My favorite part of the 4th of July growing up was always trying to spell out my name with a sparkler before it burnt out. I’ve always loved a good challenge, so it never got old! Now it’s all about the food, and this year I dreamed up a festive berry tart that would be just perfect to enjoy on the 4th. The tart has a coconut sugar cookie crust and is filled with a creamy almond pudding and topped with fresh blueberries and strawberries. Notice the cute strawberry star in the center? Decorating this tart was almost as fun as twirling around with sparklers!
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
Filling and Topping:
1 (3.4-oz.) package instant vanilla pudding
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
2/3 pint blueberries
To make the cookie crust, heat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Mix in egg and vanilla extract; stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until soft dough forms. Knead in coconut and spread dough over the bottom and up the sides of a greased 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake at 350˚F for 16 to 20 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cookie crust comes out clean. Completely cool the crust, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the almond filling by placing instant vanilla pudding, milk, and almond extract in a large bowl; mix until smooth. Place in refrigerator and allow to chill 10 minutes or until thickened.
Spread almond pudding filling evenly in cooled coconut cookie crust. Decorate the tart with the strawberries and blueberries as desired. Let tart set in the refrigerator for at least an hour, then remove from the tart pan (use a toothpick to gently remove any parts of the cookie crust stuck to the top edges of the tart pan, if needed) and cut into 12 wedges. Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition: 283 calories, 13.5g fat, 2.8g fiber, 4.2g protein per serving
Cost: $0.84 per serving