For the crust, I am relaying an adaptation of the Joy of Cooking shortbread crust recipe. Please feel free to go to the source if you have questions or want the additional details – they are very helpful to anyone who is not accustomed to baking pastry!
Whisk together in a large bowl:
1 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mash in with a wooden spoon or large fork:
1 stick of butter at room temperature
Once the mix comes together with a coarse crumb-y texture, add:
1 large egg yolk
Mix the yolk in with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together in a ball. It will likely be too soft to work into the pan at this point, so make it into a ball, then wrap in cling film and flatten into thick disc. Refrigerate for at least a half an hour. Preheat the oven to 400.
If you are not using a non-stick pan, you might want butter and flour it lightly on the bottom only. Once the dough is chilled, you can either roll it out to fit your pan or just evenly pat it into the pan, making sure to get the dough up the sides as evenly as possible. I did a combination of rolling and patting. When you are ready to bake, be sure to prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork to keep it from puffing up too much. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the crust cool completely before filling.
For the cheese layer
Mix together, using a hand mixer or a wooden spoon:
1 package of cream cheese (8 ounces)
1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract
If you think to take your cream cheese out of the fridge for a little while to come to room temperature, it will be much easier to mix the sugar into it. My sweet tooth is pretty tame, so I don’t really go overboard on the sugar, but you should do as you like.
For the fruit layer, find the freshest fruits you can and slice them into bite-sized pieces, or leave whole, if small. Berries, cherries, currants, plums, apricots, kiwi, starfruit, peaches, nectarines and figs all work great.