Strawberries and mascarpone are a match made in heaven. Put them with a tender, crunchy pastry and you have a surefire winner.
I wanted to make a nice and easy tart that would easy to make and would be great as a dessert, particularly on a warm spring or summer day. For that I decided on mascarpone cheese and strawberries. I did see almost exactly what I wanted in a magazine, though the size was different to my requirements, and it also suggested the use of a store-bought tart case.
For mine I wanted to make a lovely crisp and buttery tart case and then to fill it with creamy and thick mascarpone before topping it with some strawberries. A layer of raspberry jam on the base of the blind-baked tart case before adding the mascarpone cheese adds another level of flavour to the tart and a little sweetness too.
Although my recipe details making a tart case you can buy one if that is your preference, though if a bought one has different dimensions you may need to adjust the volumes of other ingredients to fill it.
My tart turned out very well, and was very easy to make. The pastry was crisp and buttery, just as I wanted. The filling was so rich and creamy and had the wonderful fruitiness of the strawberries as well as the raspberry jam.
I think it is perfect as a dessert, as mentioned above.
Although I only whipped the mascarpone and double cream for a short while, on a low speed, I do think, if you want it to be a little lighter and more airy, you could whip a little longer. But too much whipping, particularly if the ingredients are warm or at least at different temperatures, can result in curdling.
If you like strawberries you can’t go far wrong with a lovely Strawberry Pavlova
For the tart case:
- 113g(1 stick)cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 175g(1 cup + a scant 3 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into 250ml cup)plain flour
- 75g(12 cup+2tbsp) icing sugar
- 1 medium egg yolk(large in USA)
- 15ml(1 tbspo) double cream
- 2 1/2 ml(1/2 tsp) vanilla extract/bean paste
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 200g(10 tbsp) raspberry jam
- 500g(17 1/2 oz) strawberries
- 500g(2 cups+ 1 1/2 tbsp)mascarpone cheese
- 50ml(3 tbsp + 1 tsp) double cream
- 5ml(1 tsp)vanilla extract/bean paste
- zest from one lemon, finely grated
- Place the flour icing sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor(you can mix by hand too) and pulse a few times to mix together.
- Add the butter(you can rub this in by hand) and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs, it wont take long.
- Beat the egg yolk, cream and vanilla together and add into the flour mixture, then process(or stir vigorously) until the mixture begins to clump together.
- Remove from the processor and squeeze the mixture into a nice smooth dough.
- Form the dough into a disc, about 5 inches in diameter and wrap in plastic wrap, then chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Roll out the dough, on a floured work surface, to a diameter large enough to fill the base and cover the sides of a 9inch/23cm fluted tart tin.
- Carefully place the rolled out dough into the tart tin and gently press over the base and up and sides. If any cracking appears you can patch it with excess dough.
- Ensure the thickness of the dough around the sides of the pan is even, patching where necessary.
- Place the tart tin into the freezer for thirty minutes(or in the fridge for at least an hour).
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/350F.
- Line the base of the tart case with 2 layers of aluminium foil, going up the sides too, and covering the edges.
- Fill the foil with baking beans(or dried beans, rice or pasta) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes remove the aluminium foil and the baking beans and bake for a further 8 minutes to firm up the base.
- Remove from the oven and allow the tart case to cool completely in the tart tin before removing.
- Wash, hull and cut the strawberries into halves or slices, as desired.
- Spread the raspberry jam over the base of the tart case.
- In a large bowl place the mascarpone, double cream, vanill and the lemon zest and whisk them together until combined.
- Carefully spread the mixture(I did this by piping two layers and then levelling off) carefully over the raspberry jam, and level it off.
- Gently press the pieces of strawberry into the mascarpone, in whatever pattern you wish( you could even mix more finely chopped strawberries into the mascarpone).
- Place the tart into the fridge to chill before slicing.