Is it a pie, is it a tart? Yes. And yes!
I first saw this odd pie-tart hybrid while browsing a pastry table at a local market. I was intrigued for a fleeting moment, then able to pass by with a "eh..."
Mr. Baird was intrigued for longer. His silent reaction was to sneak it into the shopping cart while I browsed the tea aisle. I gave him a sideways glance as the cashier scanned it and put it in a bag. He maintained his poker face.
I'll admit, I was a little irritated. I like trying new things, but we had a surplus of sweets at home.When I reluctantly decided to try a bite I recognized the cream cheese tart crust immediately- though it lacked the loving touch of a little salt. Like most grocery-bought bakery items, it was just okay.
A while later, something happened. It was a daydream I think, or the deepest thought this dessertophile could muster. In my mind's eye I saw tart dough, baked into tall fortress walls,which held a kingdom of every type of berry. There was a lattice top, too.
I remembered the deepest-dish pie I'd ever seen, and decided to have a look at the crust recipe - bingo! A cream cheese crust -I'd found my fortress wall.
My favorite berry pie filling recipe was adapted to generously fill the deep dish crust. And I cheated a little. Since berries won't be at their peak for another month here, I bought a few bags of organic blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. They made a deliciously sweet filling that contrasted that amazing tart crust.
Deep Dish Berry Pie Tart
Yield: 10-12 servings [click for printable version]
This tart slices best when chilled in the refrigerator overnight, so plan ahead! It is wonderful when re-heated and served with ice cream.
You will need a 9 x 2.5-inch spring-form pan for this recipe.
adapted from Matt Bites
1 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter or margarine and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add flour and 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix until a soft dough forms.
- Shape dough into a flat disk and cover with plastic wrap. Chill 15-20 minutes. Cut dough into thirds and wrap 1/3 in plastic wrap. return it to the refrigerator to chill.
- On a well floured surface, knead remaining dough together. Roll dough with a floured rolling pin. Gently lay dough inside spring-form pan and press up the sides. Place dough-lined pan in the freezer and freeze until dough is stiff. Next, prepare the berry mixture.
Berry pie filling:
6 - 7 1/2 cups fresh berries or frozen berries thawed and patted dry. (I used blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Remove 1/4 cup of this mixture and sprinkle over the bottom of the tart crust (be sure to return pan to the freezer).
- Add berries to the remaining mixture and toss gently to coat. Remove tart crust from freezer and pour in berries. Return to freezer while you roll out the remaining 1/3 of reserved dough.
1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp. water for egg wash
1-2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Roll remaining 1/3 dough portion on a well floured surface. Cut into strips with a pizza cutter or knife. Place dough strips on top the berry mixture forming a lattice and cut off excess with a knife.
- Brush lattice top with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes at 375, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes longer, then place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the tart to prevent over browning. Bake for 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool. Chill overnight. Run a knife around the edge of the crust before removing the spring-form ring. Slice and serve.