This tart marked the first time I tried to make my own shortbread crust…and lemme tell you, it started off rather disastrously. But fear not, the whole tart ended up very successful once I sorted things out! 🙂
For all of you baker enthusiasts who learn best through visually seeing someone else demonstrate, then Stephanie Jaworski from Joy of Baking‘s videos are excellent. If possible, I’m one who likes to watch her videos all the way through before attempting one of her cakes, just so then I know whether I’m on the right track.
That being said, sometimes even after watching someone else do it, things don’t always go as planned when I attempt to do the same.
Let me set the kitchen stage for you.
I had everything ready. All ingredients were properly measured, my butter was cold and cut into pieces. My food processor’s pulse switch was working. But when I tipped out the flour mixture and started pressing it up the sides of my tart pan, there was a niggling feeling that something was not quite right. Having made pastry dough before, I didn’t remember the dough being quite so…floury. Still, I pressed on (literally) and set the tin into the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. It was when I put it into the oven and saw the ‘pastry’ self-annihilating that I realised my mistake: I hadn’t given my flour and butter enough time to blend together, and hence my pastry fail. So the point of this story? Make note! If you don’t blend or pulse your pastry dough enough, your pastry will not work! If you’re working the pastry dough by hand, what you want as your finished product is a soft clumpy mess that is more yellow than white. That will tell you that the butter has been properly incorporated into the flour. The moment you press the clumps into the pan, the clumps should form a smooth dough under your fingertips.
Now, the rest of the tart making process went off without a hitch. The most important thing to make sure with the filling is that everything is well blended together, so then you have a really consistent and creamy filling. When it comes to pouring in the filling, it would be wise to fill the tart depending on how large your tart tin is and how thick your crust is on the bottom and sides. Be sure you can still see the top of the crust on the sides even after you’ve filled your tart, and remember your filling will rise still after you’ve added in berries (if you choose to put them in). For me, I had a little bit of filling left over, so I poured it into a ramekin and popped it into the oven along with the tart. The filling is just as yummy to eat without pastry. **
What did concern me near the end of baking was why my tart looked so damn brown and almost pie-like in how much it was puffing up in the oven (cause Mrs. Jaworski’s tart sure didn’t look like mine coming out of the oven!). But I can tell you now that if your tart does something similar in the oven, it’s okay! If you’re concerned that the top of your tart is browning too rapidly, I’d suggest turning down the heat in the oven about 20 degrees near the end (that’s what I did at least) and definitely giving your tart a bit of a wiggle to see if the centre has set before taking it out.** After the tart has had time to cool, I found that the puffed up top of the tart deflated substantially, as seen in my included pictures. (I’m sorry my pictures of my tart aren’t so creative or inspiring, I was just really short on time.)
** Edit: 19th March 2015
If you make your filling less runny before you pour it into your pre-baked shell (i.e. beat your filling for a little longer), the filling will not ‘puff up’ as much as I mentioned above.
I think the over browning was due to my oven being really old and not working properly at the arranged settings. Having just taken out a raspberry cream cheese tart out of my new oven 15 minutes ago, the top was a lovely creamy yellow 🙂
If you are using frozen raspberries, make sure to allow them to thaw completely before patting them dry before use. If you don’t do so, the retained water content from being frozen will result in your tart filling cracking around the berries as the tart cools.
I personally think that this tart is super simple to make in addition to being super tasty. I made this tart to bring to a family friend’s house as dessert and they really liked it. Having tried a piece myself, this tart isn’t overly sweet and the raspberries really topped off the overall pleasing taste of the tart. I will definitely try putting in other berries the next time I make this.
The original recipe from Joy of Baking is included below! Additionally, I added in a few lines of comments that Stephanie made in her video as well– I hope they help! 🙂
YT: Joy of Baking
Raspberry Cream Cheese Tart
Recipe from: Joy of Baking
Makes about 8 – 10 servings
-1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
-1/3 cup (35 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
-4 ounces (115 grams) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
-1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
-2 large eggs, at room temperature
-2/3 cup (160 ml) cream
-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1 teaspoon grated lemon or lime zest (optional)
-6 ounces (170 grams) fresh raspberries, washed and patted dry (frozen berries that are thawed can be used too)
Shortbread Crust: You will need either an 8 or a 9 inch (20-23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.
There should be no need to butter the tart tin, as the amount of butter in the crust should be sufficient enough to have the crust slide out easily.
In your food processor, place the flour, sugar, and salt and process to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the pastry just starts to come together and form clumps. (The pastry should be more yellow than white!) Place the pastry in your tart pan and, using your fingertips, evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of your pan. Gently pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes.) Cover and place the pastry crust in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. (This will help prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes.)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and place rack in centre of oven.
When ready, place the tart pan on a larger baking pan and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 13 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees (180 degrees C).
Filling: In your food processor (you can also mix the ingredients together in your electric mixer or with a hand mixer) place the cream cheese and process until smooth. Add sugar and process until incorporated. Add the eggs and process until thoroughly combined. Add remaining ingredients and process until well blended and smooth.
Carefully pour the filling into the pre-baked tart shell (The shell does not have to be completely cooled). Arrange the fresh raspberries evenly in the filling and then bake the tart for about 30 – 35 minutes or until the filling is set (test by gently shaking the pan). Transfer tart to wire rack to cool.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Cover and refrigerate leftovers.