by Karin Calloway
Strawberries are in season, so take advantage of the bumper crop with this Strawberry Mascarpone Tart. The tart combines a layer of mascarpone mousse with sliced fresh strawberries atop a puff pastry crust.
Frozen puff pastry is a boon for busy cooks. Look for it in the freezer section of your supermarket. This recipe uses one sheet, so wrap the remaining pastry sheet tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for another use. When pushed for time, a prepared graham cracker crust also works well in place of the puff pastry.
The puff pastry will rise during baking. It is wonderful sliced open and filled with the tart ingredients for a giant Napoleon. However, I opted to deflate the pastry after it came out of the oven for a flatter crust. Simply place a clean pie plate on top of the pastry and weigh it down with a can or other heavy object while it cools.
Mascarpone cheese is a standard Italian dessert cheese with a texture similar to American cream cheese. Here, it’s combined with granulated sugar, whipped cream and a bit of fresh lemon juice to make a mascarpone mousse. The puff pastry can be spread with the mascarpone mousse early in the day. Top with the strawberries just before serving for a wonderful taste of the season.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with the puff pastry sheet, trimming to fit. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and deflate by placing a pie plate and can or other heavy item atop the crust. Set aside to cool.
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup (1/2 pint) whipping cream, whipped
- Fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and sliced
Combine mascarpone, sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Fold in whipped cream and spread over the cooled puff pastry crust. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, arrange sliced strawberries on top of mousse in decorative pattern.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.