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Junior’s Cheesecake Tart

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Here’s Junior’s answer to those popular fruit tarts found in many pastry shops and upscale restaurants. The bakers use that same famous cheesecake filling, just less of it, and they use the best berries in the market that day, any combination works. Just be sure to leave some of the creamy cheesecake filling showing on top, like they do at Junior’s.

The Junior’s Way

After baking the crust, let it cool for a few minutes. Then pat it down gently with your fingers to burst any little bubbles. This gives plenty of space to put in the filling.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer

Taste and Texturecreamy, fruity, sweet

Type of Dishdessert, tart

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe 11-or 12-inch All-Butter Tart Crust
  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • ½ cup heavy or Whipping cream
  • 1 pint ripe strawberries
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 half-pint fresh raspberries (about 6 ounces)
  • Fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of an 11-or 12-inch tart pan (a nonstick one with a removable bottom and 1-inch sides). Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides. Make and bake the tart crust and leave it in the pan. Keep the oven on.

  2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes (be sure to scrape down the bowl a few times). Beat in the remaining package of cream cheese. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the egg, then the cream, beating just until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix! Gently spoon the batter into the tart shell.

  3. Place the tart in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes only about halfway up the sides of the tart pan (no higher). Bake until the edges of the crust are light golden brown and the center is set and light gold, about 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away-don’t move it). Leave the tart in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours.

  4. To decorate, remove the ring of the pan. Slide the tart off the bottom of the pan onto a cake plate (or leave the tart on the bottom of the pan and place right on the plate).

  5. Wash the berries and dry on paper towels (very important!). Pick out 12 strawberries of similar size. Hull, then cut them in half vertically from top to tip. Halve the blackberries the same way. Arrange the strawberries in a circle around the edge of the tart with tips pointing out. Follow with 2 circles of blackberries, angling them and resting the tips of the berries on adjacent berries so they stand up slightly. Stand up a cluster of raspberries in the center with tips pointing up. Top with a few mint leaves. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cover any leftovers and refrigerate (do not freeze).

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