Make the most of plump, ripe strawberries with this showstopping strawberry puff pastry tart. Imagine spoiling mum on Mothers Day with this beauty.
- It looks stunning! Great for spoiling friends and family.
- It’s unbelievably easy to make.
- Just 8 really simple ingredients.
- A crisp, flaky crust holding soft creamy filling and strawberries.
- Perfect for gatherings and celebrations
This is the strawberries and cream of your dreams. Imagine super crispy, flaky puff pastry squares, topped with both fresh and macerated strawberries and a creamy cheesecake-like filling. It’s got it all – texture, flavour, colour and it’s truly a crowd pleaser.
This puff pastry tart comes hot on the heels of my peach puff pastry tarts and you can turn this into strawberry tartlets in a similar fashion too. And if you love this, you’ll love my strawberry cream cheese Danishes too.
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Ingredients you’ll need
The list of ingredients for this fresh strawberry tart are short and are just a beautiful flavour combination. It’s all summery and sweet and the strawberries are the jewel on the crown. You can use other fruits too so you can really customise this to your own perfect, elegant dessert.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Strawberries: Plump, ripe, fresh strawberries are what you need here and lots since we’re making a real show of them. You can actually swap the berries for other fruits too – see my variations section for more ideas.
- Puff pastry: I use store-bought puff pastry to keep this tart super simple. I use an all butter puff pastry by careme which is a rectangular sheet about 375g/13.2oz. You can reduce the recipe to make it on a regular pre-rolled square sheet or make extra filling and use two sheets. You can also use a fork to crimp together a square sheet and half of another square sheet to get your rectangle.
- Sugar: Just white sugar here. There’s a little bit for macerating the strawberries and a little in the cream cheese filling.
- Cream cheese: A full fat cream cheese is best here, not just for flavour, but also it is firmer and holds it’s shape better.
- Cream: Where I am, it’s call thickened cream but you can use heavy cream, heavy whipping cream and even whipping cream. You’re looking for a cream that is at least 35% milk fat so that you can whip it.
- Lemon: A little lemon juice is added to the macerated strawberries and some lemon zest mixed into the cream cheese filling. Just a little adds so much brightness and goes lovely with strawberries.
- Vanilla: You can’t have strawberries and cream without some vanilla. Please use a pure vanilla extract as opposed to vanilla essence that is a synthetic flavouring.
How to make puff pastry strawberry tart (step-by-step)
This strawberry puff pastry tart is incredibly easy to make. You’ll bake pastry on a parchment-lined baking sheet until it’s golden and puffed. The filling needs no cooking whatsoever – it’s just a simple mix and assemble from there on.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
Prepare the puff pastry:
- Make a border: Use a ruler and sharp knife just to score a line 1 inch in from all sides to create a 1 inch border. Don’t cut through the pastry, just score it.
- Dock the pastry: Docking pastry means to prick it all over with a fork to create air holes or vents. This helps to stop pastry from rising too much. For this puff pastry base we want the centre area to stay lower than the border so score just that central section. On baking, the border will puff up while the centre area bakes and only rises slightly.
- Egg wash and bake: Brush an egg wash (I use 1 egg yolk and a dash of cream or milk) all over the border. There’s no need to egg wash the centre. Bake in a fairly hot oven for around 20 minutes until golden brown around the edges.
To make the creamy strawberry filling:
- Start with the macerated strawberries: Simply mix together chopped strawberries with sugar and lemon juice and set them aside. The sugar will encourage the strawberries to release liquid which in turns mixes with and dissolves that sugar to become a gorgeous strawberry syrup.
- The cheesecake filling: This filling is like a very basic no-bake cheesecake mixture. Beat together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; fold in whipped cream; then carefully mix through the lemon zest. Done!
Along with some fresh chopped strawberries, these two filling components can be just set aside until the puff pastry has cooled. The strawberries can sit at room temperature while the cream cheese mixture is best chilled.
To assemble the tart:
- The cream cheese mixture: Carefully spread the cream cheese filling across the middle section of the tart, inside the border.
- Add strawberries: Scatter over some fresh strawberries and then the macerated strawberries holding back most of the syrup.
- Slice and serve: Slice into squares and serve with a small pot of the strawberry syrup to drizzle over at will.
Tips and tricks
- Don’t skip the docking: Pricking the base all over with a fork is what makes the middle stay lower than the border giving you a space to add your filling.
- Keep the pastry cold: Thawing the pastry overnight in the fridge is best as the colder the pastry is, the better rise you’ll get. Work quickly and don’t skip the short chilling time before baking.
- Don’t add the syrup to the assembled pastry: At least, not until serving time or it may seep down the sides and make your pastry soggy.
- Other berries (like raspberries and blackberries) will work. Once macerated, these types can be mashed with a fork into a sauce or compote to dollop over the tart, then add fresh berries too. Blueberries will work too, without mashing, just macerate them whole.
- Stone fruits like peaches and plums work a treat too with this same sugar and lemon combo. Simply slice the fruit, discard the stones and macerate them in place of the strawberries in the recipe.
