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.