Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Strawberry-Hazelnut Cream Tart

I have taken to making goodies every week for my husband to take to work as dessert. Old-fashioned? Perhaps. A great excuse for me to experiment with every delicious-looking recipe from the plethora of cooking magazines that we subscribe to? Absolutely!

When I asked DH last week what he wanted, the response was, "something fruity". Given that strawberries have recently come into season in the Southern states, they are available at all of our local markets at ridiculously discounted prices compared to the rest of the year. Strawberries it was...but what to make? After flipping through the May Cooking Light, I decided on this Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart. Despite the name of the magazine, I have found that CL recipes can sometimes use a little tweaking in order to make me comfortable with them, and hello - my husband is going to be eating a piece of this every day after lunch, something to keep in mind when determining where to splurge!

The recipe below includes my substitutions. This recipe only uses half of the strawberry "topping", so if you don't want to have any leftover, you can cut that part in half.

Strawberry-Hazelnut Cream Tart
Adapted from Cooking Light

Crust 9 Sheets Reduced-Fat Graham Crackers (crushed)
2 T sugar
2 T Smart Balance (or similar)
4 tsp water
Cooking spray

2.5 oz. Fat-free cream cheese
2.5 oz. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

6 cups small fresh strawberries (hulled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T chopped toasted hazelnuts (we didn't have almonds so used hazelnuts, but either would be good)
Preheat oven to 350. To prepare crust, place all crust ingredients in a food processor and process until it comes together into a loose ball. Place the mixture in the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan lightly coated w/ cooking spray. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine cream cheeses, sugar and extracts in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over the cooled tart shell. To prepare filling, place 2 cups of strawberries in a food processor and puree until smooth. Combine the puree, sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir with a whisk. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Combine the remaining strawberries with the lemon juice and toss to coat. Arrange the berries, bottoms up, in a circular pattern over the cream cheese filling. Spoon half of the strawberry glaze over the whole strawberries. Sprinkle nuts around the edges, cover and chill at least 3 hours (or overnight).