Festive red, white, and blueberry & strawberry tart has an easy cream cheese filling on top of a shortbread cookie style crust. It is the perfect make-ahead dessert for your Memorial Day, 4th of July, or summer backyard party.
For Memorial Day this year, we went over the top with a complete red, white, and blue themed menu for the holiday: grilled steak tips with roasted red, white, and blue potatoes (don't believe me? see them here!), and this awesome red, white, and blue strawberry cream cheese tart for dessert.
I have such mixed emotions about Memorial Day itself. . . it's not a "happy" day, but our family does honor it by wearing our patriotic colors and spending time together to enjoy the hard-earned peace many have died to ensure we keep.
So what dessert says God Bless America more than one covered in bright red strawberries and juicy sweet blueberries??
Fresh from the farmer's market around the corner, the in season berries were the star of our dinner nestled on top of a cool and tangy-sweet cream cheese filling.
Why This Recipe is the Best
The shortbread crust is super easy to make from scratch and has a texture similar to a sugar cookie in my opinion.
The cream cheese base is just the right amount of creamy and sweet to help your berries stay in the decorative patterns on top. It is also a lot easier to make than a traditional tart custard filling.
My goofy girls decided to eat this top-down by starting with the fruit, spooning up the filling, and then chomping into the crust just like a cookie. No soggy crusts here!
This entire recipe is made from scratch but really doesn't require much to make it. Just look at this short list of ingredients!
- Powdered sugar
- Heavy Cream
- Cream cheese
- Vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries
- Fresh blueberries
Prepare the Tart Crust
To make the crust, whisk together the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.
Pour the flour, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and process briefly to combine.
Scatter the butter cubes over the flour and process to cut the butter into the flour. The mixture should resemble a coarse meal after 15 1-second pulses.
With the machine running, pour in the egg mixture.
Turn off the machine as soon as the dough forms a large ball.
Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a 6-inch disc. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
Roll the Dough
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface.
Transfer the dough into a removable bottom tart pan and gently press into place. Trim any excess off the top by rolling a rolling pin over the top to cut the edge.
Freeze for 30 minutes.
Bake the Crust "Blind"
This recipe calls for baking the tart crust "blind" which means without any fillings. You want it baked and completely cooled before you add the cream cheese base.
Preheat the oven to 375°F with the oven rack in the middle position.
Set the tart pan on a baking sheet and gently press a square of tinfoil onto the surface of the frozen shell making sure to cover the edges.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.
Remove the tin foil and continue to bake until light golden brown, 5-8 minutes longer.
Prepare the Cream Cheese Filling
Beat together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth.
Add the milk or cream and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled tart shell.
Top with Fresh Berries
Place the strawberries in circles starting at the outer edge and working towards the center.
You can sprinkle the blueberries all over the top or make neat rows, whichever you prefer!
This strawberry tart would be just as delicious with a variety of fresh fruits:
- Sliced grapes
- Mandarin oranges
- Fresh pineapple
- Fresh cherries
- Fresh kiwi slices
Make Ahead Tips
You can make the dough up to 48 hours ahead of time, but the crust is best on the day it is baked.
You can blend the cream cheese filling the day before, but store it separate from the crust in an airtight container in the fridge. Allow it to come to room temperature before trying to spread it in the tart crust.
The crust is sturdy and travels well for entertaining!
More Fruit Desserts
Looking for more delicious fruit dessert recipes? Here are some of my all-time favorites: