19 October 2011

Fruit Tarts

I love Food Network. I watch it every day. My daughter loves it. Heck, even my husband doesn't mind watching a show or two. I remember 10 years ago when our cable provider first started offering it. Back then it was all Emeril. Rachael Ray was just starting out. Then came my other favorites: Paula Deen, Giada, and Sandra Lee. Now most of the shows I watch aren't even cooking shows. We watch Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Throwdown, Best Thing I Ever Ate and my new favorite, Sugar High. One of my favorite shows is Cupcake Wars, because my daughter loves it too. We both eagerly await new episodes and watch drooling, while I take notes for new recipes.  But I think, out of all of the shows, I have a soft spot in my heart for Paula Deen.

Because she loves butter. And so do I.

Oh, I don't let myself have real butter very often. I use tub o' butter, made with oil! Less fat! Less calories than real butter! I mean, the stuff tastes okay, but it's not real butter. Real, salty, buttery goodness. It's one of the things I love about visiting my parents. They always have real butter (and wouldn't dare buy the fake stuff).

I only use real butter when I'm baking. Because, honestly? Things taste better with real butter. I've tried using the tub for cookies but the texture always ends up...off. So now I stock up on butter (regular and unsalted) whenever I'm at Costco. Sometimes it amazes me the sheer amount of butter I can go through in a baking session.

These Fruit Tarts are from Paula Deen. I know it's Fall, but my cravings don't always follow a culinary calendar. (Plus, my daughter lives on berries so I'm constantly buying them even though they aren't in season.) And, it was 85 degrees here yesterday, so it still feels a little like summer! The tart crust is a buttery shortbread and the filling is a cream cheese base (my second favorite baking ingredient). They are topped with whatever fruit looks good at the grocery store that day and glazed with a lime syrup that makes them look beautifully shiny.

How can you get any better than that? Real butter and a touch of summer, all in one bite. Yum!

Mini Fruit Tarts
Recipe from Paula Deen at FoodNetwork.com

For the Crust:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced

For the Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, mandarin oranges...whatever you like

1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.*
  2. For the crust: Combine the powdered sugar, flour, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the dough forms a ball.  Place a scoop of dough into each mini muffin cavity and press with your thumbs to form a mini pie shell. (I used a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop for this step.) Press each crust a few times with the tines of a fork and bake for 8-10 minutes. The bottoms will rise (forming more of a cookie than a crust, so as soon as they come out of the oven use the back of a wooden spoon to press down the center of the tart so there will be room for the filling. Cool completely.
  3. For the filling: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until no lumps remain. Place into a large ziploc bag. Cut off one corner of the bag and use it to pipe the filling into the cooled crusts. Add your fruit to the top of the filling. There may be filling left over. Eat with spoon.
  4. For the glaze: Mix limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until clear and thick, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Brush the glaze onto the top of tarts. You will have some leftover glaze.
  5. Store tarts in the refrigerator, removing about 15 minutes before serving.
*I recommend using silicone mini muffin pans for easy release. Be sure to grease any regular ones very well. You can also use mini tart pans or one large 12-inch tart pan.

Yield: about 24 mini tarts or 1 large 12-inch tart

This recipe may be linked with:
MondayMingle Monday (Add a Pinch), Joy of DessertsTuesday2 Maids a Baking (2 Maids a Milking), Tea Party Tuesdays (Sweetology), Mushki Loves My Stuff (Mushki Loves), Totally Tasty Tuesdays (Mandy's Recipe Box), Talent Show Tuesday (Chef in Training). WednesdayCast Party WednesdayMade It On Monday (Lark's Country Heart), This Chick Cooks.  ThursdaySweet Treats Thursday (Something Swanky), Chic-and-Crafty (Frugal Girls), Turning the Table Thursdays (Around My Family Table), Tasty Thursday (The How-To Mommy). FridaySweet Tooth Friday (Alli-n-son), I'm Lovin' it Fridays (TidyMom), Friday Favorites (Simply Sweet Home). SaturdaySweets for a Saturday (Sweet as Sugar Cookies), Seasonal Inspiration (Crumbs and Chaos). SundayA Well-Seasoned Life,Sharing Sundays (Everyday Sisters), Strut your Stuff Saturday (Six Sisters' Stuff)

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At October 19, 2011 at 7:03 AM , Blogger Anita Stafford said...

I love this recipe, and your photo belongs in a magazine! Yummy delicious, butter, cream cheese, and fresh fruit!

At October 19, 2011 at 8:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you ... if I am alone in the house Food Network is on the tv. I enjoy Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Cupcake Wars and Challenge shows. It amazes me what people can create with cake and frosting!

I have several tart or fruit pizza recipes I want to try and have not got to it. Your tarts look delicious!


At October 19, 2011 at 9:41 AM , Anonymous The Pastry Chef said...

For some reason, I can never comment on your blog using my google ID. Trying again....

We have so much in common - I love butter as well and Costco is my best friend for stocking up on baking supplies. I love Cupcake Wars! Except it stresses me out too much because I've had those kind of moments from culinary school of rushing to finish on time and everything goes wrong, lol.

At October 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM , Blogger Karen - Trilogy Edibles said...

I love this, mini pies are so awesome!

At October 19, 2011 at 7:18 PM , Blogger betty said...

They look so cute! perfect bite size dessert

At October 19, 2011 at 7:42 PM , Blogger Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

It never fails to amaze me either. Thanks for your sweet comment!

@The Pastry Chef
I don't know who is on pins and needles more during Cupcake Wars - me or my daughter. It's hilarious watching us watch it! Thanks for your comment. :)

I really love mini pies. Because when I eat 8 I still feel like I haven't eaten too much, LOL! :)

At October 19, 2011 at 8:53 PM , OpenID sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

Paula Deen is one of my favorites to watch on food network too! All of her recipes make my mouth water. These fruit tarts look great...a little bit of summer on this cold and gloomy day! :)

At October 20, 2011 at 4:22 AM , Blogger Allison said...

These look incredible. We love butter here as well family of 4 with an 8 stick a week habit. Yikes!

At October 20, 2011 at 6:51 AM , Blogger Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

If it's a heavy baking week I'll use that and more...and I'm usually the only one that eats my treats. Double yikes! ;) Thanks for your comment!

At October 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM , Blogger Kim McCallie said...

They do look delicious! I think the fruit makes them almost healthy...Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

At October 23, 2011 at 7:47 PM , Blogger Dip It In Chocolate said...

I hear you! My cravings never follow the seasons either. These look delicious for any season though. There's nothing quite like fresh fruit.

At October 24, 2011 at 6:54 AM , Blogger Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

@Dip It In Chocolate
And I buy it anyway for the kid but it has to get used fast since it rots so fast this time of year...so I'm almost required to bake with it. :) Thanks for commenting!

At October 24, 2011 at 3:31 PM , Blogger Jade Cahoon said...

I am with you on the butter thing!! I prefer using whole and natural ingredients when I bake ... i.e. whole milk, whole buttermilk, real butter, full fat cream cheese. I mean, can it really get any better than that!? haha ... there's just no substitute in my opinion! ;) Your mini tarts look and sound amazing! Shortbread is one of my favs, so I have to pin this!! Thanks for the inspiration!!
Jade C.
PS: My son lives on berries, too! :)

At December 4, 2011 at 12:50 AM , Blogger blkenigma888 said...

Congrats! You were featured in this week's Themed Baker's Sunday! Come back for this next week's theme: Christmas! Actually, this theme will continue until Christmas weekend! Hope to see you there!
Cupcake Apothecary


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