Red, White, and Blue Tart

This red, white, and blue tart–a wicked popular dessert around fourth of July– is made with a graham cracker crust, an easy cheesecake-like filling made with just cream cheese, heavy cream, and sugar, and the eponymous red and blue berries of your choice.

A red, white, and blue tart with a graham cracker crust, cream cheese filling, and raspberries, blueberries, and blackberry on top

Simple and stunning. That’s what we think of this ridiculously easy tart that’s essentially a cheesecake but with far less fuss. It requires you to do nothing more than press a graham cracker crumb crust into a pan and then stir together a luscious cheesecake-like filling consisting of just cream cheese, cream, and sugar. Then you slip it in the fridge until you need it. Just before serving, add a scattering of summer berries. No water bath. No overnight chilling. Just summertime simplicity. Originally published June 25, 2003.Renee Schettler Rossi

Red, White, and Blue Tart

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 8
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Special Equipment: A 9-inch pie plate OR 9-inch deep-sided removable-bottom tart pan OR individual tartlet pans OR 4-by-14-inch rectangular tart pan

Ingredients

  • For the graham cracker crust
  • For the filling

Directions

Make the graham cracker crust

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the melted butter. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate OR a 9-inch deep-sided tart pan OR a 4-by-14-inch rectangular tart pan.

Bake until the crust is lightly colored and firm, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Make the filling

In a large bowl with a stand mixer on medium-high, beat the cream until soft peaks form, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.

In another bowl, beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until well combined.

Assemble the tart

Using a spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and smooth it over the cooled tart crust. Scatter or arrange the berries as desired atop the filling. If desired, add coconut, mint leaves, and a drizzle of honey.

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    How To Make Tartlets Variation

    • To make wee individual tartlets, divvy the crumb crust mixture among six 4-inch tartlet pans and bake only for 6 to 8 minutes, until the crust is lightly colored and firm. Proceed as above, divvying the filling and garnishes among the tartlets.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    The filling of this red, white, and blue tart is wonderfully light with a marvelous flavor. We preferred it MUCH more than the typical custard filling that fruit tarts have and it was so much easier to make. No cooking, no baking, no fuss, just a quick use of a hand mixer. Makes clean-up much easier, also.

    I had to use a 9 1/2" pie plate, because after putting the crust into the 8 1/2" and tamping it down, there would not have been enough room for all of the filling.
    Due to the increased surface area of the crust, I had to bake the crust for a total of 12 minutes in order for it to set in the center.

    As far as arranging the fruit was concerned, I arranged my fruit in concentric circles, which gave the look of a beautiful blooming flower. I even sliced my strawberries so that they looked like hearts, and ended up placing the hearts in such a way that the hearts were standing up amidst the blueberries and the coconut.

    All in all, this recipe is a winner.

    I've made mousse-like, no-bake cheesecakes in the past, but this red, white, and blue cheesecake tart was incredible!! The filling has the dense creaminess and rich mouthfeel of a baked cheesecake without all the effort.

    I wanted to make individual tarts and didn't have small tart pans, so I used my 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with large parchment tulip cup liners. This made it very easy to press the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of each cup using a mini glass prep bowl which was slightly smaller than the muffin cup size.

    After baking, while the crusts were cooling, I whipped up the filling, which consisted only of folding freshly whipped cream into the beaten cream cheese and confectioners' sugar mixture. I then spread the filling into each crust while still in the muffin cups and arranged the berries on top. I chose to hull and slice the strawberries to make them easier to eat. Since I'm not a fan of dried coconut without it being mixed into something else, I omitted that ingredient from the topping list.

    There was enough of the beautiful white filling around the edges of the crust to get the red, white and blue effect to make it a perfect July 4th dessert! I placed the tarts, covered, in the refrigerator to chill until I was ready to serve them for dessert.

    Serving is very easy, I just picked up the tarts from the pans, removed the parchment liner (the crusts held up beautifully and did not crumble), and placed them on a serving dish with additional berries I had left over. They were so pretty and SO good! The tart toppings can be easily coordinated with any season, making them the perfect choice anytime you are in the mood for a great-tasting cheesecake without all the time and fuss of its heftier, baked cousin. Also, their petite size didn't make me feel as guilty while I was eating such a decadent tasting dessert!!! Very impressive. I will be making this recipe again!!!

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