I love Food Network. I watch it every day. My daughter loves it. Heck, even my husband doesn’t mind watching a show or two. I remember 10 years ago when our cable provider first started offering it. Back then it was all Emeril. Rachael Ray was just starting out. Then came my other favorites: Paula Deen, Giada, and Sandra Lee. Now most of the shows I watch aren’t even cooking shows. We watch Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Throwdown, Best Thing I Ever Ate and my new favorite, Sugar High. One of my favorite shows is Cupcake Wars, because my daughter loves it too. We both eagerly await new episodes and watch drooling, while I take notes for new recipes. But I think, out of all of the shows, I have a soft spot in my heart for Paula Deen.
Because she loves butter. And so do I.
Oh, I don’t let myself have real butter very often. I use tub o’ butter, made with oil! Less fat! Less calories than real butter! I mean, the stuff tastes okay, but it’s not real butter. Real, salty, buttery goodness. It’s one of the things I love about visiting my parents. They always have real butter (and wouldn’t dare buy the fake stuff).
I only use real butter when I’m baking. Because, honestly? Things taste better with real butter. I’ve tried using the tub for cookies but the texture always ends up…off. So now I stock up on butter (regular and unsalted) whenever I’m at Costco. Sometimes it amazes me the sheer amount of butter I can go through in a baking session.
These Fruit Tarts are from Paula Deen. I know it’s Fall, but my cravings don’t always follow a culinary calendar. (Plus, my daughter lives on berries so I’m constantly buying them even though they aren’t in season.) And, it was 85 degrees here yesterday, so it still feels a little like summer! The tart crust is a buttery shortbread and the filling is a cream cheese base (my second favorite baking ingredient). They are topped with whatever fruit looks good at the grocery store that day and glazed with a lime syrup that makes them look beautifully shiny.
How can you get any better than that? Real butter and a touch of summer, all in one bite. Yum!
Recipe from Paula Deen at FoodNetwork.com
For the Crust:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter , softened and sliced
For the Filling:
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Fresh strawberries , raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, mandarin oranges...whatever you like
- 1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.*
For the crust: Combine the powdered sugar, flour, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the dough forms a ball. Place a scoop of dough into each mini muffin cavity and press with your thumbs to form a mini pie shell. (I used a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop for this step.) Press each crust a few times with the tines of a fork and bake for 8-10 minutes. The bottoms will rise (forming more of a cookie than a crust, so as soon as they come out of the oven use the back of a wooden spoon to press down the center of the tart so there will be room for the filling. Cool completely.
For the filling: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until no lumps remain. Place into a large ziploc bag. Cut off one corner of the bag and use it to pipe the filling into the cooled crusts. Add your fruit to the top of the filling. There may be filling left over. Eat with spoon.
For the glaze: Mix limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until clear and thick, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Brush the glaze onto the top of tarts. You will have some leftover glaze.
Store tarts in the refrigerator, removing about 15 minutes before serving.
I recommend using silicone mini muffin pans for easy release. Be sure to grease any regular ones very well. You can also use mini tart pans or one large 12-inch tart pan.