: the crust is so delicious, I could eat it alone with a glass of milk. And the filling is just so yummy, especially if you're a cream cheese lover, like me. And you can't go wrong with fresh berries! I was half-tempted to melt down some milk chocolate to spread over the crust prior to filling, but thought that would be a bit much, especially since I was making this for a guy's birthday party. But, maybe for my next girl friend's birthday I'll make one with chocolate inside!