Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake Mascarpone Tarts

Don’t be fooled. This is not a healthy recipe. Although it has no added sugar, it is very rich and indulgent, thanks to the butter, creamy cheese and refined flour! However, I find that because they aren’t overly ‘sweet’, one is enough to satisfy. My husband disagrees.

I had planned to share this recipe a few weeks ago – to the point where I had made my ‘final’ batch one Sunday afternoon, after a series of test-batches over many weeks, in order to take some photos before we ate them for afternoon tea, pop them on here and publish the post that evening. Unfortunately I had a DREADFUL photo-shoot. Just as I was putting the final touches on the tarts, a dark, dismal storm suddenly appeared over my house, and took all the nice daylight with it. I tried to take some photos anyway, but they were blurry and hideous. It could not be done. I also had three hungry males impatiently waiting for their afternoon tea, so I gave up, feeling pretty sorry for myself (first world problems, hey!?). I shouldn’t complain really – eating strawberry tarts while having a cup of tea on a stormy Sunday afternoon at home is a pretty good situation to be in!

Naturally, the sun came out again as I took my last bite.

But no matter, here we are! Just in time for the end of season strawberries – though feel free to use your favourite fruit – peaches, nectarines, raspberries and sliced banana would be delicious too.

Drizzle melted chocolate over the tarts

 

Strawberry Shortcake Mascarpone Tarts

Makes 4.

  • 120g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting tart tins
  • 60g butter, chilled and roughly chopped, plus extra for greasing tart tins
  • 2 tsp granulated stevia (such as Natvia), optional
  • 4 tsp chilled water
  • 150g mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder, or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 large strawberries
  • 10 almonds, roughly chopped
  • To serve: 10g 85% dark chocolate (yep, one square is all you need!), melted, and/or 1-2 tsp rice malt syrup

1. Process the flour, butter and stevia in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (if using Thermomix: 10 seconds, speed 6). Add the chilled water, and process until the mixture starts to come together (Thermomix: knead for 10-20 seconds). If making the pastry by hand, check out these instructions. Remove from the food processor and knead on a lightly floured surface, into a tight ball. Wrap in cling-film and refridgerate for 10-15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, grease four individual, fluted tart tins, with removable bases, with a butter, and dust with flour, shaking off the excess. The diameter of the base of my tins is 8cm.

3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper, until 2-3mm thick. Place a tart tin over the dough, and cut out a circle 1-2 cm larger than the tin. Set aside the excess dough. You may need to further roll out your dough circle with a rolling pin, to a thickness of 2-3cm. Gently press the pastry into the tart tin, and press away the excess dough. Roll the remaining dough into a ball, and roll it out again, repeating the process for each of the remaining three tins.

Note: If you have leftover pastry, use cookie-cutters to cut out shapes – these can be baked alongside the pastry cases. I made tiny ‘gingerbread’ men!

Gently press the pastry into the tart tin

Gently press the pastry away from the edge of the tart

4. Place the pastry cases on a baking tray, on a sheet of baking paper (I use the baking paper that had been used for rolling out the dough). Cut squares of baking paper, and place in each pastry case. Fill each pastry case with uncooked rice* or baking weights. Blind bake for 15 minutes.

*Uncooked rice used for blind baking cannot be cooked for consumption – I save this rice in a zip-lock bag, and use it only for blind-baking purposes.

Blind-baking

Place baking paper into each pastry case, and fill with uncooked rice or baking weights, to blind bake

5. Carefully remove the baking paper squares with the rice (place the rice into a bowl to cool, before storing in a container or zip-lock bag for future blind-baking) or baking weights. Bake the pastry cases for a further 7-10 minutes, until pastry is lightly browned. Allow to cool in the tins before removing.

6. Combine the mascarpone and the vanilla. Place a heaped teaspoon of mascarpone into each pastry shell, and spread the mixture to cover the bottom of the shell. Top with sliced strawberries. Add another dollop of mascarpone on top if desired, and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Drizzle with melted chocolate or rice malt syrup, if using.

Strawberry tarts

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