I grew-up in a lake town “up North” and the 4th of July is kind of a thing for my family. In case you aren’t sure where “up North” actually is, it is how Minnesotans essentially describe anywhere north of about Alexandria and general lake country. Or maybe best described by the photo below:
My dad once said that the 4th of July was his favorite holiday – food, drinking, and good company without the pressure of gifts or formal entertaining. I have to say I agree with him (although Christmas will always have a special place in my heart).
We have a pretty decent crew getting together to celebrate freedom and I opted to take-on Sunday brunch. I have no shame in over-doing the red/white/blue food theme and in general (as I’ve said over and over) love bite-sized food. So when I found these cute fruit and cream cheese pastries from Just a Taste I had to give them a try!
Fruit and Cream Cheese Tarts
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbl sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 sheets (one package) frozen pastry sheets (like these)
- 1 1/2 cups fruit of choice
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- With a mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla until creamy
- Unfold the pastry sheet, and using a glass or cookie cutter (depending on what size pastries you want) cut-out circles **I used a glass that allowed 9 per sheet
- Place the circles on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, around 2 inches apart
- Lightly cut a border into each pastry near the edge and poke the center gently with a fork **The scored border is key to help the tart rise or “puff” properly along the edges
- Spread the cream cheese mixture on each pastry and top with the fruit of your choice **Be sure the fruit is properly dried so it doesn’t bleed
- Mix together the egg and a spoonful of water (to create an egg wash), and brush the exposed edges of each pastry
- Bake 15-18 minutes, until golden brown and puffy
Enjoy, and happy 4th!