Did you know that the first fruit to ripen in the spring (at least here in the USA) is strawberries? Spring has finally sprung here in New England, and with the spring comes the beautiful strawberry, which is showcased in this tart. “Berries n’ Cream” is taken to a whole new level of elegance with the sweet mascarpone cheese filling for the tart, pairing perfectly with the sweetness of the strawberries. Whether served at an afternoon tea, or at a family picnic, its versatile appearance and taste will perfectly suit every occasion.
Sweet Strawberry Mascarpone Tart
Yields 1-9” tart
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ cup salted sweet cream butter (cut into small cubes)
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp heavy cream
Sweet Mascarpone Filling:
8 oz mascarpone cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp seedless strawberry jam
About 14 strawberries
Start by making the dough for the crust. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and confectioner’s sugar. Add in the cubed butter, and use your fingers to coat and squeeze the butter until you have large crumbs. In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolks and cream. Pour the egg mixture into the crumbs and knead it together until you have a smooth ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
The nice thing about this tart is that the filling is not baked, so it is very light and airy, but the crust must be baked. Roll out your dough to an even thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. Transfer the dough to your 9-inch tart pan, and press it into the bottom of the pan. Trim around the edge of the pan so there is no dough hanging over. Put the pan into the freezer for 15 minutes. After that time is up, line the tart crust with a large piece of aluminum foil. Fill the foil-lined crust with uncooked rice or beans to weigh it down. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (until the crust is fully dried out). Remove the foil and weight from the pan and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Continue to bake your crust until it is golden brown (about 10 to 15 minutes). Set it aside to cool while you make the cream.
In a large bowl, beat together the mascarpone, cream, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla. Beat on high until stiff peaks form (about 2 or 3 minutes). Use a spatula to spread the sweet mascarpone cream into the cooled tart. Arrange the strawberries (pointed ends up!) on top of the tart. Melt the strawberry jam in a small saucepan. Use a pastry brush to brush the melted jam onto the strawberries.