Creamy Chocolate Strawberry Tart

I am starting to panic because it’s August and summer’s almost over…the Farmer’s Markets will dwindle, the displays of produce will get smaller,  melons will disappear and all those luscious summer vegetables will be replaced by root vegetables, acorn squash and pumpkins…With this thought in my subconscious, the other day I woke up with an overwhelming urge to make a strawberry pie.  Not the sugary gelatinous gloppy  types that you can buy at the grocery store bakery, but a homemade pie with large fresh strawberries…..Yes, I know you can buy strawberries all year long these days, but they often have NO TASTE.  I got spoiled living in California where my Mom would buy freshly picked strawberries from the local farmers, so I’m some what of a strawberry snob. I wanted to celebrate the last of the summer strawberries and make something fabulous.

Checking the pantry and fridge to see what I had,  I remembered the Chocolate Cream Cheese I bought the other day for no reason other than it intrigued me [and it was chocolate] and started thinking how I could incorporate that…

So I decided on making a tart, a cross between a strawberry pie and a fruit pizza, with a creamy pillow of chocolate flavored whipped cream  on top of the tart crust to lay the strawberries on.  Notice the Cream Cheese is labeled “Indulgence.”  I’m pretty sure that’s what caught my eye….so here’s what happened

After washing the strawberries,  I cut off the stem ends.  I chose to leave the berries whole, I’m all about drama, but you can slice them if you prefer… Next I baked the tart crust

I use the ready crusts from the grocery store because they are so convenient [translate that to I am lazy] but if you want to make your own crust, please do.

Line the raw dough with foil and top with pie weights or beans to keep dough from puffing up during baking.  Bake until golden.  Cool.

Meanwhile make the glaze for the strawberries.  In a saucepan bring water to a boil and add the cornstarch and granulated sugar, stirring often until mixture clears and thickens.  Add the Jello and set aside to cool.

Mix cream cheese with Confectioner’s sugar and gently fold in Cool Whip.  Spread over bottom  and part way up the sides of cooled crust.

Arrange berries on top of the whipped cream layer

Top with glaze.  I didn’t use too much because of my aversion to gelatinous glop, but use as much as you want.  This recipe makes enough for a deep dish pie so you will have more than you need*.

Now here’s where my intentions were good but my technique was bad.  I decided to drizzle with a little dark chocolate to make the whole experience a little more decadent…

Chocolate worms?

It tasted great though!  Just need to practice my melted drizzling! It is the perfect finishing flavor touch, the melted chocolate ties it all together in a super chocolaty, creamy, fruity bite.  Hungry Husband is pretty excited.

CREAMY CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY TART   for a printable version click here

1 refrigerated pie crust dough round
2 pints fresh ripe strawberries
1 8 oz tub of milk chocolate cream cheese
1 12 oz Cool Whip lite, defrosted
3 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
1 box Strawberry Jello
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 T cornstarch

Carefully place pie crust dough into tart pan or pie pan.  Place a piece of foil or parchment on dough to cover bottom and fill with beans or pie weights.  Bake as directed on package. While crust is cooling prepare glaze.  Bring water to a boil then add cornstarch and granulated sugar, stirring often until mixture clears and thickens.  Stir in jello and set aside to cool.  Make creamy base by mixing chocolate cream cheese and Cool Whip with the Confectioner’s sugar.  Hull strawberries and leave whole, or slice or halve, your preference.

Assemble tart by spreading cream cheese mixture over bottom crust.  Top with strawberries and then gently pour glaze over.* Place in refrigerator to chill and set glaze.

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