- Citrus fruit works too like oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, mandarins or grapefruit. They’re best with the skin surrounding the juicy pearls of fruit removed so segment them or slice off the peel first, then slice the fruit into rounds.
- Skip maceration: Macerating fruit is the process of mixing fruit with sugar and letting it sit until a syrup forms and the fruit softens. You don’t need to macerate the fruit for this puff pastry tart though.
- Tropical: Try mango and kiwi fruit just peeled and sliced for a gorgeous tropical tart maybe with some pomegranate arils (seeds) for a pop of colour.
You can do a mixture too. Make a stunning mixed berry or mixed fruit tart.
Keep it cold. Puff pastry is made up of layers of dough laminated with layers of butter. Keeping that butter cold is key as once it bakes it steams, causing the layers to separate and result in those big puffy layers.
While traditionally, puff pastry is made using all butter as the fat component, some store-bought puff pastry brands used other types of fat in place of butter. All-butter puff has the most buttery flavour.
You bake puff pastry in a moderate to hot oven around 200C/395F. It is ready when it’s golden, puffed and looks dry.
Yield and storage
This recipe serves 12 made with the rectangular pastry as used in this recipe.
This strawberry puff pastry tart is best served fresh and best assembled close to serving time – that doesn’t mean you can’t prep ahead though.
- Strawberries: The macerated strawberries can be prepped and stored in the fridge for 1-2 days prior to serving them on the tart.
- Cream cheese mixture: The cream cheese mixture will also be fine made and chilled in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Puff pastry: The puff pastry can be baked up to 3 days in advance but do make sure it is stored in a large airtight container or wrapped 2-3 times in plastic wrap. Be gentle so as not to damage the delicate flaky pastry.
While not as good as fresh, the tart is still pretty good the next day, though it won’t really last longer than that as the strawberries start to change colour and dry out and the pastry will soften the longer it sits filled.
We eat this just held in our hand but you can serve it on a plate with a knife and fork too.
Did you try this strawberry puff pastry tart recipe?
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Strawberry Puff Pastry Tart
- 1 large rectangle sheet puff pastry (375g/13oz) (notes 2 if you can't find this)
- 1 egg yolk (mixed with 1 tsp milk or cream)
- 600 g fresh strawberries (1.3lb)
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar (notes 1)
- 1 medium lemon
- 375 g full fat cream cheese, softened (12oz)
- ½ cup caster sugar (superfine sugar) (105g / 3.5oz)
- ½ cup thickened cream (heavy whipping cream), cold (125ml)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- large baking sheet
- Ruler and paring knife
- Preheat the oven to 210C (190C fan) / 410F. Have a large baking sheet at the ready.
- Lay a sheet of baking paper onto a clean work surface. Unroll your puff pastry sheet onto the baking paper
- Score a line 1 inch from the edge all around the pastry with a sharp knife and a ruler to guide you- don’t cut all the way through.
- Use a fork to prick all over the area inside of this line but don’t prick the border.
- Beat the egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of cream or milk together and brush all over the 1 inch border. Using the baking paper, drag the puff pastry dough onto your baking sheet. Chill for 10 minutes.
- Bake the pastry for 15 -20 minutes until puffed, golden brown and cooked through.
- As soon as you remove it from the oven, use a spoon to press down the centre section lightly all over, leaving the border tall and puffed. Let it cool completely before topping, though you can begin preparing the filling straight away.
- Dice up ½ of the strawberries and place into a bowl. Add the sugar.
- Zest the lemon using a microplane or super fine grater and set the zest aside. Squeeze a teaspoon of lemon juice over the strawberries and sugar and mix well. Set aside to macerate giving them a stir every now and then.
- In a clean large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar just until smooth.
- Pour in the cream and beat for 2 minutes until the mixture feels lighter. Beat in the vanilla, then fold the lemon zest in with a spatula.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled puff pastry base.
- Pile the fresh strawberries and the macerated strawberries (holding back the syrup) all over the top.
- When ready to serve, drizzle over the syrup to your liking and slice into squares with a large knife.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
- I use a roll of Careme puff pastry, which is the perfect size. If you can’t find one large sheet of puff pastry, simply use 1 ½ regular square puff pastry sheets instead. You can press them together with a join or make one square and one smaller rectangular tart.
- You can dust the edge with a little icing sugar / powdered sugar right before serving.
- Getting ahead: The fresh chopped strawberries are best prepared within a few hours of serving so they don’t get a dried out appearance. The macerated strawberries can sit in the fridge overnight in an airtight container. The cream cheese mixture can be made 1-2 days ahead and stored in the fridge covered with plastic wrap – let it come to room temp before spreading over the puff pastry base or it will be too stiff. The puff pastry base can be baked a day ahead and stored in an airtight container or covered with foil or plastic wrap until required. The whole tart is best assembled within a a few hours of serving or immediately before serving, however, the tart does keep quite well in the fridge for 1-2 days covered very well with plastic wrap.
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2 Comments on “Strawberry Puff Pastry Tart”
AM A CHEF PIERRE I MUST SAY THE RECIPE WAS WELL DETAILED AND IT WAS GREAT
So happy you love it, Peter.