Strawberry season is just around the corner, and these tarts are the perfect dessert for picnics, beach days, and dinner parties! They’re so simple to put together, easy to serve without the need for utensils, can be prepared well in advance, and are full of flavor. Store-bought tart shells help make these super quick to whip up, and the strawberry filling can be easily customized with different berry options too. These tarts freeze well too, simply thaw in the fridge for a couple hours before serving. Keep them simple by serving plain, or take it up a notch by piping on whipped cream, garnishing with berries or even edible flowers.
1. First, prepare the strawberry sauce: puree the strawberries, and add to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the sauce starts to gently simmer. While the sauce is heating, mix together the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl, then add this mixture to the strawberry sauce and stir together.
2. Cook the mixture for 1-2 minutes until thickened slightly. Remove from heat and strain the seeds out if desired. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before using.
3. Next, bake the tart shells, following the directions on the box, and set aside to cool completely before filling.
4. Now, prepare the tart filling: start by whipping the whipping cream until medium peaks form, and set aside.
5. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, strawberry sauce, lemon juice, and vanilla extract on low speed until well combined.
6. Gently fold in the whipped cream, careful not to deflate it as you go.
7. Distribute the filling evenly between the 12 tart shells. Transfer the tarts to the fridge for 2-3 hours until set.
8. Whip the remaining whipping cream for topping the tarts. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla extract, adjusting to taste. Use a piping bag and a variety of star, round, and teardrop tips to add whipped cream to the tarts.
9. Add slices of strawberries and edible flowers if desired for garnishes. Serve! Store leftover tarts in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.