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A Valentine's Day Treat: Honey Cream Cheese Tart

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If you have ever had the pleasure of experiencing brunch at one of the better restaurants in the world, the chances are very strong this dessert was among those rolled out for you on the breathtaking dessert cart. Aside from the numerous tarts which feature fresh fruit, this cream cheese tart may very possibly be one of the most popular tarts in the world!

The best way to describe this tart's taste and texture would be to say it has the richness of a pure cheesecake with the texture of a rain cloud (meaning smooth with just a touch of spontaniety). Though it is quite an easy dish to prepare at home, it does have a few steps and the crust does need a chilling time and once fully prepared, the entire tart needs to be chilled about two hours.

Regarding the crust, this is a very European style of pastry crust. You will notice the inclusion of pureed hardboiled eggs. You won't find this process in American recipes. Combined with the butter, egg yolks and lard (yes, lard), the hardboiled eggs give this crust not just a surreal texture, but a richness which must truly be savored to be believed. When we make this, we like to add a little cocoa powder to the crust ingredients -- albeit this is not authentic!

Ingredients needed to make Honey Cream Cheese Tart (makes 1 tart):

Pastry:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, pureed
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 Tbs. lard

Steps:

  1. Place flour in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients. Stir into the flour to form a dough.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in plastic and chill 2 hours.
  4. Place the chilled dough on a floured surface and roll into an 8-inch circle. Place the circle in an 8-inch tart pan and poke all over with the tines of a fork.
  5. Place back in refrigerator and chill.

Filling:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tbs. raisins
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.
  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Spoon the filling into the tart pan.
  3. Place in oven and bake 40 minutes or until set.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  5. Place in refrigerator and chill at least 2 hours and serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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