Preheat oven to 350. Spray/grease or foil your tart pan, if using, or just an 8" square baking dish or pie dish--or whatever you have close to that size.
For the crust:
36 graham crackers (9 sheets)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons water
First I had Cate smash the heck out of the graham crackers in a big ziploc bag and then she stirred all the ingredients together in a bowl. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and a little up the sides of your pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Make the cream filling while waiting.
For the filling:
2/3 cup light cream cheese (I had regular so that is what I used)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I used slightly less because I don't like when almond extract is overpowering)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, set aside.
For the topping:
6 cups small fresh strawberries, divided
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted (I had whole almonds and gave them a quick ride in the food processor before I toasted them)
Place 2 cups of strawberries in the food processor, process until pureed. Combine puree, 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil; stir constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Cut off the tops of the remaining strawberries and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to them; toss to coat.
Spread the cream filling over the cooled crust. Arrange berries, cut sides down in a circular pattern starting in the middle, leave 1/4" border between the berries and sides of the pan. Spoon half the strawberry glaze over the strawberries. (Save the rest for another use...like drizzling over belgian waffles). Sprinkle almonds around the edges. Cover and chill 3 hours. Yield: 10 servings.**
**Note: This little tart went super fast, next time I will double it and make it in a 9X13 or jelly-roll size pan. You don't need to double the strawberry glaze though, it makes plenty. So you only need 10 cups of strawberries, not 12.
For a printable version, click here.