Growing up, I had a major sweet tooth. I was caught more than once hoarding chocolate in my bedroom and it’s a wonder it took me until this year to get my first cavity. Now though, I have less of a taste for cloyingly sugary desserts and instead favor more balanced sweets, like this tart that’s filled with a creamy mascarpone custard, lined with a golden crust with a hint of rosemary, and topped with fresh berries. This tart is a great choice for entertaining since the fresh fruit makes it light enough to enjoy after a big meal. Plus, it can be made in advance and will keep well in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. There’s nothing wrong with making it just because, too! That’s what I did, and between P and me, it didn’t last more than a couple days.
My favorite part of this recipe is that while it will look and taste really impressive, it’s actually very accessible. Any home baker can make it, no special bakeware or obscure ingredients necessary. Don’t have a tart pan? Bake it in a casserole dish! Don’t have a rolling pin? Neither do I, and I’m here to say a floured wine bottle works just fine. If you don’t like blueberries, you can swap them for strawberries, or raspberries, or sliced peaches or mangos. And once the recipe is broken down into a few steps, it’s pretty easy to make, too. Okay, now that you’re ready to make your very own fresh fruit tart (yes, YOU!), let’s dig in.
I started by making a simple pastry dough and folding in minced rosemary from our garden to give the crust a hint of savory flavor. The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, and can even be made a day in advance if you’re short on time and need to break the recipe into a couple sessions. Next, I prepared the mascarpone custard; by far, the hardest part of this step is resisting the temptation to eat it all with a spoon while it sits on the counter to cool. While your custard is cooling down, the crust bakes, and once the crust cools, you fill it with the mascarpone custard, top it with the fresh blueberries, and you’re finished!
Blueberry Mascarpone Tart with a Rosemary Crust
Makes one 9-inch tart | Share yours with #craftsandacat
- 8 oz. mascarpone
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
- 2 Tbs. confectioner's sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 3/4 stick, or 3 oz. butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. finely-minced fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbs.+ cold water for the custard
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, or other fruit of your choice
- apricot jelly or preserves (optional) for the crust
- Start by setting your mascarpone, 3 egg yolks and heavy cream out on the counter to come to room temperature.
- To make the dough, stir the confectioner's sugar and salt into the flour in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Add the butter cubes. Using your fingers, pinch the butter and flour mixture together until no more dry flour or pieces of butter remain, and the mixture takes on the texture of breadcrumbs. If the butter starts to melt or feel greasy at any point, stick the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes before continuing. Next, add the egg, rosemary, and 1 Tbs. cold water. Stir well until the mixture comes together, then use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If the dough is too dry and cracks easily, add more cold water, 1/2 Tbs. at a time, until the dough holds. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 Tbs. at a time until it is no longer too sticky to handle. Press the ball of dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight.
- To make the mascarpone custard, make sure the mascarpone, egg yolks and cream have warmed up to room temperature. Simmer some water in a saucepan, and set a mixing bowl over the top. Add your egg yolks and sugar to the bowl, and whisk constantly over the simmering water, taking care not to let the water boil. When you lift the whisk out of the egg mixture, notice how the thin stream of egg disappears almost instantly back into the bowl. Repeat this test every minute or so, watching for the mixture to thicken slightly, and for the stream to stay visible on the surface for a moment before it disappears. This takes 3-4 minutes. Remove the bowl from saucepan and set aside to cool.Once the egg mixture is completely cool, stir in the mascarpone until combined. Then, add the heavy cream a little at a time, stirring into the custard until the desired consistency is reached; it should be easily spreadable, but not so thin that it will run off the crust when the tart is cut. Depending on how thick your egg mixture was, it may take less than the full amount of cream to reach this consistency, so add slowly! Be careful not to overmix once you add the cream; this can cause the custard to become grainy.
- Preheat your oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Flour a large, clean surface and set the chilled dough in the middle. Make sure you flour really thoroughly; you'll thank yourself when it comes time to lift the dough! Roll the dough out to a 1/8 inch thickness (or a little more if you like a thicker crust). Make sure to roll the dough, as pulling on it can cause it to shrink back in the oven. Lift the rolled out dough, and lay gently into a greased tart pan. Make sure the dough is pressed gently into the bottom edges of the pan. If there is a lot of excess dough around the sides of the pan, you can trim it off, but leave enough that the dough goes past the top of the pan. Prick the dough several times with a fork, then line the dough with a piece of parchment paper or foil and weigh it down with pie weights, dried beans or rice, making sure the weights are weighing snugly against the sides of the pan. Both these measures ensure that the crust stays in place and bakes nice and flat.
- Bake until the edges of the crust begin to look golden, 10-15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven, lift out the parchment paper, and return the crust to the oven for 7-10 more minutes, until the bottom of the crust turns a light golden color and the edges are nicely browned. Set aside to cool completely. You can use a knife to trim the excess crust from the top of the tart pan for a more traditional look, but I left mine intact since my tart pan doesn't have a removable bottom, and I wanted to be able to see the crust while it was still in the pan.
- Spread the custard evenly into the crust, then top with the fresh berries. If you want to give the fruit that fresh-from-the-patisserie shine, heat 2 Tbs. apricot jelly or preserves with 1 Tbs. water until melted (a microwave works just as well as the stove!). If you use preserves, you can use cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to remove pieces of fruit from the glaze. Brush the mixture over the fruit. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Enjoy! If you try this recipe at home, I’d love to hear how it turns out.