This past weekend was a blur for me. On Saturday, I had to bake 7 dozen cupcakes, a cake and 2 cheesecakes. So when Sunday rolled around and I needed to make a dessert for my brother's birthday lunch, I knew I wanted to make something quick, simple and light!
These fresh fruit tarts are a delicious, easy and versatile dessert to make for any occassion. You can change up the crust by using your favorite cookie instead of the graham crackers, adding cinnamon or ground nuts to the graham crackers, and you can use any combination of fruit that you like. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination!
When decorating fruit tarts, I like to make sure I use a pretty combination of colors. This time, I used Mangos, Peaches, Blueberries, Raspberries and Kiwi.
Fresh Fruit Tarts
Makes eight 4" tarts or one 8" tart
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened (you can also make this non-dairy by using soy cream cheese)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Any combination of fresh fruit
2-3 tablespoons of jam for glazing if desired (I used peach-apricot, red current or raspberry would also be good)
Make the crust
Preheat oven to 350f
In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir with a fork. Drizzle melted butter over the top and stir/toss with a fork to combine. The crumbs should be moist (but not too wet) and should hold together when squeezed in the palm of your hand. If the crumbs don't hold together, drizzle a little more melted butter and stir/toss again to combine.
|This looked a little on the dry side so I ended up adding just a little bit more melted butter to it.|
Divide evenly between eight 4" non-stick tart pans with removable bottoms (or you can make one 8" tart). If your tart pans are not non-stick, spray with nonstick spray.
Press into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pans. Make sure you have an even layer.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is browned. All ovens are different so start checking for doneness around 10 minutes to prevent burning especially if your tart pans have a dark finish.
Remove from oven and allow to cool to completely in the tart pans. For easy assembly, keep the shells in the tart pans when you assemble the tarts.
Make the filling:
Place the softened cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat until creamy and well combined.
Assemble the tarts:
Cut/slice your fruit as desired.
Divide the filling evenly between the 8 cooled tart shells. Carefully spread the filling out to the edges to create an even, smooth layer being careful not to disturb the crust. I found it easiest to start from the center and spread outward towards the edges.
Decorate tops with fresh fruit.
Place in the refrigerator and chill for a few hours before serving.
Before serving - remove the tarts from the tart pans and using a sharp, thin knife or the thin edge of a spatula carefully remove the bottom rings. If glazing, place 2-3 tablespoons of jam in a small bowl and microwave for a few seconds to loosen. Stir well, then gently brush over the tops of each tart with a pastry brush.