This colorful treat is always a winning dessert for Memorial Day, Independence Day or any day you just need to have an excellent, creamy, cool berry tart. It’s both luxurious and light with a filling of low-fat greek yogurt blended with Neufchâtel cream cheese and a hint of maple syrup. The graham cracker crust is enhanced by ground toasted walnuts and, one of my favorite baking ingredients, crystallized ginger. The recipe below is inspired by, and adapted from, a very healthy blueberry tart recipe I found here on LaaLoosh.com. The adaptation still leans toward the healthy side but don’t let that scare you away – it’s incredibly delicious and one of my favorite summer desserts.
Red, White and Blue Berry Tart Recipe
- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp salted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup of fresh blueberries (washed and patted dry)
- 1 cup fresh strawberries (washed, hulled and sliced into quarters)
- 8 oz. of Neufchâtel cream cheese
- 1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Toast the walnuts for about 10 minutes in the oven, on a baking sheet, watching carefully and stirring 1/2 way through until just very lightly toasted. In a food processor, coarsely chop the walnuts and crystallized ginger, and then add the crushed graham crackers. Process until the entire mixture turns into fine crumbs.
Whisk the egg white in a medium bowl until frothy. Add the walnut and graham cracker crumb mixture, butter, oil and salt. Stir gently to combine. Turn the mixture into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and press the mixture across the bottom of the pan and up the sides, leaving an even edge all around. Take a little time and patience doing this to keep the crust an even thickness throughout. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake until dry and slightly darker around the edges – about 8 to 10 minutes. Put the tart pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Filling:
Beat the cream cheese, yogurt, vanilla extract and maple syrup in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Very gently spread the filling into the completely cooled crust. Arrange the blueberries and strawberries into any neurotic pattern you like on top of the filling, or just casually sprinkle them onto the surface leaving some white spaces showing through for a very beautiful effect. This is a useful Plan B for when you give up on the OCD berry pattern you started out plotting, when you realize the inconsistency in the sizes of your blueberries is throwing your whole design out of whack and causing way more anxiety than you bargained for. If this occurs, stay calm – just gently pick off each unruly berry, rinse carefully with water and then pat dry with a towel. Smooth over the top of the tart filling with a spatula, and start again with your new, “casual but elegant arrangement.” Press the berries into the filling very lightly just to set them in so they don’t roll off. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve.