Looking for a delicious new holiday dessert to impress your treat-loving guests? Put this holiday cheese tart with strawberry glaze, inspired by Casa Veneracion, on the table and your family and friends will beg for the recipe!
This creamy, dreamy festive dessert is similar to a cheesecake with its luscious cream cheese filling and buttery graham cracker crust, but instead of fussing with a springform pan, you get to bake it as a tart. Best yet, it makes a dramatic eye-catching entrance with a gorgeous crown of fresh berries and strawberry glaze.
Fresh berries and cheesecake are a sublime match made in heaven. Not only do their distinctive flavors complement each other, the contrast of the bright berry colors and velvety white filling make this tart mouthwateringly easy on the eyes. However, if fresh strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries aren’t available, you can swap in other radiant fruits. Try a showy combination of peach or nectarine slices and pitted cherries or a tropical array of kiwi slices. Instead of strawberry jam, use a jam that goes well with your choice of fresh fruit.
Baker’s note on tart pans: Using a tart pan for this holiday cheese tart will make you look like the hostess with the mostest. The pan’s fluted edges give the flair of a professional baker. We recommend using a fluted tart pan that has a removable bottom to really show off the fluted crust. Removing the cheese tart may seem daunting but it is actually quite easy once you know how. After you’ve chilled and decorated your tart, place the pan on an inverted bowl. Carefully wiggle the fluted rim to release it from the crust, leaving the tart on the removable tart pan bottom. Pick the tart up by placing your hands underneath the bottom and set your impressively baked dessert on the table to slice and serve.
In a bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until the butter is evenly distributed through the crumbs.
Press graham cracker mixture into a tart pan
Pour the butter graham cracker mixture into a 12-inch tart pan and spread it out with a spatula. Use your fingers to evenly press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the tart pan in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes—the melted butter will solidify and firm up the crust.
Make the cream cheese filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, until the cream cheese mixture is smooth. Pour in the heavy cream and continue to beat on a lower speed until the cream is fully incorporated. The filling will have a pourable consistency.
Pour the cream cheese filling into the tart pan and bake
Carefully pour the cream cheese filling into the crust-lined tart pan. It will fill up the crust. Set the tart pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet in the oven. Bake the cheese tart at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes or until the edges are firm but the center still jiggles when gently shaken. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate for several more hours to allow the cream cheese filling to fully set up.
Make a strawberry glaze
While the cheese tart is baking or cooling, make a strawberry glaze. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the strawberry jam and hot water. Blend until smooth. Transfer the strawberry glaze into a plastic bottle with a tip. Make sure the tip opening is wide enough for strawberry seeds to pass through. Refrigerate the glaze until you’re ready to decorate the cheese tart.
Decorate and serve chilled
Carefully remove the cheese tart from the tart pan. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries make this tart the most irresistible holiday dessert on the table. Arrange the fresh berries on one-half of the tart. On the other half, use the strawberry glaze to pipe dots of various sizes along the outer edge or in any eye-catching design you desire. Garnish with fresh mint leaves to add a pop of gorgeous green color.