“Are you tempted by creamy, smooth, sweet, buttery and crunchy? Apparently I am too, as I ate this 5 days in a row including for breakfast. It has an unusual crust which I love, but you could easily substitute the Maria's crackers for graham crackers. You could also substitute defrosted frozen and drained strawberries for the fresh. This one sure is a crowd pleaser, that is if you can bring yourself to share. From Marcela Valladolid's show Mexican Made Easy.”
6 tarts

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 12 cups hulled quartered strawberries
  • 12 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 5 ounces maria crackers (about 1 pack or 32 crackers)
  • 14 cup packed light brown sugar (or 2 oz. pilocillo, minced)
  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 (8 ounce) bars cream cheese, room temperature
  • 12 cup sour cream
  • 1 13 ounces whipped dessert topping mix (about 1/4 cup powder, 1 envelope)
  • nonstick cooking spray


  1. Mix the strawberries and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl. Let the strawberries macerate at room temperature for 1 hour. (I put mine in the fridge overnight).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange 6 individual tartlet pans with removable bottoms on a baking sheet. (You could also use a 9 inch tart pan.) Spray the tartlet pans with nonstick cooking spray. Blend the Maria crackers and the piloncillo in a processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the butter and process until the crumbs come together (this took a few minutes). Press the crumbs into the prepared tartlet pans. Bake until the tartlet shells are golden brown, about 10 minutes. (They may appear a bit soft, but will set upon cooling.) Cool completely.
  3. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese and the sour cream in a small bowl, until fluffy. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and whip until well combined. Add the whipping powdered topping and whip until very fluffy. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the macerating liquid from the strawberries. Fold the strawberries and the reserved 2 tablespoons of liquid into the cream mixture. Spoon the filling over the tartlets, dividing equally. Tarts can be prepared 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. (As I mentioned in the introduction, I ate this all week and it was still really good!).
  4. *Cook's Note: Maria Crackers (Galletas Marias) are a round sweet biscuit with vanilla flavor. They are the Mexican version of the English Marie biscuit and can be used in layered deserts as you would with lady fingers. They can easily be substituted with graham crackers.
  5. **Cook's Note: Piloncillo is often used in Mexican cuisine to sweeten drinks or deserts. It is unrefined cane sugar, usually found in the shape of small cones and can be substituted with brown sugar.

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