Two weeks ago I had my first Oregon strawberry of the season! If you haven’t already heard about my love for Oregon strawberries, then I really haven’t done a very good job of gushing over how amazing they are. So good that they are worth driving over the pass to purchase in bulk. Two weeks ago while we were in Salem for Memorial Day weekend, Shauna and I casually walked into the local Roth’s to pick up a few ingredients for dinner…and there they were. Greeting us with their bright red glow in their aqua colored berry cartons. It was fantastic. The first picking of the season, and there was no way Shauna was passing them up! We later enjoyed them cut up on some vanilla ice cream, and I’m convinced life could not have been much better at that moment.
While the strawberries on these cute little tarts aren’t Oregon berries, I will absolutely be making these once I get back over to Salem to get some for myself! This was one of the easiest recipes I have ever made. It’s an excellent alternative to the more time consuming, temperamental baking of a cheesecake, that tastes seriously similar. Blueberries will be ready in Silverton next month, and I can’t wait to try these tarts with that delightful berry accompanying them! For those of you outside of Oregon, enjoy this wonderfully easy, no baking required dessert! For those of us here in Oregon…you can still make it while you dream of what summer will be like when it finally decides to show its face. Don’t be scared summer…come on out!
Graham Cracker Crumb Tarts (recipe courtesy of Joy of Baking)
Makes: Eight 4-inch tarts or one 9-inch tart
5-6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp white sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz. white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp vanilla
Garnish: Any combination of berries or fruit
- Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Evenly divide the mixture and press onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan(s) with removable bottoms. If using the 4-inch tart pans, each tart will use 2-3 Tbsp of the graham cracker crumb mixture. Place the tart shells in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
- Melt the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (I melted mine in the microwave). Remove from the heat and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and smooth (about 2-3 minutes). Add the melted white chocolate and then the sour cream and vanilla, beating until you have a creamy smooth mixture. Taste and add a little sugar if desired. Evenly divide the cream among the tart shells, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
- To serve, top with fresh berries or cut up fruit.
What I love about these summery tarts: I never had to turn my oven on.
What I hate about these summery tarts: Are you kidding me? They take about 10 minutes to make? It’s impossible to hate anything about a dessert that takes that short amount of time.