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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blueberry Cream Cheese Tarts

My mother remarked the other day that she never remembers "learning" to cook... she just always did.  How could that be?  That means that she grew up in and around the kitchen, probably standing on a chair pushed up to the counter, helping with this and that.  Well this post is sort of about that.  

We've had SO many rainy days lately where we've been stuck in the house.  The kids and I made these miniscule blueberry tarts using stuff we had around the kitchen.  I fully realize that using pre-made ingredients may not constitute some people's idea of "cooking," but don't tell that to these little ones.  We end up with quality time together (vs. watching TV and playing video games all day), and are they learning techniques that they will carry with them from this point onward.  I hope that one day they will say to their children that they never remember learning to cook... that they just always did.  How awesome is that?!
Ingredients:
  • Pillsbury roll out pie crust (in the box)
  • blueberry pie filling (in the can)
  • reduced fat cream cheese (about 4 oz)
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla (Mexican vanilla)
  • orange zest
  • mint leaves for garnish (from the garden)


Step-by-step
(Please remember, this is about cooking with the kids, so maybe more photo steps than normal.)
Roll out pie crust a bit thinner than it comes on a lightly floured surface.  
This Pillsbury is my favorite pie crust.  Easy, reliable, consistently good results.

With the French rolling pin.

Cut out rounds of crust using a cookie cutter (or in our case, a wine glass).
Using a glass is a safe way of letting little ones cut the crust.  No sharp edges and shaped well for little hands.

I couldn't resist including this photo. Canon is such a photo hog.

The rounds could have been a bit bigger, but we didn't know that until afterwards.  The opening of the glass was 2.5" so probably a 3.0" opening would be perfect.
Prick the rounds with a fork to prevent them from puffing up. 
This step is a must!
Gently shape the rounds over mini muffin tins turned upside down to create a small "cup." It's really not important that they are not "perfect."  They made them and in the end, that didn't matter. 
Looks like Lily is the one teaching techniques here.

Bake for about 8  minutes or until golden brown in a 400 F degree oven.  Set aside to cool.
Little dessert cups.. made easy.
 Mix slightly softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla.
4 oz cream cheese, 3 Tbsp powdered sugar

Add in the vanilla.
LOVE my clear Mexican vanilla!!!
powdered sugar, cream cheese, plus 1/4 tsp vanilla
Blueberry pie filling. The store brands work just fine.
Pipe into the cooled cups using a pastry bag or zip top bag with the corner snipped off.
Our make-do pastry bag.  A zip-top baggie with the corner snipped off.
Pipe the sweetened cream cheese mixture into the "shells"
Top with blueberry pie filling.  Grate some orange zest over the top and garnish with mint leaves.

LSU fans should appreciate this combination of purple and gold! 


Super cute.  Super easy.  Good times.  ... and yes, feel free to fill them with whatever!

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Roll out pie crust a bit thinner than it comes on a lightly floured surface.  Cut out rounds of crust using a cookie cutter (or in our case, a wine glass).  Prick the rounds with a fork to prevent them from puffing up.  Gently shape the rounds over mini muffin tins turned upside down to create a small "cup." Bake for about 8  minutes or until golden brown in a 400 F degree oven.  Set aside to cool.
Mix slightly softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla.  Pipe into the cooled cups using a pastry bag or zip top bag with the corner snipped off.  Top with blueberry pie filling.  Grate some orange zest over the top and garnish with mint leaves. Super cute.  Super easy.  Good times.  ... and yes, feel free to fill them with whatever!

Order the Menu Musings Cookbook!
 
Looking for more recipes like this?
Baked Chicken Taquitos 

Fire Roasted Corn Guacamole

French Onion Soup

Prosciutto and Spinach Pinwheels (and Pepperoni and Cheese for the kids)
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