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A simple and tasty American berry tart

  • An American berry tart is seen in this May 30, 2010 photo. A holiday as big as the Fourth of July deserves a big dessert with serious panache like this Independence Day worthy fresh summer berry tart. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe))
    An American berry tart is seen in this May 30, 2010 photo. A holiday as big as the Fourth of July deserves a big dessert with serious panache like this Independence Day worthy fresh summer berry tart. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe))
Published June 30. 2010 05:00PM

Like the classic French fresh fruit tarts you see in pastry shops, this American berry tart has serious panache. But we want you to enjoy your July Fourth celebration, so we came up with a simpler approach.

We've replaced the pastry cream filling with a sweetened cream cheese, and used a simple press-in crust. And if you can't be bothered to arrange your berries neatly, you can just pile them on top.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and you have the perfect, impressive summertime dessert.

American Berry Tart

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut up

2 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Fresh berries (such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)

Heat oven to 375 F. Coat 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with baking spray. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter, then pulse together, adding cold water as needed, until a meal forms that sticks together easily when squeezed.

Press mixture into bottom of pan, making sure to press dough up sides. Dock bottom of crust with a fork. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges start to turn golden and center is slightly firm to the touch. Cool on wire rack.

Once crust has cooled, make filling. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and powdered sugar. Spread filling evenly in the shell. Top with berries and serve.

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