A new cooking store recently opened up across the street from us called Marcel's. Alan and I have been eagerly watching the space for months, fascinated by their intruiging and ever-changing window displays. They did an absolutely amazing build-out, the store is beautiful and chock full of quality and unique cooking goods, and they offer fresh and affordable cooking classes which I am just dying to take. Needless to say, we're constantly looking for excuses to pop over there. Inspired by an amazing fruit tart that we had at Urth Caffe while in California, we went down to Marcel's the other day to pick up these wonderful little tart pans and then got cooking!
You will need:
- One stack of graham crackers
- One stick (1/2 cup) of melted butter
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
- 8 oz. room temp. cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- fresh fruit of choice
Step 1: preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 2: place the package of graham crackers in a plastic bag and have at it. I usually start using the palms of my hands and the finish off whacking with a nice heavy spoon.
Step 3: empty crumbs into medium bowl.
Step 4: add 1 tbsp. sugar and melted butter.
Step 5: mix well with a wire wisk. The crust should just hold together. If it's too dry add more butter, too moist, add more crumbs (mine was a little dry but I was too lazy to melt more butter, haha).
Step 6: Press the crumb mixture into tart pans with your fingers.
Step 7: place softened cream cheese into medium bowl and add remaining sugar, lemon juice, egg and vanilla.
Step 8: whip until smooth and just slightly fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
* The vanilla is from Penzey's Spice, it comes in a glass bottle and its pretty much the most amazing vanilla I have ever used.
Step 9: divide the cream cheese among the tarts and smooth with a small spatula.
Step 10: place on a cookie sheet and cook for 15 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown.
Step 11: nurse the baby (optional, unless your have a hungry baby, then its imperative).
Step 12: remove from oven and let cool, then place in the fridge to cool further.
Step 13: cut up your favorite fresh fruit of choice, I chose strawberry.
Step 14: remove tart from pan, arrange fruit on tart and enjoy!