Cheese Tart is a dessert made of creamy and velvety cheese filling that is nestled on a flaky cream cheese pie crust. The tandem of the two combined makes for such a heavenly, rich dessert.
I love the medley of cheese, milk and cream together. The creaminess and richness of these three elements is like a little touch of heaven in the tongue. Now if you add a flaky and light pie crust to that, a whole new level of goodness emerges.
This cheese tart is a rich dessert that incorporates the goodness of cream cheese, whipping cream and evaporated milk to yield a velvety smooth filling. The mixture is baked on a flaky cream cheese pie crust that is thin and light.
The pie crust is the same pastry I used for the Ube Custard Tart. I love, love this pie crust and I highly recommend that you make it instead of buying the commercial ones. I love how it turns out perfectly each time, and how flaky and light tasting it is.
Because it has cream cheese, this pie crust has a note of tang and saltiness which makes it more interesting against the rich and creamy cheese filling.
This crust recipe is from the book The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. I always consult this book whenever I have an itch to bake pies and tarts. It is indeed a bible that is full of knowledge about pies and pastries including techniques on baking, blind baking, rolling and decorating.
The collection of pie and tarts crusts recipes is vast that you are set for all of your lifetime. Seriously! And for today’s cheese tart, I immediately thought that the flaky cream cheese pie crust is the perfect fit.
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The recipes in the book are presented in a concise manner, written in charts. There are also charts in the book that compares the ratio of the ingredients in different types of pastries like croissant, danish, puff pastry and strudel.
This is a good book to have if you are like me who want to venture deeper in to the art of baking pastries. It’s text book style approach will make you want to wake up early in the morning to practice making croissant as if you are a baking and pastry arts student.
Or simply, the delicious looking photos will make you strive really hard so you can have homemade danish pastries for breakfast the soonest.
I have yet to try the rest of the numerous pie crust recipes from the book, but I always make this flaky cream cheese pie crust. It is a keeper. It is like fool-proof recipe to me and the result is always flaky and tender crisp with the most amazing flavor.
So really, thanks to the meticulous nature of Ms. Berenbaum, I now regard this crust recipe my favorite to make pies and tarts, especially cheese tarts.
For the Cream Cheese Pie Crust
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp cold heavy crea
- 1 and 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
For the Cheese Filling
- 1 block cream cheese
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
Make the Cream Cheese Pie Crust
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add the cream cheese and incorporate it into the flour mixture by pressing it with your fingers and smashing with your palms. Work quickly until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cubed cold butter and incorporate it into the flour by pressing with your fingers but leaving the butter pieces just flattened and still visible. The mixture should look crumbly with big pieces of crumbs from the addition of butter.
- Add the cream and apple cider vinegar and combine until dough is almost coming together. Gather it into a ball, flatten into a disc and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate dough for about 6 hours or overnight. On a floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick and gently wrap it around the rolling pin. Lift it gently over the pie pan, lower and center it down and tuck the dough into the sides of the pan. Cut excess dough on the edge of pie pan and use your fingers or a fork to create decorative borders. Refrigerate dough for at least two hours.
- Pre-bake the crust at 425 F for 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden. Set aside.
Make the Cheese Filling
- In a double boiler, melt the butter and cream cheese together with the milk, cream and sugar. Once the mixture is smooth and the texture is slightly thicker than that of a whipping cream, turn off heat. Stir in the egg, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt. Whisk the mixture until the cornstarch is dissolved and all the ingredients are incorporated. Remove mixture from the double boiler set up and allow to cool slightly. You can cover it with plastic and refrigerate while you preheat the oven.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Set the pan with the crust on a baking sheet so you can easily put it inside the oven. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for 15 minutes or so, or until the center looks almost set.
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