I'm blogging this week about the recipes from a party we had on Tuesday for some of my husband's co-workers. One of the desserts we served was a raspberry cream cheese tart I created several years ago for a special friend who's crazy about raspberries (that's you Amy!) It has a crisp, buttery crust, a light-as-a feather cream cheese layer and is topped with fresh raspberries which are nestled in a yummy bed of crushed and thickened.........yes, you guessed it - delicious raspberries!
I had forgotten about this wonderful delight until this week when one of our local markets had a super duper sale on raspberries. I felt like I struck gold twice, once when I found the berries on sale and then again when I remembered Raspberry Heaven! Just for fun and for an element of surprise, I added a layer of chocolate ganache beneath the cream cheese. All of the taste testers agreed that it was quite ethereal, celestial, well........ just plain heavenly!
P.S. Oh, and just a little heads up - this dessert is not difficult to make, but just be sure to give yourself plenty of time as each layer has to "do it's thing" in the refridge before the next layer is added.
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
pinch of salt
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chip
½ cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
CREAM CHEESE LAYER
12 ounces cream cheese, softened (I usually use the lower fat, not fat free cream cheese)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipping cream, whipped until stiff peaks form
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pints fresh raspberries, divided
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1. For crust; preheat oven to 400˚F. Combine all crust ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium low speed until combined and crumbly. Pat dough into bottom and up the sides of a tart pan with a removable bottom. (You can use a deep-dish 10 inch tart pan or a shallower 11 inch one.) Prick bottom of crust all over with a fork and bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
2. For ganache; n a microwave-proof bowl, heat all ingredients at full power for 30 to 45 seconds. Stir and heat again at full power in 15-second increments, stirring each time, until fully melted. Remove from microwave. Makes 1 generous cup.
3. Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar, beat until light and very fluffy. Fold about 1/4 cup of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten. Once this is thoroughly combined fold rest of whipped cream in gently. Add vanilla and pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. In the meantime, crush 1/2 cup of the raspberries. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan. Add cold water and mix to combine well then add crushed berries. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until bubbly and thickened. Cool until only slightly warm.
5. Arrange remaining berries on top of cream cheese layer with stem-end facing down. Gently push the berries just a tiny bit into the cream cheese layer. Pour cooled berry mixture over fresh berries and gently spread to cover entire surface. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve with a dollop or swirl of whipped cream and pretend that you've died and gone to heaven!