Thursday, February 28, 2008

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart

This is the ugliest pie I have ever made!! The crust is terribly ugly. The pie was so delicious and wonderful, but if I had to do it again, I would have used a store-bought frozen crust. However, this pie is wonderfully decadent.

For the crust: (or you can just buy one)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup ice water

For the filling:
6 oz. dark chocolate
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk or cream
fresh strawberries (approx. 2 pints), sliced

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Rub in butter with fingertips (or mix with stand mixer/food processor) until mixture is crumbly and resembles wet sand. Stir in water, adding an additional tablespoon if necessary until dough starts to come together and clumps easily. Press dough into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface and press into a 9- or 10-inch tart pan. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and place a piece of aluminum foil over the pastry. Fill the foil with pie weights and bake for 12 minutes at 350°. Remove foil and weights and continue baking for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before filling.

Melt 4 oz. dark chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. When melted, pour into the pastry crust and spread evenly to coat the bottom with a thin layer of chocolate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cool and firm.

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk in a large bowl until smooth. Pour into the cooled crust. Top cream cheese layer with sliced strawberries. Melt remaining dark chocolate and drizzle over berries. Refrigerate the tart for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

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