Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart

serves 8-10

For the Tart Dough

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

9 Tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

1 extra large egg

For the Crumb Topping

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 sliced or slivered almonds, coarsely chopped

8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling

1 pound cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted after measuring

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 pound strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and halved or quartered if large

Confectioners' sugar for dusting

For the Tart Dough

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour.   Process in short bursts until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the egg and process in long pulses, about 5-7 seconds until the dough has started to clump.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough onto the surface.  Using the plastic wrap and the back of your hands, gently press the dough into a disk.  Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375º F.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  If refrigerated overnight, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle, flouring the dough and surface as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll up the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over an 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Fit the dough into the edge of the pan.  Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough.  Place the tart onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  

Line the tart pan with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Place on a rack to cool completely. 

For the Crumb Topping

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir in the almonds and butter.  Let the mixture stand for a few minutes, then use your fingertips to break the mixture into 1/4 to 1/2-inch crumbs.  Scatter the crumbs onto the prepared baking sheet and bake until the topping is deep golden and firm, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool completely.

For the Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.  Add the confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla and continue to beat until lightened and smooth, about 1 minute.

A few hours before serving, spread half the cream cheese filling evenly on the bottom of the cooled crust.  Arrange the berries, cut side down, on the filling.  Spread the remaining filling over the berries.  Scatter the crumb topping over the filling.  Right before serving, lightly dust the top of the tart with confectioners' sugar.  Enjoy!

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