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Lemon Mascarpone Tarts

This image courtesy of Michael Maes

Mascarpone cheese is a rich, silky Italian triple-cream cheese. It has become widely known and readily available because it is used in the ubiquitous Tiramisu. Purchase lemon curd to simplify the preparation of these beautiful tarts. You can use any colorful combination of fresh fruit for toppings: strawberries, raspberries, and kiwi fruit sparkle with color.

NotesBaker’s Note: If the lemon curd is cold, it will stiffen the cream immediately. Don’t over mix or the mascarpone will curdle.

Makes8 tarts

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, sweet, tart

Type of Dishdessert, tart

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (182 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
  • ½ cup (114 g) cold butter, cut-up
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) ice water
  • 8 ounces (224 g) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup (236 mL) whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup (79 mL) lemon curd, room temperature (see below)
  • Fresh fruit
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (118 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon (10 mL) grated lemon peel
  • ¼ cup (57 g) butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Instructions

  1. To Make the Lemon Curd:

  2. Combine all ingredients in a heavy, small-size saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Bring mixture just to the point where some bubbles rise and sauce has thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Use a silicone spatula for stirring, and cook until sauce coats the spatula. When you draw your finger across the back of the spatula, the path should remain. Strain into small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

  3. Heat oven to 425°F (220°C) with oven rack in middle.

  4. To Make the Crust:

  5. Place flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor bowl. Pulse about 5 times to mix. Add butter. Process until coarse crumbs form with some pea-sized pieces. Add 3 tablespoons (45 mL) ice water and process until dough begins to clump together. Process about 10 seconds. If large clumps do not form, add a little more water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Place dough on well-floured work surface and gather it together.

  6. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Press each into bottoms of 8 (3-inch [7.5-cm]) tart pans. Press firmly against sides of pans. Pierce crusts generously with a fork.

  7. Place tart shells on a baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until crusts are nicely browned. Cool to room temperature before filling. Gently release shells from the pans.

  8. To Make the Filling:

  9. Beat mascarpone cheese and whipping cream on low speed in bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Scrape down sides of bowl. Increase mixer to high speed and beat until soft peaks form. Reduce mixer speed to medium.

  10. Add powdered sugar and beat until mixed. By hand, stir in lemon curd. There can still be some streaks remaining. Divide the lemon cream into the tart shells.

  11. Garnish with fresh fruit and refrigerate. Tarts can be made 4 hours ahead.

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