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Summer’s Last Sweet Hurrah

The last of summer’s berries, peaches and nectarines are in stores, but as I look to the West, colder weather and snow are not far behind. I like to make this tart in late summer and early fall when fruits are their peak, but but it also works just as well for fall apples and pears. The crust presses in the pan, no rolling, and the filling takes a quick turn in food processor. This easy tart is fast (redundant perhaps, aren’t all tarts easy and fast…) and it’s also versatile, so don’t be afraid to change it up with a flavored filling, adding nuts to the crust or changing out the fruit. It is dessert tart for all occasions and all seasons.

Pastry Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp, vanilla
1 cup all purpose or white whole wheat flour

Filling Ingredients
1 8 ox, package of cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Topping Ingredients
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups thinly sliced fruit or berries or both (the recipe in the photo is raspberries and nectarines)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

1 cup macerated berries for garnish (don’t let that term scare you. Macerated means to break into pieces. I squished the berries in my hands).

In a food processor or mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add flour and quickly pull dough together. Press dough into the bottom of a 9 inch tart pan or springform pan (use the type with removable bottom and sides).

In the same bowl (see how easy this is), add softened cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla. Combine until creamy and the cream cheese lumps are gone. Pour into crust lined pan.

Combine sugar and fruit, toss gently. Layer fruit over the top of the cream cheese. If you like the nuts, sprinkle them over the top.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes until the top is a soft golden color. Loosen from pan. Allow to cool before removing from the pan.