Nothing puts the finishing touch on a good meal like a tasty dessert. Fresh fruit is a wonderful ingredient for dessert dishes and is often overlooked in this prepackaged, hurry up and eat market. The following dish is easy to create, tasty without being too sweet or rich and can be endlessly modified to take advantage of the fruits available in your region.
- Allow the Cream cheese to come to room temperature. This is a very important step if you don't have a stand mixer and will save you a shoulder injury during the next step.
- Mix Cream cheese, honey, vanilla, and ground cloves until will integrated and smooth.
- At this point you can add the juice and, or the zest of one lemon, making sure it is well integrated. The lemon adds a subtle flavor to the cheese and the acid helps balance the sweetness. The mixture isn't terribly sweet though and the lemon can be skipped if you don't care for it or, if you're like me, can never remember it when you’re at the store.
- Divide the mixture and spread evenly in your pie or tart crusts.
- Prepare your fruits by washing and then trimming them as necessary. Slice the fruit thinly.
- Layer the fruit on top of the cheese mixture, beginning at the edge of the crust. Alternate the rings of fruit to make a pleasing arrangement. As an example I like to use a ring of strawberries, followed by a ring of kiwi and then another ring of strawberries in the center. I then sprinkle whatever berries are in season over the entire surface, blueberries work well as do raspberries. As a guidline, for 2 tarts I usually use 3 to 4 kiwi's and 10 to 15 strawberries.
- Once the fruit is arranged, lightly sprinkle it with a spoonful of sugar. The sugar will react with the juices of the fruit and greatly enhance the flavor.
- Chill for at least one hour and serve in wedges, like pie.