Monday, October 02, 2006

Football, Tentacles and Mascarpone Tarts

mascarpone tart with fresh mulberries

I don't care much for AFL (football) but G follows it rather capriciously, so that turns us into Swans bandwagon jumpers come grand final time. I have to admit this Sunday’s grand final match was a nail-biter and just as I was getting into the spirit of the grand final and just when there appeared to be some hope of Sydney winning, our optimism was dashed after a 1 point-score difference at the end. I was just about to say that I am not one to toot my own horn, but here I am tooting a horn that is my own. What can I say, I’m still riding the wave of my recent success in HHDD #5, it’s not everyday that you can say that your tart is a winner and dub thyself queen of tarts. So after a disappointing AFL grand final, I think we needed something to celebrate. So hooray for the tart!

Now that my pastry skills, although still feeble are looking quite promising have been affirmed by this slight victory (apparently by one vote); I have decided to share this Lemon Mascarpone Tart which was made not long after the olive one. It is not too often that a tart I make is a success, especially when blind baking is required, but this one surprisingly was. Just like Alice’s chase for the rabbit, the perfect pastry crust seems to forever elude me. I’ve made a number of tarts ever since my maiden voyage into pastry making and tragically many of them need to be forgotten about; hopefully lost in some oblivion as they were too disastrous to recount. Many previous tart experiences have been spent immediately devouring the luckless morsels in a pathetic attempt to feign their failed existence.

mascarpone tart montage

In this instance however the desire to devour these tarts were not out of wanting them to vanish for fear of embarrassment but rather because they were to my amazement, a success. Personally, I love mascarpone, every time I eat the stuff it is met with the resounding exaltation of a hallelujah chorus. This might sound peculiar but I would happily dive into a vat of mascarpone any day and if this could somehow be arranged, I am there! There is something about its sweet creamy nature that just lends to not only being dived into but more practically being tarted up, topped with some fresh berries and a dusted with icing sugar. Essentially you could use any type of fresh berry over these tarts, the mascarpone filling is quite versatile, it just so happened that I had mulberries in the fridge that day.

The textural juxtaposition of the crisp pastry and the soft mascarpone filling is reason enough for me to eat it. For me, texture is just as vital as flavour to engaging someone’s palate. There are some things I simply cannot eat because of how they feel in my mouth. I am by no means an arbiter of taste but I definitely think texture is a significant aspect to the art of eating and the aesthetics of taste. I know that I still have trouble eating baby octopus because the small suctions on their tentacles just give me the heebie-jeebies. I was never one for eating cephalopods anyway, especially octupus.

mascarpone tart with fresh mulberries

Tentacles aside, if you love mascarpone this is the kind of tart you will consider selling your grandmother for. Okay, I probably wouldn’t go as far to say you should start trading family members on the black market but this tart is very good. I cannot remember where exactly I got the recipe from but it was sort of a mish-mash of several recipes simplified to create a filling in less than ten minutes and the Pâte Brisse recipe is a sweet version of the one I used for the olive tart. Seeing as that I bought a sizeable quantity of mascarpone tubs, there will most definitely be more mascarpone recipes to come. Here is the recipe for the tarts.

Lemon Mascarpone Tart with fresh Mulberries
Makes 8

mascarpone tart with fresh mulberries

Pâte Brisse

240g plain all-purpose flour
180g unsalted butter, frozen and diced
50g confectioner’s sugar
3-4 tbsp ice cold water

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, place flour, butter and sugar and pulse until you get coarse crumbs.While continuing to pulse, pour ice water through the spout and mix until the dough comes together in a ball.Knead for 2-3 minutes and form into a ball.Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Bake the pastry dough blind, using parchment paper and pastry weights in prepared cases at 150˚C for 10-15 minutes.
Remove weights and turn temperature up to 180˚C and bake for a further 8 minutes.
Carefully remove pastry cup from moulds and let cool on a wire rack.


1 cup mascarpone
½ cup heavy cream
¼ confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 punnet fresh mulberries

Combine all ingredients in a dry bowl and mix until the mixture becomes smooth.
Cover bowl in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Fill each pastry case with up to 3 tablespoons of prepared filling and top with a handful of mulberries.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.


lobstersquad said...

you´re queen of tarts, mascarpone is king of cream cheeses, it´s got to be good.

helen said...

yum. these look fantastic! mascarpone is my weakness too :)

Danielle said...

I know exactly what you mean about the importance of texture. Almost all of my pickiness and food issues are about texture, not taste.

wheresmymind said...

You are always one of my favorite ways to start off a work week with your beautiful work.

Brilynn said...

You're definitely mastering the art of pastry, this looks amazing!

peabody said...

So very beautiful!

ilingc said...

oh yummy, mascarpone tarts!

jenjen said...

Lobstersquad- its a match made in pastry heaven!

Helen- Thanks, I know what you mean, I ended up buying about four tubs of it!

Danielle- I couldn't agree more, I am more picky about texture than I am about taste.

wheresmymind- awww, that's very nice. Well hope you have a great week!

Brilynn- slowly but surely, hopefully I'll have something to show for it, by the end of the year.

Peabody- thanks so much! That means a lot coming from the food porn queen!

illingc- ditto that!! It was indeed yummy!