EASY PATRIOTIC DESSERT FROM REDLANDS FARMERS MARKET
By: Sara De Leeuw
Summer is a great time to start exploring the abundance of farmers markets in the Inland Empire! My recent adventure took me out to the Thursday Night Redlands Farmers Market. Not to be confused with “Market Night” in other communities, this Thursday evening tradition includes farmers sharing their produce as well as plenty of food vendors and other participants. There are even pony rides for the kids! The center of the four block section of the Redlands Farmers Market is where you’ll find the produce! The farmers' crops are both plentiful and fresh. When you go, spend some time talking with the farmers. They love to share the best ways to create healthy recipes for your families! After all, they grow it, so they know plenty of ways to prepare it!
I was able to chat with the nice folks from Gayton Family Farms. They had baskets of fresh berries that were calling my name! Since it’s almost the Fourth of July, I wanted to create a fruit tart that was both easy to prepare and would look festive for the holiday. Gayton Farms had a trio of berries that included raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Perfect for a simple dessert!
To create this Fourth of July masterpiece, we’re going to rely on fresh fruits from Gayton Farms and the Redlands Farmers Market, but also some things from your favorite grocery store. You’ll need a package of cream cheese and two containers of frozen puff pastry shells (I bought both at my local Stater Brothers).
Bake the puff pastry shells according to the package directions. You can do this first thing in the morning, or even the day before the 4th! The assembled tarts will keep nicely in the refrigerator.
While the pastry bakes, make the cream cheese filling! It’s only three ingredients. Cream cheese, vanilla extract and sugar.
Once the pastry shells are done baking, remove the “lids,” and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
I like to fill the shells with fruit before adding the cream cheese. Blueberries fit nicely in the bottom, but you can use your favorites!
Divide the cream cheese filling evenly among the pastry shells, spooning the mix gently over the berries.
Top the shells with more berries. Don’t be afraid to be creative here! Make patterns with the fruit and have fun!
To make your fruit shine and add an extra bit of sweetness to the tarts, warm some honey in a small, microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Gently brush the tops of your tarts with the warm honey. Warming the honey thins it out and creates a simple glaze that will make your fruit sparkle!
Aren’t they pretty? Perfect for a Fourth of July celebration! I hope you get a chance to check out some of the IE’s farmers markets this Summer for fresh produce and to support our local growers! Have a safe and wonderful holiday, from my kitchen, to yours!
EASY PATRIOTIC FRUIT TART
Two boxes frozen puff pastry shells (I used Pepperidge Farms)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups mixed berries (I used 1 cup each: blueberries, raspberries and blackberries from Gaylor Farms)
3 tablespoons honey, warmed
Bake puff pastry shells according to package directions.
While the shells are baking, combine cream cheese, vanilla and sugar in a small bowl.
Whisk with a fork until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
When pastry shells are done, remove then from oven and cool for five minutes.
Remove the “lids” from the shells with a sharp knife and allow to cool to room temperature.
Divide 3/4 cup blueberries evenly among the shells. (approx 5-6 berries for each shell)
Spoon cream cheese mixture into a plastic sandwich bag or piping bag without a tip.
Snip off one corner of the sandwich bag and pipe equal amounts of cream cheese filling over the blueberries in each shell.
Decorate the tops of the pastry tarts with remaining berries.
Place honey in a small, microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds on medium power.
Brush warmed honey over the fruit and pastry tarts.
Assembled pastry shells will keep nicely, well wrapped, up to two days in the refrigerator.
Want more kitchen adventures? Check out my trip to The Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona! They’re growing great things there too!