Tuesday, June 10, 2008

La Palette's Strawberry Tart w. Mascarpone Ice Cream (TWD)

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie selection, La Palette’s Strawberry Tart, comes courtesy from Marie at A Year From Oak Cottage. This selection couldn’t have come at a better time, as my local farmers market is teeming with a wide array of gorgeous fruit. There were so many choices that I had a hard time deciding what to buy: gaviota strawberries or golden raspberries, blackberries or yellow peaches, blueberries or plums? Previously, my answer would have been “all of the above”. I would bring home so much fruit that my bewildered hubby would ask what mob I was planning to feed (at home it is just the two of us). Exercising some self control this time, I whittled my choices down to two: gaviota strawberries and blackberries.

I LOVED this recipe, as we had the opportunity to improvise as much as we wanted to suit individual tastes. Aside from baking the tart shell, this was an exercise of assembling the components (which left me more time to enjoy my weekend!). Here is my take on the recipe:

- Instead of using large tart pan, I went with two individual tartlette pans. I ended up making the full tart shell recipe, using half and freezing the other half.
- Blackberry and strawberry jams were used for the base.
- I didn’t bother tossing the fruit in sugar as both berries was perfectly ripe and super-sweet. I did sprinkle some blackberry liqueur on the blackberries and put a few drops of really good, aged balsamic vinegar on the strawberries (This is a DELICIOUS combination --- the balsamic really enhances the sweetness of the berries. Make sure to use a high quality, aged balsamic vinegar)
- Omitted the black pepper.
- Instead of crème fraiche/whipped cream, mascarpone ice cream stepped in to accompany the tart. This delicious ice cream is a twist on a crème fraiche version featured in David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop (the recipe is below). As I have plenty of ice cream left, I need to figure out what to do with the rest of the ice cream (tiramisu bombe, ice cream sandwich, affogato, more tartlettes?). I promise to post on this later.

Overall, this is a really terrific recipe! The strawberry tart definitely took an Italian turn with the balsamic and mascarpone, and the blackberry version was a perfect balance of tart and sweet. The crunchy shortbread-like crust and juicy berries were nicely complemented by the creamy, not over-the-top sweet ice cream. This tart recipe will be making many appearances at my house this summer!

Often, the best desserts are the simplest ones, and I’m glad we didn’t overlook this delicious recipe. Dorie Greenspan highlighted this recipe last summer at Serious Eats, so if you’re interested in creating this yourself (I highly encourage you to do so), here is the link. To check out the yummy creations of my fellow bakers, check out Tuesdays With Dorie.

Mascarpone Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 1 Quart

1 C whole milk
3/4 C vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
2 C mascarpone

- Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then pour the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until it thickens. If you're using a candy thermometer, warm the mixture to 170F. Pour the custard through a strainer and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
- Once cool, whisk in the mascarpone, then freeze in an ice cream maker.


Engineer Baker said...

Balsamic vinegar on the strawberries? Mascarpone ice cream? Is this shippable?!?

Gretchen Noelle said...

Your pictures are stunning! Great job! I will second the balsamic vinegar - great combo!

Bumblebutton said...

If I had that many local fruit choices I would overwhelm my family too! Nice twists on things!

Jules Someone said...

Your photography is gorgeous! What a way to dress up a simple recipe. Yum.

CB said...

I'll take a scoop of the mascarpone ice cream please! Beautiful pictures. Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

ostwestwind said...

Glad that the strawberry season had just begun and not the blackberry season. I'll try it with blackberries in autumn, great idea.

And I had to make some mascarpone icecream, great job!

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Lynnylu said...

I've seen balsamic vinegar on strawberries in a Michael Chiarella cookbook I have. Gosh, your photos are beautiful. Love the mascarpone ice cream!

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

Balsamic and mascarpone ... nice. These photos are amazing.


Stephanie said...

Your pictures are amazing!

Anonymous said...

That ice cream sounds amazing. Good combination, I am sure.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

those look so beautiful, and the berries are amazing-looking! i was actually surprised that dorie didn't suggest balsamic...it goes so well with strawberries, and i'm sure it was perfect in this tart!

Christine said...

Love balsamic vinegar on strawberries! Great choices your tarts look great!

Heather said...

Great job! The balsamic vinegar with the strawberries sounds delicious! And the ice cream....yummmm!

Karen said...

they look beautiful, great job on the photos. balsamic vinegar and the mascarpone ice cream are great ideas for additions. :)

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are gorgeous. I bet the balsamic strawberries were amazing!

Susie Homemaker said...

Amazing job - and beautiful photos, too!

Carol Peterman said...

Stunning photos. I can't wait for berries like that to be ripe in the Northwest. I see more berry tarts in my future. Nice job!

Claudia said...

Wow, mascarpone ice cream with these delicious tarts. Could heaven be closer?

Liliana said...

Great idea to use the different fruits. Balsamic vinegar does taste great on strawberries! And Mascarpone ice cream? WOW!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

It's David & Dorie together again! ;-) God love them both for making my taste buds so happy and my thighs so plump! LOL!

Love the balsamic vinegar idea and will definitely try that next time. I'm jealous of your local market's berry bonanza, cause I've not seen much of that here, but then again, I'm in Northern Europe, go figure.

I've made David's mascarpone ice cream before and it's sinful! How many recipes have you made from his book. I got it at the end of last summer, so besides some fun this winter, I feel like I'm only now just discovering all the goodness. This could also be because I love his French Vanilla so...

Piggy said...

really love the twist that you gave to the recipe... balsamic vinegar on strawberries sounds divine! that's what i like abt this group, I've learned so much from everyone! :-)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I adore your tartlets! They look totally droolworthy! I also used blackberries. Great job!

Mary Ann said...

Absolutely breathtaking! It looks delicious

Shari said...

I like the idea of balsamic and strawberries. I've never heard of gaviota strawberries, but they sound sweet. And the mascarpone ice cream sounds perfect with this dessert!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Linda said...

Mari -
Thanks for your comments! I bought David Lebovitz's book just last year, and my copy is definitely well worn. I like the fact that he is shameless about using heaving cream and half and half...that's how you enjoy ice cream! I do agree that his french vanilla is to die for (it's my hubby's fav. This was tough to whittle down, but favorite "go-to" recipes are:

malted milk (my #1 fav)
roasted banana
toasted almond & candied cherry tiramisu
chocolate (using the really good chocolate)

Have fun and I'd love to hear about your ice cream making this summer!

Natashya said...

Beautiful close-ups.
I'll have to try it with balsamic vinegar next time.
I just bought DL's book and look forward to this ice cream recipe.
These tarts are definitely on the - if I could have only one dessert for the rest of my life... list!

Steph said...

I love your pictures, the close up, colour and clarity is amazing.. now if only I could get my camera to stop over or underexposing! Your tarts look so delicious, now I really need to run out and get some berries!

Jacque said...

Wow, they're gorgeous! Lucky you to find such lovely fruit.

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