When you work hard during the week, it is important to treat yourself on the weekends. Not only did Mike and I both have long work weeks, we got our wedding invitations ready for the mail and got our cake squared away! Now that definitely deserves a special treat. Check and check. The weather got better toward the end of the weekend and all of this sunshine has me ready for summer to begin and ready for summer California cuisine.
Mike and I brought home a ton of fresh blackberries and a large bunch of basil on Sunday, so I decided to put together this tart for our weekly Mad Men date. I love the combo of herbs with fruit. The basil in this just brightens everything. I made it healthier than usual by making a crust light on the butter, the filling with fat free cream cheese and sour cream, as well as using agave in this recipe instead of sugar. I also used a special bottle of vanilla my friend brought me back from Mexico that I have been dying to use (since we all know I do not bake much). I have got to say, it was delicious! No extra fat needed. It was refreshing, creamy, and Mike loved the crust. I doubt these leftovers will be around long!
Blackberry Basil Cream Cheese Tart…
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup walnuts lightly toasted
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used the ones from TJs)
- 1 large egg or 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted melted
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 8 ounces light or fat free cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup light or fat free sour cream
- zest of 1 lemon and juice of half of it
- dash of vanilla
- 2 tablespoons raw agave
For the topping:
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- handful of fresh basil, chopped
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon or so raw agave
Preheat oven to 325°F. Coarsely chop walnuts in a food processor. Add graham cracker crumbs and process until the mixture is fine and forms uniform granules. Whisk egg in a medium bowl until frothy. Add in the graham mixture, melted butter, oil and salt; combine well. Press the mixture into the bottom of a tart pan.
Set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and slightly darker around the edges, about 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Beat cream cheese, sour cream, lemon zest, juice, vanilla, and agave in a medium bowl on low speed until smooth and well combined. Taste for sweetness or tartness and adjust to your liking.
When the crust is cool, spread the filling evenly into it using a rubber spatula, being careful not to break up the crust.
Gently toss fresh blackberries and basil with agave and lemon juice until evenly coated. Arrange blackberries on the filling, pressing lightly so they set in. Chill for at least 2 hours or over night. Serve with a sprig of basil or mint.