Sunday, August 29, 2010
With our little “heavy cooking” problem we made it a goal to come up with a dessert that was a bit lighter in flavor and went well with the summer season. What was the solution? Mascarpone Cheese Tart with fresh berries and a strawberry sauce. What is Mascarpone you ask?? Well, let me introduce you to this very pleasant creamy cheese! Mascarpone is basically the Italian version of cream cheese. The difference between to two is the Mascarpone is slightly lighter in flavor and holds its shape when added to dish better than regular old cream cheese.
For a summer pool party or dinner party it is a nice ending to a fabulous meal and would go well at the end of a steak dinner or even after a classic BBQ feast. If you are a “wino” such as myself you could also pair it with a nice sweet Mascato D' Asti or a dark Port wine.
We hope this inspires your culinary adventures for the upcoming Labor Day holiday and hopefully your summer was wonderful and your fall will be even better!
Mascarpone Cheese Tart with Berries and Strawberry Sauce
8 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
4 oz. Cream Cheese
1 oz. Lemon and lime zest
Juice of 1 lemon and Lime
¼ cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
Seasonal Berries (example: raspberries and blueberries)
½ cup of vanilla wafer crumbs
¼ cup of chopped pecans
2 tablespoons melted butter
Pinch of salt
¼ cup of brown sugar
½ cup water
2 cups strawberries
2-3 leaves of fresh mint
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
Pinch of salt
Crust: Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Place the wafers and pecans in a food processor and process to a fine crumb. Add salt and melted butter until the crumb moistens. In a tart pan press the wafer mixture covering the bottom 1/8 inch thick. Bake in oven for 5-10 minutes.
Filling: In a mixing bowl combine the mascarpone cheese and the regular cream cheese. After that is mixed well add the zest and juice. After that is completely mixed add the powdered sugar and salt to taste. Once the crust has cooled, smooth the filling over the crust, then add your fruit topping. Chill for a few minutes to set or make the night before for best results.
Sauce: In a sauce pan dissolve your brown sugar in your water to make a simple syrup over medium to high heat. Once this has happened add your strawberries. Cook the strawberries until they have broken down to a pulp. Put the mixture through a sieve and strain out the pulp. Bring the juice back to the sauce pan and steep you mint leaves in the juice over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. Add the butter and flower to thicken mixture. Fish out the mint leaves and let the mixture reduce, 10 minutes, until the sauce coats the back of your spoon. Once this has happened chill then serve over your cheese tart.
Preparation time: 30-40 minutes