Valentine’s Day Fresh Fruit Tart

This Puff Pastry Fruit Tart is a special treat to make for Valentine’s Day. It looks a lot more difficult than it actually is, so your special valentine should be quite impressed. And you can have fun, be creative and use any fresh fruit that you like.

First you will need to purchase a box of frozen puff pastry dough at your favorite specialty market. You will also need some cream cheese (whipped works best) and an assortment of your favorite fresh fruits.

The night before, you can thaw the dough in the fridge, or the day of for an hour or so on your counter. Don’t let it get too soft and melty – it should still be a bit stiff and yet pliable enough to unfold.

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While it is thawing, add a little splash of milk or cream to the cream cheese and stir it together until the cream cheese is smooth and soft. (or use whipped cream cheese and just stir until smooth) You want it to be easily spreadable. You also may want to add a little honey or sweetener to taste.

When your puff pastry is thawed, flatten it out and use a rolling pin to gently smooth out the cracks. (You don’t want to roll it too much because you want it to puff into flaky layers in the oven).

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You can keep it as a rectangle, or you can cut into a shape with a knife as I did here with my valentine heart. This is where you can be creative and use your imagination. If there is any dough left you can “reroll” it and use it as I did with my smaller heart shape.

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Score it lightly with a knife (not all the way through) – about 1/2 ” inside the edge, and prick the inside with a fork to reduce the center from puffing up too much. Now place the pastry on a cookie pan in a 425 degree preheated oven for ten minutes until lightly golden.

After ten minutes take the pastry out of the oven and press the center down down with the back of a spoon. Put it back in the oven again and lower the temperature to 375 – bake until it is lightly brown and crispy.  When it is done take it out and let it cool.

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Meanwhile, while it is baking you can begin to cut your fresh fruit into thin slices. I used strawberries, kiwis, blueberries, gooseberries, kava oranges, Meyer lemons & fresh mint.

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Right before serving “gently” spoon your softened cream cheese inside the edge. Be extra careful spreading because the cream cheese can stick to the crust and crumble it. (you also don’t want to do this part too soon or the pastry can tend to get soggy) I would suggest no sooner than an hour before serving.

Now is the fun part where you get to use your artistic talent to play with the fruit color and shapes. You can mix your fruit, or use just one kind. This would actually be fun project to do with children.

When you are finished, slide your fruit tart onto a serving tray and drizzle it with a little honey. Now your masterpiece is ready to serve to your valentine..or little valentines!  (A pizza cutter works well to slice it)

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Enjoy, and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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