Red, White, and Blue Berry Tart

It’s midnight. Less than 24 hours before the cookout my brother and I have been planning for two weeks. The food shopping is done. The lists have been made. The blondies are out of the oven. And in typical Facebook event fashion, five more people have just RSVPed that they’re coming.

Alex and I start to get jittery. We’ll have to get more corn. Will there be enough dessert? We need more dessert. Ok. What can I make the morning of the cookout that won’t take a lot of time, will use up ingredients we already have, and will be Fourth of July appropriate?

Well, here we are. A patriotic berry tart that required almost no bake time, took literally 15 minutes to make, and was the perfect accompaniment to July Fourth fireworks.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

-2 1/2 cups graham crackers (One sleeve worked out perfectly)

-1 1/2 cups butter, melted

-3 1/2 tbsp sugar

For the filling:

-1/2 cup sour cream

-8 oz cream cheese

-1/3 cup light brown sugar

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-3 tbsp lemon juice

For the topping:

-Blueberries

-Strawberries, sliced

-1/3 cup apricot jam

-1 tsp water

So first: the graham cracker crust. Don’t be intimidated at making your own pie crust, making a graham cracker crust is the easiest thing ever. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Mix in brown sugar and melted butter.

Press into a tart pan, taking care to clearly define the corners where the bottom meets the side (I did not do this, and my crust ended up being shallower than I’d have liked).

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until edges turn brown.

See! So easy! You’re practically done making this tart already.

For the filling, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. My cream cheese was still a little frozen, so to remedy this I ran hot scalding water over the outside of the bowl, until it got nice and melty.

Mix in the vanilla and lemon juice. Then glop it right over the cooled (very important!) pie crust.

Spread it out evenly. Or sort of evenly. I mean, you’ll be covering it up in a second anyway…

Now comes the fun part: decorating. If you’re going to make a design (like, say, a star), stencil it lightly with a knife. If not, just make a circle of sliced strawberries around the outside and fill the middle with blueberries. Either way, it will look and taste delicious.

Almost done! Heat up the apricot jam and water in the microwave for 20 seconds, then stir and spread over the tart with a pastry knife. The glaze will keep the berries looking fresh and shiny, and will add some sweetness to the sour tart filling.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

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