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Monday, January 28, 2019

Mascarpone, cranberry and pistachio tart

I made this as a modern version of Pasca (a Romanian Easter cake) during the Easter holidays of 2013, when I was visiting my parents back home. Tradition calls for a tart filled with sweetened cream cheese with eggs and dried fruits (raisins, usually). Here, I made it creamier by using mascarpone and by filling it with cranberries and pistachios for a more interesting mix. It was really delicious, moderately easy to make and the flavors reminded me of Italian desserts. 

You can ignore the ethnic background and the fact that I took inspiration from the Pasca cake for it and just look at it as a cream pie or tart. It won't be that different from other sweet pies and tarts. But what it will be for certain is delicious. Enjoy :)

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Patatas alioli (Spanish tapa).
Five years ago: Avocado "fries" in Parmesan coating (raw).
Six years ago: British country apple cake.
Seven years ago: Creamy potato and artichoke salad (very light).
Eight years ago: Bacon and eggs breakfast with a fresh touch (British) and Vegetable stock from scratch.

Ingredients (for a 9 inch or 23 cm tart tin with removable bottom):

For the crust:
  • 150 g butter
  • 250 g flour
  • 100 g powder sugar
  • 1 egg yolk + 2 teaspoons water
For the filling:
  • 500 g mascarpone cheese
  • 100 sugar
  • 1 egg white + 1 egg
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 75 g pistachio kernels

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Let the cranberries soak in the rum (preferably a night before making the tart).
Make the crust: Mix the flour with the powder sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and rub it in the flour mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and the water and mix the whole thing into a smooth dough. Press it into the bottom and sides of the tart tin and prick it with a fork all over.

Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes (optional, only if past experiences with your oven made you fear pie shell shrinking). Bake it then for 15 minutes in the preheated oven (with baking paper and beans or without).

Meanwhile make the filling. Mix the mascarpone cheese with the sugar, egg while and the egg in a large bowl. Add the pistachios and the cranberries (with any remaining rum from their soaking bowl). Mix again and the filling is done. 
When the tart shell is out of the oven (after those 15 minutes), pour the filling into it:

Return it to the oven for another 30 minutes. Take out and allow it to cool a bit:

Remove from the tin, slice and dig in! :)

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