If you make one dessert this summer, it should be this strawberry cheesecake pretzel tart.
My husband and I are fully vaccinated now so we are finally able to see family! That means we were able to enjoy our annual ribfest at my mother-in-law’s for Memorial Day. Mmmm ribs. Sorry, I digress. I asked my husband what dessert we should bring and he found this recipe. Well, he found a winner.
The crust is made out of pretzels. Isn’t that genius? I’ve never heard of such a thing. The filling is a no bake cheesecake or cream pie filling. My husband and I went back and forth on what to call this dessert because it seems to be either a cheesecake or a cream pie depending on the recipe you find. In this case you whip up cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy cream. Call it whatever you like, it’s tasty.
Then you top it with a layer of sliced strawberries and the prettiest glaze I’ve ever seen. The glaze is similar to a glaze on a traditional fruit tart but this has a little strawberry gelatin to give it some berry flavor and that gorgeous color.
When you take a bite, you’ve got a lovely salty, sweet, and fruity combo. It’s magical. I think it’s a perfectly refreshing treat for the summertime, but of course you can make it any time of the year. I bet you could make it even if you can’t find strawberries and it would still turn out just fine.
I love that this tart is super simple to make. I guess “no-bake” isn’t quite right since you do quickly bake the crust, but after that it’s just pour stuff into the crust and put it in the fridge. It really doesn’t get much easier than that. You do need to plan a bit because it has to chill in the refrigerator to firm up.
I used a tart pan for this, and this was another discussion my husband and I had about it. You could use a pie plate instead. Almost everyone has a pie plate, but not everyone has a tart pan. I think that because the pretzel crust can be a tad crumbly when you cut into it, a tart pan will make for prettier slices. My husband says it probably doesn’t matter as long as you mush the crust into the pan well enough. No matter how you slice it, this tart is absolutely delicious. (See what I did there?) Literally everyone at the family BBQ ate it and loved it. Everyone. Yup, this is a sure winner.
Strawberry Cheesecake Pretzel Tart Recipe
(Makes about 10 servings)
Ingredients for Pretzel Crust:
- about 5 or 6 cups of mini pretzels uncrushed (your goal is 2 cups of crushed pretzels)
- 3/4 cup butter (equivalent to 1 and 1/2 sticks)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Ingredients for Cheesecake Layer:
- 1 package (8 ounces) of cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
Ingredients for Strawberry Topping:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons strawberry gelatin (I used Strawberry Jell-O.)
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
Directions for Pretzel Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Get a 10 inch round tart pan and set it aside.
- In a food processor, blend the pretzels until they are fine crumbs. (Some little chunks are okay.) If you don’t have a food processor, a zip top freezer bag and a rolling pin should get you there.
- In a large bowl, add the butter and melt it.
- Add in the crushed pretzel crumbs and sugar, and mix everything until it’s combined.
- Transfer the crust mixture to the tart pan and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides. I used a measuring cup to help me get a flat and even layer.
- Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 8 minutes.
- Let the crust cool completely.
Directions for Cheesecake Layer:
- Beat the softened cream cheese until it’s smooth. I just left my cream cheese out of the refrigerator for a few hours.
- Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until it’s combined.
- Add the cream and beat until medium peaks form.
- Gently spread the cheesecake layer into the cooled pretzel crust.
- Store it in the refrigerator while you make the strawberry topping.
Directions for Strawberry Topping:
- In a small saucepan, add the sugar, water, and cornstarch and mix everything together. Bring it to a boil.
- Once it’s at a boil, boil it for 2 minutes and whisk constantly during this time. (The mixture will thicken.)
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the strawberry gelatin and whisk until it’s combined. Set it aside and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and place the sliced strawberries in a single layer on top of the cheesecake.
- Pour the cooled strawberry topping evenly on top, covering every strawberry.
- Let it rest for a few minutes and then place it in the refrigerator to firm. (I let it chill overnight but the original source says to chill it for at least 2 hours.)
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