Monday, September 6, 2010

Blueberry, Mascarpone and Gingersnap Tart

There are just some recipes that stir up some substantial giddiness within my little cyber heart and I can hardly wait to post them. This one here is no exception and in the process of baking it, eating it, and now typing it out, it's become vividly apparent that Mascarpone cheese is a new favorite edible luxury of mine. Therefore, I should not be left alone in the kitchen with it, especially when mixed with sugar and sour cream. It's a deadly little species of heaven.

One thing I loved about the filling was its versatility and adaptability. My mind had continuing imaginations of this lovely Mascarpone-based custard paired with a vanilla wafer crust and sliced strawberries on top, or a chocolate wafer crust with raspberries... and to be get uber simplistic, sandwiched between two normal, every day graham crackers wouldn't be so tragic either.

The original recipe, as you may or may not check out, calls for sliced nectarines. Unfortunately, the nectarines I had purchased were not in tip top shape to use for such an exquisite tart. And no, it was not our little destroying toddler angel who laid hands on them and squashed them to smitherines. I'm no Sherlock Holmes but somehow in the process of transporting them home and 3 days later when I went to use them, they were a sorry sight, covered in over ripeness and bruising. Anyhow, the stone fruit thing became history and in exchange I partied up with some blueberries. Believe you me, it was no disappointment. Plus, seeing that this was served at a baby shower for my SIL who is expecting a boy, well, the blue from the blueberries seemed to be appropriate.

Blueberry Mascarpone Gingersnap Crust
{Adapted from Bon Appetit July 2002}

9 ounces of store-bought gingersnap cookies (about 3 cups of crushed cookies)
3/4 stick of butter, melted (about 6 Tbsp)


1 8-ounce container Mascarpone cheese, room temp
6 ounces cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup sour cream (the real stuff, bitte)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups fresh blueberries, stems removed
Lemon peel, for garnish, if desired

To make the crust, place cookies in a food processor and grate until fine. Transfer to bowl and mix with melted butter until the cookie mixture is evenly moistened. Place in a tart pan or a 9-inch springform pan (that's what I used), using your fingers to evenly spread it out, and bake in a 350 oven for about 8 minutes or until just done. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients until smooth (remember, you want both the cheeses at room temperature to ensure that the mixture is lump free). Spoon this into your crust.

Sprinkle blueberries all over the filling and grate lemon peel on top for garnish. Refrigerate until ready to serve (though, I would advise you to make this as close to serving time as possible-- you can make the crust and filling one day ahead of time and then assemble right before serving).

The end.

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