June 28, 2013

Red, White, and Blue Lemon Cream Tart

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The Fourth of July makes me giddy.


Yeah, overly excited might be another word. 

For our family, we always go down to my grandparent's lake house and over several days, swim, splash, jet ski, tube, and eat more than should be legal.  It is too much fun and one of the highlights  of my year.  My cousins from Texas come up (GRACIE!!!) and we have traditions we always keep.  Like, we always have a play.  It used to be huge, that was all we thought about.  We even had scripts and tickets and signs.  Ironically, an on-the-fly rendition of the chicken dance has been the requested re-run from plays past. Although the last couple plays have been a lot less involved (we discovered the joy of tubing and well, that became our new favorite) we've always had some sort of play and a chicken dance.

And tubing . . . OH MY GOODNESS IT IS MY FAVORITE PART.  Gracie and me are the oldest cousins and thus, the first tubers.  We've gone through three tubes over the years.  We used to both sit in a tube and then we grew out of that one . . . and then another one . . . and now we actually ride a tube like you are supposed to.  Every year we scream and squeal and laugh until we can't breathe (which is really dumb, since we are in the middle of a lake) and recount feats from last year's tubing.  I remember conversations consistening of nothing but "We are going to die!" "I can't hold on!" "Oh no, oh no, oh no!" and so on, and then others about movies and career choices and whether root beer or coke is better.  My arms are usually sore, as are my hands from gripping the handles, but it is so much fun, we both could care less.  I love tubing.

And then the food!  We can put away food really well. Grilled foods are always on the table and fruit is everywhere, from strawberries to apples to the traditional watermelon. Last year, I brought a pound cake slathered in lemon whipped cream and fresh berries. It's been a family favorite since then. But this has joined ranks with the lemon/berry/summer desserts. This tart was picked by Abigail when I asked her and Elizabeth to look through my cookbooks in an effort to keep them quiet while I worked on a project. Abigail immediately found a peach and raspberry tart recipe. I altered it based on what we had and I loved how it turned out.

When I was photographing this yesterday, Nathan said,"You should bring this to the lake, Sis. It looks great for the 4th."  He's right!   It is so pretty and with the strawberries and blueberries, perfect for the Fourth of July. Feel free to use whatever berries you have on hand. Peaches, raspberries, maybe even fresh cherries?  The possibilities are only limited to your tastes and imaginations.  
The filling is slightly tangy, fresh and complimenting the buttery, crunchy crust and juicy berries. Seriously, me and my siblings kept slicing little slices off this tart until 3/4 of it was gone. It is so light and refreshing, it's so hard to stop eating. (OH MY GOODNESS GOOD)

Red, White, and Blue Lemon Cream Tart
Recipe Source:The Sweet {Tooth} Life. Adapted from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook
Yield: 12 servings

1/2 cup finely ground pecans
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 whipping cream
8 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 cups strawberries, sliced or chopped
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350.

In food processor, grind pecans until fine. (Not a paste though)  Add flour and sugar and pulse until combined. Add butter and process until mixture pulls into a ball.  Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 10 or 11 inch tart pan. Freeze for 10 minutes. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. (I letind cool for about 20 minutes.)

While the crust is baking, whip whipping cream until soft peaks form, usually 3-5 minutes.  Set aside. 

In another bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and beat again. Gently fold in whipped cream and if crust is not cooled yet, set in refrigerator until crust is cool. 

Once crust is cool, spread filling evenly on crust. Arrange strawberries and blueberries over filling. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. 


  1. Your pictures are gorgeous! Love the pops of blue and red colors. And it looks like I've figured out what to bring to the July 4th BBQ party. :) Although I don't have a tart pan. I assume this would work in a spring form pan?

    1. Thank you Tina! These were some of my favorite pictures and it turned out the fruits we had on hand fit the holiday theme. Yes, this should work great in a springform pan! The crust may not be as high (and won't have the ridges) but it will still taste the same. Let me know if you try it! My dad said it was his new favorite summer dessert:)

  2. Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!!!! The pictures are GORGEOUS!!!!! I am so impressed!!!!!!!! They look like they came straight out of a multi-million dollar food magazine-- so professional!!! Your blog keeps getting better and better--if that is possible! You continue to impress me. I'm looking forward to what's next!
    (Forgive my excessive exclamation marks, but they were deserved!)

    1. Aw thank you Hannah! I don't know if they are THAT good, but they are some of my favorites. I will admit, one of the first things I did when Dad got home was show it to him:) And it tastes even better than it looks . . . that crust, wow, it was incredible!

  3. SO INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!! *pin pin pin* I really want to make this now! I agree with Hannah, your pictures are beautiful! ;)

    1. Thanks Chloe! It is uh-mazing, I'm not going to lie. And although these are some of my favorite pics, strawberries and blueberries make nearly everything pretty ;)

  4. This is gorgeous! Looks terrific :)

    1. Thank you! I can say it tastes as good as it looks!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing at A Peek Into My Paradise TGIF Link Party! I can't wait to see what you link up next week! I hope to see you at the (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/

    Have a terrific week!

    Hugs, Cathy


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