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Strawberry Tart (with gluten-free option)

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This elegant Strawberry Tart features a thick layer of cream cheese filling and an easy press-in crust crowned with fresh summer strawberries. Use the alternate instructions to make this tart gluten free.

Whole strawberry tart set on a marble serving platter.

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It’s that time of year where I can’t go to the grocery store without picking up one (or several) containers of fresh strawberries.

They’re just so sweet and perfect right now! 

So I’ve been digging into my archives and making all of the strawberry things, from fresh strawberry bread to homemade strawberry lemonade.

This Strawberry Tart recipe came from my friend Erin from Texanerin Baking. After sharing it with you several years ago, I was reminded of how delicious it is and decided it was time to bring it back to your attention as well.

Strawberry tart ingredients arranged on a countertop.

ERIN’S SIMPLE STRAWBERRY TART

Tarts are one of my favorite desserts. They’re usually pretty easy to throw together and for me at least, the whole process is so much less stressful than making a traditional pie, such as pecan pie.

I like my dessert filling layers to be nice and thick, like in my key lime bars. So my Strawberry Tart has twice the amount of filling that similar tarts have!

The crust is quite thin which means there’s more space for the filling. The crust, by the way, has some sugar in it and a little lemon zest to give it some flavor. I don’t know about you, but one thing I don’t like is a bland and almost flavorless crust!

I’m also not a fan of roll-out crusts. They just seem kind of fussy, which is why I always opt for press-in crusts. They’re so much simpler and totally fool proof.

And topping the tart with whole fresh strawberries is not only beautiful, it couldn’t be easier!

This is one recipe that will impress all of your friends, but you don’t have to tell them how easy it was to make.

Tart crust dough in a white mixing bowl set next to a tart pan.

HOW TO MAKE THIS STRAWBERRY TART

If you don’t believe that this Strawberry Tart is simple to make, I’ll show you just how easy it is!

Gluten-free tart crust ingredients

This recipe includes an option for a traditional crust or a gluten-free crust.

For most of my gluten-free recipes, like my M&M Cookies, I like to use a mix of flours. But for the gluten-free version of this recipe, it made the crust too fragile.

So I used a 1-to-1 gluten-free baking mix and it worked much better! The crust is still more fragile than the all-purpose version, so be careful when removing it from the tart pan.

Unbaked tart shell ready to go in the oven.

Picking the correct pan

This Strawberry Tart recipe calls for freezing the crust in the tart pan for one hour and then baking. 

Be sure to use a pan that’s safe going straight from the freezer to a hot oven. Non-stick, aluminum and steel tart pans with removable bottoms are ideal. 

Stay away from ceramic or glass pans for this recipe. They won’t hold up to going from the freezer straight to the oven well, and you don’t want the pan to break in the oven.

Baked tart shell cooling on a wooden board.

Making this recipe

The first step to making this tart is preparing the crust.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar together, then add the egg yolk and beat until everything is well combined.

Add salt, lemon zest, and either the all-purpose or gluten-free flour. Beat on low just until the flour is incorporated; it will look like coarse crumbs, but should stick together when you pinch it with your fingers.

Pat the dough across the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze the crust for at least one hour.

Tart shell filled with cream cheese filling.

After the crust has frozen, take off the plastic wrap and use a fork to poke holes across the bottom of the crust before baking.

Let the crust cool completely – you want it to be at room temperature when you add the cream cheese filling.

The filling is incredibly easy to make: Simply beat together cream cheese and sugar, then add in some vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

Overhead view of a strawberry tart garnished with sprigs of mint.

Spread the filling over the cooled crust, then decorate the top with hulled strawberries. 

Strawberries are usually sweet enough on their own and don’t require any extra sugar, but I ended up brushing a little warm strawberry jam over the tops of the berries for a bit of added flavor. 

If you’ve got really sweet strawberries, feel free to omit that step!

Cover and chill the tart until you’re ready to serve. Because of the fresh berries on top, just like strawberry pie, this tart is best served on the day it is made.

Slice of strawberry tart set next to a fork on a cream-colored plate.

MORE DECORATION OPTIONS

When making this tart, I like to look for strawberries that are on the smaller size so I can put them on the tart whole.

If you can only find larger strawberries, feel free to cut them in half or even in quarters or slices to decorate the top of the tart.

And as long as you serve this tart on the day of making, it’d be great with any fruit you like! Give it a try with raspberries and blueberries for Memorial Day or July 4th.

If you make the tart with different fruits on top, I recommend using apricot jam as your glaze instead of strawberry jam.

Cream cheese tart topped with whole strawberries and garnished with sprigs of mint.

MAKE AHEAD

Even though you should serve your Strawberry Tart the same day it’s assembled, there are a couple of tricks for preparing some of it ahead of time.

After the crust has been in the freezer for 1 hour, you can wrap it more tightly and keep it in the freezer for up to a week before baking.

You could even prepare the cream cheese filling the day before. Make it according to the directions, then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

On the day you’re ready to assemble the tart, bake the crust and let the filling come to room temperature. If necessary, whip the filling with your electric mixer for a minute before spreading it into the cooled crust and topping with the fresh fruit.

Whether you make this Strawberry Tart with the traditional or gluten-free crust, or change up the topping with different summer fruits, you’ll love this simple recipe!

Fork taking a bite from a piece of strawberry tart on a white plate.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour OR 1-to-1 gluten-free baking mix for a gluten-free version

For the filling and topping:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds small strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam, warmed

Instructions

  1. Get out a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom. 
  2. Beat the butter and sugar at medium speed using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Once smooth and well combined, add the egg yolk and beat for about a minute or until very well combined.
  3. Add the salt, lemon zest and flour and beat on low just until the flour is well incorporated. It’ll resemble coarse crumbs and should stick together when you pinch it with your fingers.
  4. Pat the dough up the sides and over the bottom of the ungreased tart pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Remove the piece of plastic wrap and using a fork, pole holes about every 1″ over the bottom of the crust.
  6. Bake the crust for 7 minutes and then check to make sure that the dough hasn’t puffed up. If it has, use the back of a metal spatula to flatten the crust.
  7. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the tart is golden brown.
  8. Let cool completely, about 30-45 minutes, and then prepare the filling.
  9. Beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Once smooth and well combined, beat in the vanilla and salt. Spread over the cooled crust.
  10. Rinse, hull, and pat the strawberries dry with a paper towel. Place the strawberries on top of the filling and then use a pastry brush to brush the warmed strawberry jam over the strawberries.
  11. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Best served the day it is made.

Notes

  • Make sure to use a pan that’s safe to put in the oven directly from the freezer. A 10″ pan would be too large for this crust recipe.
  • If small strawberries are not available, you can halve larger strawberries and use those instead. 
  • Can’t find strawberries in season? Try using other fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, or mangos instead. If using other fruits, swap the strawberry jam for apricot jam to glaze the fruits.

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Nutrition Information

Yield 8

Serving Size 1 slice

Amount Per Serving

Calories 346Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 73mgSodium 312mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 3gSugar 27gProtein 5g


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Strawberry Tart (with gluten-free option)