Sweet Strawberry Tartlets
- 1 1/2 cups hulled quartered strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
- 5 ounces Maria crackers* (about 1 pack or 32 crackers), or graham crackers
- 1/4 cup, packed minced piloncillo** (about 2 ounces), or packed brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 (8-ounce) bars cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 envelope whipping powdered topping (about 1/4 cup powder)
- 6 individual tart tins with removable bottoms or 1 (9-inch) tin
- Nonstick cooking spray
Mix the strawberries and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl. Let the strawberries macerate at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange 6 individual tartlet pans with removable bottoms on a baking sheet. Spray the tartlet pans with nonstick cooking spray. Blend the Maria crackers and the piloncillo in a processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the butter and process until the crumbs come together. Press the crumbs into the prepared tartlet pans. Bake until the tartlet shells are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese and the sour cream in a small bowl, until fluffy. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and whip until well combined. Add the whipping powdered topping and whip until very fluffy. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the macerating liquid from the strawberries. Fold the strawberries and the reserved 2 tablespoons of liquid into the cream mixture. Spoon the filling over the tartlets, dividing equally. Tarts can be prepared 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated.
*Cook's Note: Maria Crackers (Galletas Marias) are a round sweet biscuit with vanilla flavor. They are the Mexican version of the English Marie biscuit and can be used in layered deserts as you would with lady fingers. They can easily be substituted with graham crackers.
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid, 2009