Last week, stirring up these tarts, I reminisced of my childhood summers growing up in the Midwest, where every small-town diner showcases a spin on “Homemade Strawberry Pie” in peak season, strawberry festivals abound, and U-pick farms are just past the next corn field.
Sweet cream cheese layer
Cool strawberry layer
Strawberry Cream Tarts
- 2 pounds Frozen Strawberries
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Gelatin
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 pound Fresh Strawberries
- 2 Unbaked Pie Crusts (Express: Pillsbury; Recipe: Here)
- 2/3 c. Cream Cheese
- 3T. Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 t. Vanilla Extract
Turn a 12-muffin pan upside down and grease it. Yes, grease the bottom. Roll out and cut the pie crusts into 12 rounds, approximately 5-6” in diameter and mold them into upside-down “bowls” over the muffin pan. Bake 15 minutes at 375F or until they’re golden. Cool and set aside.
Place a large deep skillet over medium low heat. Put half the berries, salt, and sugar into the pan and stir them until they start to release a little juice. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix the lemon juice and water and add the gelatin and stir. Let it stand for a few minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Add the gelatin mixture to the pan with the cooked strawberries; bring to a bubble and remove from heat.
Cool for 30 minutes or until it reaches room temperature.
Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir to uniform and spoon equally into the baked tart shells. Refrigerate.
Slice remaining berries and fold into the cooked berry mixture, pour into the prepared tart shells, and chill in the refrigerator for four hours. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.