Strawberry Almond Cream Tart

Strawberry Almond Cream Tart
makes one 9 inch tart
*note: for 10 inch round tart pan, you'll need to double the crust and filling ingredients

For the crust
36 honey graham crackers (about 9 sheets)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons water
Cooking spray

For the filling
2/3 cup light cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For the glaze
6 cups small fresh strawberries, divided (you can use 2 cups frozen strawberries and 4 cups fresh if you'd like)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the candied almonds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Place graham crackers in a food processor; process until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, butter, and water; pulse just until moist. Spray your tart pan (with a removable bottom) with cooking spray.  Transfer crumbs into prepared pan.  Press into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Thickness should be around 3/4". As you can see I realized here that my pan was too big and had to go and prepare an additional batch of crumbs for the sides. If you're using a 9 inch pan, you should have enough crumbs and won't need the additional batch.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare the candied almonds, combine the 1/2 cup sliced almonds with the 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small frying pan. Cook on medium heat until the sugar melts and the almonds are golden brown. You'll need to keep an eye on them and stir frequently as they can burn quickly as the almonds are sliced quite thin. Transfer to a sheet of aluminum foil and let cool.
To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and almond extract in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine and pour over cooled crust. Cover and place in refrigerator while you prepare the glaze.
To prepare the glaze, combine 2 cups of the strawberries in a food processor and puree until smooth. I used frozen strawberries for this part as fresh strawberries here are EXPENSIVE! Pour strawberry puree into a saucepan. Add sugar and cornstarch. Stir over medium heat using a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for one minute. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature. I let the mixture cool for about 20 minutes on the counter then moved to the refrigerator to finish.
Combine your 4 cups of strawberries with one tablespoon of lemon juice. Use your hands to give them a good toss. Arrange your berries, stem side down (of course be sure to trim the tops off!) in a circular pattern over the cream cheese. Take HALF the glaze and pour over the berries. Sprinkle the candied almonds around the edge of the tart and chill for 3 hours.
recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light