It’s been a crazy few days. I’ve gone back to a life I enjoy. Phew! Took me one and a half years to rediscover it! If you’re wondering what’s been going on, I just got a new job — in the food industry — and, at 10 minutes walking distance from my home. What could be better? Plus, I have a work space of my own where I am isolated from any noise (something I enjoy the most while working in my zone) or people.
And of course, nothing could stop me from browsing through food blogs. It’s my favourite thing to do, especially at work! I read recipes, put aside ones that I want to try and then share all the excitement with my sister, Tripti, and my friend Fatema, who are both amazing bakers.
So, Fatema recently posted a picture of her strawberry tart on her Facebook photo album called Food Delights, and I was instantly hooked! I dream of making the classic apple pie — which I just love — lemon meringue tarts, quiches, fruit tarts, etc, you get the gist. But, I’m too scared of getting the tart shell all wrong; it is tricky, you know! But, Fatty (which is what we call her with much love) just clinched it, and I’m so inspired! So, I requested and cajoled her to put up a guest post on this blog, and finally had to threaten her till she did it!
This is what it looked like. *drool
Don’t you love the monkey and the design?
And, here’s what she had to write…
Hey everyone in the blog world and beyond! Now, I’m not on cloud no. 9 since Shanti here asked me to write a guest post! Well, that’s because I’m 80% nervous and 20% annoyed, and I have my reasons — I can’t write, I don’t have a blog and I don’t know what to say! I just bake for fun and part personal therapy (let’s not go there!). So, yeah she dragged me out of my happy place to write a post here, and I think I’ll just oblige, because she’s a real good friend and has always helped me overcome my fears! 🙂
So, one day, in my baking spree, I came across this really easy tart recipe, which I wanted to experiment with since I’d never tried making a tart or pie before, and the directions looked simple enough! I got the recipe from this website and halved it to fit in my 8-inch tart tin. Now, the no-bake part is the filling part; you still have to bake the tart! Another reason I wanted to bake this was to see what the big deal with mascarpone cheese is. Well, the deal is it’s very rich and creamy and a tad bit sour (unlike sour cream), and it’s very soft, which makes the filling in the tart lick-clean delicious! However, mascarpone is expensive, but there are various recipes where you can make it at home or just use a substitute! Also, also the original is a peach tart; I used strawberries since they were in season, and they sat fresh, plump and pretty as a red picture on my tart!
No-bake strawberry tart
- Add the flour, sugar and salt in the food processor and pulse twice to mix.
- Scatter the butter over the flour mix and pulse 7 or 8 times to cut in the butter.
- Add the yolk and pulse 2 -3 times to incorporate.
- Now, fluff the mixture with a fork and then add your ice water, pulse 5 or 6 times or until the dough
- begins to form clumps. Do not let the dough form a ball on the blade!
- The dough should look like coarse crumbs. Dump onto a floured work area and form into
- a ball, then flatten into a disc,wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
- After the dough has chilled, remove the disc from the refrigerator and allow to warm up for 5
- minutes; then roll out the dough until you have a disc big enough for your tart pan.
- Mold the dough to fit the pan and cover the inside with a round of parchment paper, fill
- with dried beans or pie weights and bake at 175 degrees C for 10-12 minutes.
- Allow the tart shell to cool completely before filling.
Note: 1) Since it was my first time with pastry dough, I panicked when my dough didn’t stay together while rolling out. But, with a quick tip from the net, I balled it up again, refrigerated it for 15-20 mins more and tried again, and it worked! Since I’m not a professional, here’s why. In sum, the dough should be cool. I guess you could do it the old fashioned way; maybe the food processor makes it difficult, it did work for me! But, just a suggestion. 🙂
2) Do not over bake! I think mine was done within around 8-9 mins! But following the recipe, I kept it for 11 mins and it developed a light brown colour by then, which made my crust a little harder than required! So, I suggest, monitor your crust; if it begins to brown, its done!
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, blend the mascarpone and cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar
- until smooth and creamy.
- Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and mix well.
- In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks appear and fold it into the mascarpone
- Spread the mixture into the tart crust.*
- Top with the strawberry slices.
- Refrigerate the tart at least 1 hour or overnight before serving.
*You might have some extra pie crust and cheese filling left over. Try make mini tarts if you have the tins, top with any fresh fruit you have. I did it in a cupcake tin but forgot the pie weights. It didn’t look very appealing; so, I spread the leftover filling and ate it quietly in the kitchen. 😉 And, what do you know, it was the same crazy delicious!
So, here’s a cool dessert for no particular occasion. Just try it and enjoy it while you do. And, then with every bite you take, a delightful calm will wash over you and your insides will smile just like the person watching you eat it! Hahaha…not in a creepy way, in the jealous way! 😛 And, Shanti this was fun, but let’s not do this again! Love you and your blog and most importantly all the fabulous food!