Very Berry Mascarpone Tart
This delightful dessert is a great use of mascarpone cheese, the Italian version of cream cheese. The creamy mascarpone layer softly nestles colorful berries in a light crust. We love the rustic look of colorful berries piled up in no particular order, but you could arrange the berries in a symmetrical pattern too. Substitute any fresh fruit you like, such as peaches or figs. Just be sure the fruit is ripe and in season.
- 1 refrigerated Gourmet Pie Crust
- 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 (8-oz) container Mascarpone Cheese, softened at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest (optional)
- 1 pint fresh raspberries or strawberries
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 1 pint fresh blackberries
- Preheat oven to 450° F. Don't forget to let mascarpone cheese soften at room temperature. Otherwise it will be impossible to fold into the whipped cream.
- Place pie crust in a 10-inch tart pan or regular pie pan. Press evenly along bottom and sides and cut off any excess crust. Prick crust in several places with a fork. For a perfectly shaped crust, place a layer of wax paper on top of the crust and fill with raw beans or rice (you can put the cooled beans or rice back in your pantry). Skip this step if you don't mind more casual-looking crust. Cook for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let crust cool completely.
- Using an electric mixer, beat heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-mix. Stir in softened mascarpone cheese, salt, and lemon zest until combined. Spread mascarpone mixture evenly on bottom of cooled crust.
- Arrange berries on top of mascarpone mixture.
Wona Miniati received degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and an MBA from Stanford. Born in Korea and raised in Venezuela, Miniati was exposed to international cuisines from a young age. Following her mother in the kitchen as the apprentice ¯sous-chef? was her favorite pastime as a child. As an adult, it dawned on her that preparing delicious, gourmet food did not have to mean spending all day in the kitchen. Miniati lives in San Francisco with her husband and two kids.
Gunn and Miniati grew up in homes where cooking was all-important and meals were always shared at an inviting family table. They met while in college at MIT and became fast friends. During their years in Boston, their exposure to food continued to grow, whether it was the spicy Dun Dun noodles at the local hole-in-the-wall Central Square Chinese restaurant or the amazing paella and sangria in Harvard Square. Through necessity, as their lives became more hectic juggling kids and full-time jobs, they discovered ways to become fast and efficient cooks. Rather than resort to fast-food or frozen dinners, they found that by using prepped ingredients at Trader Joe's, it suddenly became completely doable to eat homemade meals every day and throw dinner parties without breaking a sweat. Time and time again, as they shopped the aisles at Trader Joe's, they overheard people saying, ¯What do you do with quinoa? How do you use tapenade? What goes well with ricotta-stuffed chicken? Before they knew it, they had written a cookbook.