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Summer Fruit "Cheese Danish" Tart

"there are things you do because they feel right and they may make no sense and they may make no money and it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other and to eat each other's cooking and say it was good." - Brian Andreas

This tart, danish, breakfast, tea, picnic treat is one of those things that made sense, we had the ingredients and our son loves things like this, the making together and magic trick of making it vanish ... into happy tummies. In fact a cheese danish is his favorite baked snack or breakfast.

Fruit wise I used raspberries because in July and August we have wild raspberries that grow out of hidden rocks and secret meadow pockets out back on the mountain. I always expect them to be gobbled up first by the birds or bears, yet surprisingly, they seem to leave them alone and go for the wild currants instead. Or maybe simply, they know the bushes we frequent, and they know the mountain's secret gifts far better than we ever will. By all means though you can use blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, plums and apricots yes, yet peaches I'd think would be too watery, and apples too hard. If making this in the autumn, you'd want to cook your apples first and then add in mounds of cooked seasoned and slightly sweetened apple.

For the pastry, it's not as crisp or brittle in a way as a standard tart dough, yet not as full as a Danish pastry either. I love danish dough yet it usually involves yeast and simply more time than I have first thing in the morning. This is a quick 5 min of effort compromise. If you have a food processor that does 90% of it.

Pastry Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

  • 1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

  • pinch of salt

Because I make this for breakfast, I go the easiest way. Which for me means putting the flour, sugar, salt, and cubes of cold butter into a food processor and whizzing it a few times until it is sand like consistency. Then I carefully add in the yogurt, and just whiz once or twice, then the water bit by bit as to not over mix and toughen the dough. You can also do this all by hand using a pastry fork or crumbling the butter and flour between your fingers. It will be slightly more wet and tender than a dryer/crisper tart dough due to the addition of sour cream or yogurt. The last time I made this we had no sour cream and only vanilla yogurt which was a bit sweet. So, I omitted the sugar and just used 1/4 cup of vanilla yogurt, it came out just fine. Transfer the dough onto a piece of plastic or waxed paper and pat into a ball. Wrap into a packet and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days, or you can hasten the firming process along in the freezer, for about 20 minutes.

Cheese Danish Like Filling

  • 1-2 cups raspberries

  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (really it just depends on how sweet you like it)

  • zest of one lemon

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

  • 2-3 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if using cherries or apricots, add 1/4 tsp almost extract)

  • Pinch of salt

In a medium large bowl, or stand up mixer, beat the softened cream cheese with the eggs until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar, cornstarch, zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Here, I coated a 10-inch tart pan, because it is what I have, yet you can also use a 9-inch cake pan (springform), standard pie dish or 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan or plain pastry ring (on a larger baking sheet) with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet. If you use a 9-inch just be mindful that the filling will be a bit thicker, and will take 5-10 min longer cooking wise.

On a floured counter, roll the chilled dough into a large circle, yet don't worry if you have to patchwork some of it too. If your kitchen is very warm and it’s softening too quickly, stick it in the freezer for a couple minutes at any point to make it easier to work with. Carefully drape the dough in the prepared pan, let the edges hang down the sides.

Pour in the cream cheese danish batter then sprinkle the fruit evenly about. You can gently lift the dough’s overhang and pinch it into loose creases to make this more danish like as far as a dough to filling ration, or you can trim off the excess dough and use it to make another mini tart or cinnamon sugar straws etc... Our son's favorite part is the filling so I trimmed it here, yet if you drape it over rustic tart style, please do not fuss over getting the creases or any other part of this pretty; it will be, no matter what, delicious. If dropping over you may want to brush on an egg wash and sprinkle a little sugar onto of the dough.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the batter portion comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a rack; to store, as it is basically a cheesecake tart, pop it in the fridge.

Below you can have an idea of what it would look like as a galette with the dough wrapped inward. It is yummy both ways. The below poem is by Mary Oliver.

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