There is still a little over one week left to April, but already it feels like it’s mid-July here in SoCal. This whole week has been completely ridiculous with the heat! Last Friday it was chilly and stormy, and I sat in the family room snuggled up in a blanket with the fireplace on listening to the pouring rain, howling wind, and crack of thunder. Yesterday was COMPLETELY different though, and it’s amazing how the weather changed so dramatically in just one week. It was around 100° F out, and of course my van has NO air conditioning (it needs more fluid…. *cough*DAD*cough*), so it was miserable loading my harp in the van to go to chamber ensemble rehearsal, and then unloading it to get it in the classroom, and then doing it ALL OVER AGAIN after class had ended. My face was seriously melting off. No joke.
With weather like this, it really makes me start craving summer desserts involving lots of fruit, like this awesome Strawberry Mascarpone Tart I made last summer but forgot to share with you all because I am a LAME-O!!!! But me being lame aside (because we already knew that part :P) I was hosting dinner for my dad and our close family friends for the 4th of July back before we moved later that summer. I got the recipe for the tart over at Simply Recipes, and it was a huge hit with everyone. The one alteration I ended up doing to the recipe was not using the Strawberry Balsamic Glaze because I ended up letting it settle before spreading it over the strawberries and the next thing I knew it had crystallized…. whoopsies! So I had to substitute some warmed strawberry jam, but it worked really well :)
If you are looking for a delicious summer desert, then this is one to add to your list!
<3 and harp strings,
Strawberry Mascarpone Tart [click to print]
Serves 6-8 (filling and glaze recipe from Simply Recipes, tart dough recipe from Williams-Sonoma)
Tart Dough Ingredients
2 tbsp ice water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes
Filling and Glaze Ingredients
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp orange zest, divided
1 tsp lemon juice
12 oz. mascarpone cheese (can also use 8 ounces mascarpone mixed in with 4 ounces of ricotta or 4 ounces of whipped cream)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (substitute a teaspoon of lemon juice if you don’t have balsamic)
1. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside.
2a. To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.
2b. To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.
3. Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.
4. To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round 2 inches greater in diameter than your tart pan.
5. Prick the bottom of the shell all over with the tines of a fork. Freeze for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the tart shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Fill at least two-thirds with pie weights – dried beans, rice, or ceramic or metal pie weights. Bake initially for 15 minutes, then remove from oven, let cool enough to handle, and remove the aluminum foil or parchment paper and pie weights. Return to oven and cook until lightly browned at the edges, about 20 more minutes. Let cool completely.
6. Gently combine strawberries, half of the orange zest, and the granulated sugar in large bowl so that the strawberries are coated with sugar. Let sit to macerate for 30 minutes.
7. Mix together the mascarpone cheese, confectioner’s sugar, the remaining orange zest, lemon juice and the vanilla in a medium bowl until well combined. Refrigerate until needed.
8. After the strawberries have macerated for 30 minutes, place a sieve over a bowl and drain the liquid out of the strawberry mixture into the bowl. Take that strawberry liquid and put it in a small saucepan. Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the saucepan, and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Boil until the liquid has reduced to the consistency of syrup, remove from heat and let cool.
9. Assemble the tart. Spread the mascarpone mixture over the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange the strawberries on top of the mascarpone mixture. Use a pastry brush to brush on the balsamic glaze.