Red White & Blue 4th of July Tart

Red White & Blue Tart

Red White & Blue Tart

If you saw my spot on WSMV Channel 4 on July 4th you might have been looking for the full recipe for the 4th of July Tart (which is good any ole day!)…Here’s the recipe posted below. As I mentioned in the segment if you want to use a store-bought pie crust that works just as well. Just make sure you bake it till done before adding the cream and fruit.

Red, White & Blue Cream Cheese Vanilla Tart w 4th of July Berries

For the Crust:

1 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon sugar

pinch salt

6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

scant 1/4 cup cold white wine

For the Filling:

1 8-oz package cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

Zest of one lemon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the Fruit:

1 cup strawberries, trimmed & quartered

1 cup blueberries

1 cup raspberries

1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

For the Crust: place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine well. Add the cut up cold butter and pulse till it’s broken up into smaller pieces. Add the wine and pulse until a dough forms. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a thick disc. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8” thick. Fit the dough into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Lightly butter or Pam a piece of parchment a little bigger than the tart pan. Place the buttered surface down and fill with dry beans. “Blind” bake tart for about 10 minutes. Take out the beans, “dock” tart (poke with fork all over the bottom) and place back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes until golden. Let tart crust cool.

For the Filling: In a medium mixing bowl whisk the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon zest and vanilla until smooth and well combined. Add a few drops of milk if it feels too stiff. Beat the 1 cup of cream until stiff peaks form. Whip in powdered sugar. Fold cream into cream cheese mixture. Fill cooled tart shell with mixture and smooth top to even.

For the Fruit: Toss fruit with sugar. Place the fruit in a decorative pattern. Serve or chill for a little while before serving.


Me And Kacy Hagerty with the July 4th tart.

Me And Kacy Hagerty with the July 4th tart.

Ewww! You’re gonna eat that?


French rolling pin, my favorite

When I was a little kid my mom steered me away from sweets. If I picked up a tootsie roll she’d scrunge her face into a frown and say: Eww. You’re gonna eat that? 

That’s the story I’m told. She’s a sweets lover (whipped cream being especially alluring). My sister, too, can happily munch cookies and candy every day. Me? Bakery displays used to appeal to me as much as the nuts & bolts bins at the hardware store. Eyes glaze over, not even seeing anything.

But that has, unfortunately, changed. I think it started in culinary school. I went to culinary school while I was still living in NYC. I was on the culinary, not pastry, track. But they interrupted our frying, braising, roasting and fabricating meat, for a quick 6-week pastry module. We whipped through puff pastry, cakes, caramel, and candies–each day bringing on a new technique.

It felt like a mini-vacation. No grease, no slimy hands, no potential salmonella, no leg joints, silverskin, or fish scales. Just butter and flour. Eggs. Everything felt lighter and happier. I feel in love with our puff pastry croissants, pain au chocolate and raisin rolls. I suddenly wanted to trail at my favorite NY cafes to learn how they made those pastries that would now pop into my eyes (and mouth) when I came in for a cappuccino or cafe au lait.

Since then I like to bake. It first felt a little foreign in my hands, but I’ve warmed up quickly. These little baked mini-pies have been haunting me since I first made them. In this recipe the filling is blueberries, strawberries, aleppo pepper & cinnamon. But I’m now dreaming of adding mascarpone. I’ll let you know how that comes out!

Mini-Pies w Fruit Filling

To make the crust, pulse in a food processor: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, pinch salt. Add 1 stick cold unsalted butter (that has been cut into cubes). Pulse until broken into small pieces. Add 1/4 cup of very cold white wine. Pulse until dough comes together in a ball. Remove and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.


unsalted butter, the baker’s friend


like magic, food processor makes your pastry dough

Meanwhile make the filling. Combine 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup strawberries (cut into small pieces the size of blueberries), 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon aleppo pepper.


isn’t it great when food is as pretty as it tastes good?

Roll dough out and cut into 3-inch squares (or choose your shape & size). Place about a teaspoon of the mixture in the middle. Fold into a triangle and press sides together with fork tines to seal. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Repeat with the rest. (You can knead lightly and roll out the scraps to make a few more.)


your own personal assembly line!

Makes about a dozen. Lightly beat an egg with a little water. Brush egg on top. Make a small slit in each and sprinkle a little sugar on top.


dough, pin, cutter, little pie

Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 20 minutes until golden. YUM.


I can eat at least five of them