Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart

 

Can you recall the long buffet spread of retro dishes during holidays as a kid? There were hams, roasts, potatoes that had been boiled, twice baked or mashed, vegetables of every type, assorted dinner rolls, and then there were the many gelatinous offerings. Some were part of a nasty breed that included off-putting chunks of funk like celery, cottage cheese, and, good lord, even spinach, salmon, green olives, and mayo. (What sadist was the brain child of that delectable trend?) But then, there were also the delicious Jell-O concoctions including the infamous strawberry pretzel salad. I’m pretty sure the word salad was just tacked on there to make it seem at least somewhat healthy.

Do not be taken in, my friend.

Because it’s the end of April and the weather outside is still blustery and cold, I guess we’re just going to have to do our best to move forward into this season by merely pretending spring has sprung. With that, here’s a fun springtime dessert that mirrors the strawberry pretzel Jell-O salad of old, yet elevates it in only the best way.

Recipe courtesy of: Andrea Slonecker – Pretzel-Making at Home

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups store-bought tiny pretzel twists
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ml cold heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • One 8-oz package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup ml water
  • One 3-oz package strawberry gelatin
  • About 2 quarts large fresh strawberries, tops trimmed

 

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart: Ingredients

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4.

To make the Crust: 
Put the pretzels into a resealable plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin into pieces that are no larger than 1/4 in. (Or pulse the pretzels in a food processor, if you prefer.) Pour the crushed pretzels and their crumbs into a medium bowl and stir in the butter and brown sugar. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9-in. springform pan, covering the bottom of the pan evenly. Bake the crust until it is lightly toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. It will be soft and puffy when you first remove it from the oven, but will harden as it cools. Set the crust aside to cool completely.

 

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart: making the pretzel crust

 

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart: making the pretzel crust

 

To make the Filling:

Put the bowl of a stand mixer and the whip attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Attach the bowl and the whisk attachment to the mixer, and pour in the cream. Begin whipping the cream on medium speed. When it starts to thicken, pour in 2 tbsp of the granulated sugar and the vanilla. Whip the cream mixture on medium speed until soft peaks form. (When you dip a spoon into the whipped cream and pull it out, the cream should form a peak that curls back onto itself.) Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream in a small bowl. Transfer the remaining whipped cream to a separate bowl, cover, and refrigerate; you will use it to top the tart later.

 

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart: soft whipped cream

 

Put the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the cream cheese in the bowl of the stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and cream cheese together on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and stir the reserved 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until it is homogenous. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the cooled crust. Be sure to completely cover the crust, spreading the filling to the edges of the pan. Use a damp paper towel to wipe down any specks of filling clinging to the sides of the pan or the edges of the tart will appear messy when the springform is removed. Refrigerate until chilled and set, 30 minutes.

 

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart: spread the filling over the crust

 

Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of the water to a boil over high heat. Put the gelatin powder in a medium heat-proof bowl and pour in the boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of cold water. Allow the gelatin to cool to room temperature.

While the gelatin cools, arrange the strawberries, cut-side down, over the cream cheese filling to cover the entire top of the tart. Start by lining the edge of the tart with a ring of strawberries and work your way to the center in a target pattern. The tips of the berries should be pointing straight up.

 

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart: add the strawberries

 

Pour the gelatin over the strawberries and cream cheese layer, coating the tops of the strawberries in the gelatin as you pour. Refrigerate, covered, until the gelatin is completely set, at least 1 hour. (The tart can be refrigerated up to 1 day before serving.)

 

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart: pour the Jell-O over the strawberries

 

Remove the sides of the pan and transfer the tart (still on the springform base) to a serving platter. Gently rewhisk the reserved whipped cream for 10 to 15 seconds and pile it in the center of the tart, if you wish or pass at the table. Slice and serve immediately.

Takes me back . . .

 

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart: and indulge

 

Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart

 

And here’s the time-saving printable version:

 

Retro Strawberries and Cream Pretzel Tart

Serves 8
From book Pretzel Making at Home by Andrea Slonecker
Yummy retro Pretzel Jell-O salad is elevated in the form of a dessert tart.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups tiny pretzel twists
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar ((plus 2 T))
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 3oz strawberry gelatin
  • 2 quarts strawberries

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the Crust:
Put the pretzels into a resealable plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin into pieces that are no larger than 1/4 in/6 mm. (Or pulse the pretzels in a food processor, if you prefer.) Pour the crushed pretzels and their crumbs into a medium bowl and stir in the butter and brown sugar. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9-in/23-cm springform pan, covering the bottom of the pan evenly. Bake the crust until it is lightly toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. It will be soft and puffy when you first remove it from the oven, but will harden as it cools. Set the crust aside to cool completely.
Step 2
Put the bowl of a stand mixer and the whip attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Attach the bowl and the whisk attachment to the mixer, and pour in the cream. Begin whipping the cream on medium speed. When it starts to thicken, pour in 2 tbsp of the granulated sugar and the vanilla. Whip the cream mixture on medium speed until soft peaks form. (When you dip a spoon into the whipped cream and pull it out, the cream should form a peak that curls back onto itself.) Set aside 1 1/2 cups/360 ml of the whipped cream in a small bowl. Transfer the remaining whipped cream to a separate bowl, cover, and refrigerate; you will use it to top the tart later.
Step 3
Put the remaining 1/2 cup/100 g of granulated sugar and the cream cheese in the bowl of the stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and cream cheese together on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and stir the reserved 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until it is homogenous. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the cooled crust. Be sure to completely cover the crust, spreading the filling to the edges of the pan. Use a damp paper towel to wipe down any specks of filling clinging to the sides of the pan or the edges of the tart will appear messy when the springform is removed. Refrigerate until chilled and set, 30 minutes.
Step 4
Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup/120 ml of the water to a boil over high heat. Put the gelatin powder in a medium heat-proof bowl and pour in the boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup/60 ml of cold water. Allow the gelatin to cool to room temperature.
Step 5
While the gelatin cools, arrange the strawberries, cut-side down, over the cream cheese filling to cover the entire top of the tart. Start by lining the edge of the tart with a ring of strawberries and work your way to the center in a target pattern. The tips of the berries should be pointing straight up. Pour the gelatin over the strawberries and cream cheese layer, coating the tops of the strawberries in the gelatin as you pour. Refrigerate, covered, until the gelatin is completely set, at least 1 hour. (The tart can be refrigerated up to 1 day before serving.)
Step 6
Remove the sides of the pan and transfer the tart (still on the springform base) to a serving platter. Gently rewhisk the reserved whipped cream for 10 to 15 seconds and pile it in the center of the tart, if you wish or pass at the table. Slice and serve immediately.

 

Oh, and finally, Happy Earth Day!  Every year Spence, his friend and I go out and collect two or three large plastic bags of garbage that line the roadways, which I’m sure we’ll continue with again this year. It’s our way of honoring our precious earth. After all, there is no plan(et) B.

My friend, Bonnie, brought the desserts pictured below to our weekly dress-making session the other week, and I thought they would be an adorable conclusion to your Earth Day supper. They’re as easy as pie, but as cute as the dickens. You can find the recipe HERE.

 

Cookie flower pots for Earth Day

 

Written by Becky


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1 Comment
  • Patty from MMC says:

    I make something very similar – we call it Pretzel Jello. I make it in a 9 x 13 cake pan – same layers – and we eat it as a salad for holidays. I love it!


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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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