With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Raspberry Mascarpone Tart

I love to shop.  Lord knows I love to shop.  Especially for clothes.

Thankfully I'm pretty good when it comes to following my own personal rules of shopping, the first being "If you don't love it, don't buy it." and secondly, when all else fails, "If you can't imagine wearing this tomorrow, don't buy it."

And truthfully, I'm a champ at following these rules... at least in that particular arena.  When it comes to baking supplies, however, let's just say I have a little more work to do.

I bought a 9-inch removable bottom tart part around November of 2009, with the intention of making a tart for my family that Thanksgiving.... since then I've used this tart pan.... 2 times.

But in my defense I had my heart set on making this particular tart for ages, and for the life of me could not find mascarpone cheese.

Mascarpone cheese - the cheese of angels.  
(Photo credit.)  

And one of the primary reasons I could never be a vegan.  (The others being Brie, Mozzarella, and Muenster.... just to name a few).  I totally support the idea of veganism, but I also support the idea of sitting down with my tub of mascarpone cheese and inducing total bliss.

Hey - this is real.  This is genuine.  This is no qualms.

If you haven't tried mascarpone, think of it as a less tangy cream cheese.  Subtle, yet perfect for spreading on toast with jam, on crackers, or as an ingredient like here.  More recently I have been able to find it even at my local grocery store, so now there's nothing holding me back from mascarpone's power anymore.

I made this tart over the summer (as you can tell by the pretty greenery of my backyard that is no more for the winter), and somehow it just slipped through the cracks of posting.  Through no fault of its own however.  This tart is fantastic.

It starts with a sugar cookie like crust, that was quite honestly one of my favorite parts of the whole finished product.  While most crusts leave me blah, I literally could have eaten this all by itself.

That is then topped with a mascarpone, honey, and agave nectar filling.  Feel free to substitute all honey or all agave nectar at this point, but personally I think this combination hits the mark just right.  (Agave nectar can be found in the international food aisle of most supermarkets)

I choose raspberries to top my tart, but the other beauty of this particular dessert is that most fruits would be a delicious substitute as well.  Blueberries?  Blackberries?  Thinly sliced pears?  You can't go wrong.

So if you're looking for something different to grace your Thanksgiving table this week, or something to go alongside the usual pumpkin pie, consider giving this a try.

But if you end up falling hard for mascarpone cheese as well.... don't say you haven't been warned.

Raspberry Mascarpone Tart
Servings: 8-10


For crust:
-1 egg yolk
-2 Tbsp very cold water
-1 tsp pure vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/4 tsp. salt
-8 Tbsp unsalted butter (cold), cut into cubes 

For filling:
-2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/6 cup honey
-1/6 cup agave nectar
-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
-Pinch ground nutmeg

For topping:
Approx 12 oz fresh raspberries (or fruit of your choosing)

To make crust in a small bowl combine egg yolk, water, and vanilla.  Stir briefly with fork.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine flour, salt, and sugar.  Place in butter cubes and beat until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add egg mixture and beat gently until combined.  Pat into disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hr.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Roll out prepared dough on a well floured work surface until it is large enough to fit a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and approx 1/8 in thick.  (Be sure to flip the dough while rolling to prevent sticking.)  Transfer dough to tart pan press gently into it, trimming excess.  Cover dough with foil and fill with pie weights (or dried beans).  Bake for 5 min.  Reduce temp to 350 degrees.  Remove foil and beads, and with a fork poke holes all over in dough.  Bake crust 15-20 min more (or until golden).  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

To make filling combine mascarpone, honey, agave, sour cream, in a clean bowl with an electric mixer.  Beat until smooth, then adding vanilla extract and nutmeg.  Spread topping into tart and smooth.  Top with fresh fruit of your choosing.  Remove from tart pan, place on a serving platter and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from: Annies Eats

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