This free-form strawberry tart in a buttercrust pastry is thickly glazed and beautiful. You can use a tart pan, but going free-form is kind of fun. Be sure to use perfectly ripe, sweet strawberries.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
20 mins
1 hr 30 mins
2 hrs 10 mins
1 12-inch tart


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Sweet Cheese Mixture:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Place pastry dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out dough to a round disk about 1/8-inch thick and 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.

  • Brush outside 2 inches around the edges of circle lightly with water. Tightly curl up a bit of the edge of the dough to give it a rounder shape with a slightly thickened edge. If some edges are thicker than others, pinch off excess and add to thinner edges forming a circle with even edges. Roll each edge again just once to make the edges thick enough to crimp. Crimp crust with your floured fingers.

  • Use a fork to "dock" the bottom surface, covering it with tiny holes to prevent the dough from bubbling up as it bakes.

  • Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes. Do not turn off the oven.

  • Place cream cheese, creme fraiche, egg yolk, sugar, salt, vanilla, and lemon zest in mixing bowl. Mix together thoroughly. Carefully pour a thin layer of mixture evenly into pastry shell (you may not need all the cheese mixture).

  • Transfer filled tart to oven. Bake until cheese layer is set and crust is browned, about 20 minutes. Let tart cool completely to room temperature before adding berries.

  • Arrange berries cut side down, pointy end out starting with the larger berries around the edges. You can lean strawberries up a bit as your work your way toward the center. Cut some berry halves in half again to fit into any gaps on the cheese layer.

  • Place apricot jam and 2 teaspoons water in saucepan. Heat over low heat until thin enough to brush. Let cool slightly before brushing generously over all berries and crust. Transfer tart to serving plate.

Chef's Notes:

For a homemade crust, use 1/2 of my recipe for Buttercrust Pastry Dough.

To crimp edges of tart shell, flour your hands. Hold your thumb and forefinger about 2 inches apart lightly against the outside edge; push the dough from the inside against the 2 fingers to create crimping.

You can substitute 8 ounces fromage blanc for the cream cheese.

Nutrition Facts

320 calories; protein 4.4g; carbohydrates 33.8g; fat 18.7g; cholesterol 61.5mg; sodium 297.4mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (6)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
This tart is so lovely and really makes the flavor of fresh strawberries stand out. I like the the cheese sauce is not too sweet. My tart turned out a little larger, but I still had plenty of sauce. Read More
9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This tart is so lovely and really makes the flavor of fresh strawberries stand out. I like the the cheese sauce is not too sweet. My tart turned out a little larger, but I still had plenty of sauce. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My family and I loved this. I used fresh strawberries that we picked a few days ago, which probably made it better. I did use a tart pan (not to be fancy!) and so I just rolled the dough out and placed it in there. Because I'm impatient I didn't let the dough sit in the refrigerator. The tart was like pie, but better. Because I used the tart pan my dough came very crunchy and that was a great and unexpected texture. So don't be afraid of going too big/thin with the crust! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I enjoyed making this strawberry tart. I made it as the recipe said except I used sour cream instead of creme fraise. The cream cheese filling was too salty but I will try it again; maybe I made an error. Just a note; before you buy ingredients: any jam can be used (apricot was delicious) the lemon zest was lovely but I think the dessert would be OK without it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I make this tart every summer, it's so tasty and pretty. I use a tart pan with a push-through bottom, and I also garnish with a few blueberries and little mint leaves. Beautiful, yummy strawberry dessert recipe -- a keeper! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
OMG!!! This looks amazing! I want to make it so bad! ??! I can not wait to try to make it! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
A wonderful way to serve fresh strawberries without a lot of sugar. The only substitutions I made was marscapone cheese for the cream cheese and a bit of sour cream for the creme fresh. And I added blueberries to the strawberries. Yum! Read More