Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mini Blackberry-Lemon Cheesecake Tarts

When I bake, I usually follow a recipe. Baking, unlike cooking, is a scientific skill that must be learned and practiced. I was feeling spontaneous this weekend, so I decided to bake something without a recipe. That's right, NO RECIPE! I based my measurements solely off of consistency, texture, sweetness, and color. This is what I came up with:

Mini Blackberry-Lemon Cheesecake Tarts

*Makes roughly 15 tarts*

-1 1/2 cups oats, ground
-1/4 cup oats, not ground
-1/4 cup + 2 Tbpns sugar
-2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a tray of mini muffin tins. In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer until creamy. Add oats (ground and unground) to the egg-sugar mixture, beating until incorporated. Use your hands towards the end, if necessary.

Pinch off pieces from the dough, roll them into small balls, and press them into the greased mini muffin tins. Be sure to work the dough up the sides of the muffin tins to create walls for the tart. This part may get messy, so feel free to dust your hands with flour between each tart.

Bake tarts in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until edges become golden in color. Cool and remove tarts from muffin tins. These tarts will be filled later. I stored mine in an airtight container overnight.

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Filling:
-2 8oz. packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cooled to room temperature
-The zest and juice of one lemon
-3/4 cup granulated sugar

Place room temperature cream cheese into a medium-sized bowl. In a small sauce pan, mix lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar together. Heat this mixture on medium heat until it JUST bubbles. The sugar should be dissolved at this point. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer and slowly stream in warm lemon simple syrup. Mix until smooth and creamy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for several hours or overnight.

-Baked tarts
-Chilled lemon cheesecake filling
-About 1/2 cup black cherry jam

Spoon chilled cheesecake filling into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Heat jam in the microwave or on the stove top until warm and pourable. Place teaspoon-sized dollops of jam into the bottom of each tart. Pipe cheesecake filling on top of jam. Chill tarts for several hours. Dust confectioners sugar over tarts before serving.