Not that anyone’s counting, but at Chez Canteen we’ve already brought home a truckload of strawberries and the season is just beginning. The strawberry actually ranks third in berry favorites around here. Blueberries are the top-dog favorite followed by the great little raspberry. But after this very dull and long winter even 3rd-place strawberries seem pretty swell.
Look for strawberries that are deep dark red, on the small side and behave like they might be slightly fragile (they are). Sniff the container and make sure the perfume knocks you over with happiness. Those are the berries you want.
Big giant berries that look like they were spray-painted red by a half-tipsy monkey and offer almost no strawberry odor are some new kind of fast growing, slow rotting, no flavor kind of thing. Leave those at the store. They’ll still be there when you drop in next time looking exactly the same. I think they were developed so their shelf life is the same as candy corn – three and half centuries.
There isn’t anything complicated about preparing this tart. You can even make both the tart shells and the filling ahead of time and assemble them in the evening when you feel like having dessert. Each component will happily keep in the refrigerator for a good 3-4 days. But be sure to bring home fresh berries for the topping – those won’t keep very long.
Berry season is one of those times of year where making great desserts is a slam dunk and a good thing to do. Tarts are one of the easiest. Make the 3-2-1 pie crust (click the link if you need a tutorial on pie crust). Press the dough into individual tart tins and bake. Cool and store in the refrigerator.
Follow the directions to make the mascarpone berry filling, store in a covered container in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the tarts. Top with sliced berries, piled as high as you like. Add a splash of whipped cream and another berry. That’s it.
|Strawberry Mascarpone Tart, Gluten Free||
- 300 grams GF AP flour ( 150 g superfine brown rice flour, 75 g each superfine white rice flour and tapioca starch/flour)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 115 grams unsalted butter, chilled (1 stick)
- 85 grams Spectrum shortening, chilled)
- 90-100 grams very cold water (1/2 cup)
- 115 grams (25% of a one pound bag) frozen organic strawberries thawed, pureed, strained
- 5 extra-large egg yolks
- 50 grams sugar (1/4 cup) plus 3 tablespoons more
- 170 grams mascarpone cheese (6 oz. or ¾ cup)
- 240 grams heavy cream (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons Framboise
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- pinch salt
- pint or more of fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and thinly sliced
- 240 grams heavy cream, (1 cup) whipped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Gather 6-8 small/individual tart pans, preferably with removable bottoms.
- In the bowl of food processor, pulse the flour sugar and salt together once or twice. On top of the flour, scatter the chunks of butter and shortening. Pulse a few times just to incorporate – you want them to remain fairly large pieces. Add the icy cold water into the chute starting with 90 grams and pulse. Add more water as needed but no more than 100g total. As soon as the dough forms a ragged ball, stop. Drop onto a sheet of parchment or plastic wrap and remove the blade (carefully!!). Mush the dough into a ball and then into a disk. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Break the dough ball into as many even sized pieces as you have tart pans (this is where a scale comes in more handy than the eye). Press each dough piece into the tart pan all the way up the sides. Clean off the edges so they are neat, but still look a little high for the height of the sides because when you bake it, the shell will shrink slightly. Starting with a high side helps.
- Once all the tarts are shaped, place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Then place them on baking sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes. Rotate and bake about 10 minutes more of until they look golden brown. Cool completely. Refrigerate if you will not use them the same day, but only after they are completely cool. Freeze any leftover dough for another use.
- Place thawed berries in a strainer and press to gather all the liquid in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a double boiler over low heat cook the egg yolks, sugar, Framboise, Grand Marnier and lemon juice whisking until it is fully combined and then becomes thick. Remove from heat and whisk a little more. Stir in vanilla. Set bowl in another bowl filled with ice or in the refrigerator to cool. Whisk a few times while it chills.
- Add cream and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar to bowl of a stand mixer and while it is running on medium low. Break off pieces of mascarpone cheese and add it to the cream. Once the mascarpone is incorporated, whip on high until stiff peaks form. Mix in the chilled egg mixture and whip to incorporate. Add all of the strawberry puree to the mixture and whip just until incorporated and it starts to turn pink. Remove bowl from stand mixer. Using a silicone spatula, fold the mixture to make sure everything is well mixed. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to assemble tarts.
- Scoop filling into baked, cooled tart shells. Top with sliced berries – arrange in any pattern you like. Top with a dollop of optional whipped cream if you want. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Filled tarts are best eaten the same day.