Summer Berry Mascarpone Tart


This is the ultimate summer tart!  It is just everything you image when you think of a summery dessert!  I love the way the pastry stays wonderfully crisp and the mascarpone cream with the hint of orange blossom water is totally insane.  It seems like a lot to do but it’s actually pretty straight forward and this tart would make an incredible gift for a dinner party.  I made it for my mum’s birthday and it went down a storm!  Do it and please let me know what you think.  

Serves 12


For the spelt tart base

330g spelt flour

Pinch of sea salt

100g unrefined icing sugar (caster sugar if you don’t have it)

170g unsalted cold butter, diced

1 medium egg yolk

For the filling

500g mascarpone cheese

250ml double cream

4tbsp unrefined icing sugar

2-3 tsp orange blossom water

seeds from 1 vanilla pod

For the topping

400g frozen or fresh blueberries

few drops of lemon juice

50g unrefined caster sugar

200g raspberries

unrefined icing sugar for dusting

Begin by making the spelt pastry.  Place the flour, icing sugar and pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and stir everything together.  Add the diced butter and use your hands to knead the butter into the flour mix.  You can use a blender or a mixer if you have one for this part otherwise by hand works fine.  Once all the butter has crumbled into the flour it will soon start to come together and then add the egg yolk.  If the mix gets a little sticky you can use a wooden spoon to bring it all together into a ball and then wrap in cling film tightly to rest in the fridge for at least an hour or even overnight.  To speed things up I sometimes put the dough in the freezer for the last 20 minutes so that I can grate it easily later on. 

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and lightly butter a 23cm loose bottom fluted tart dish.   Place this tart tin into the fridge and remove the pastry at the same time.   Now use a grater to grate the pastry on the larger grater setting.  This is a good tip because it means that you handle the pastry less and it keeps cooler.  Grate almost all of it and then bring back the pastry tin.  Evenly mould the pastry into the dish and create an even thin layer of about 1cm thick paying attention to make neat edges.   You might have some pastry leftover which can be frozen for another time.  Blind bake in the oven for 15 minutes with either baking beans or uncooked rice.  After 15 minutes carefully remove the baking beans and baking paper and cook for another 15 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden.  Leave this to cool before removing from the tin and lay out on a large flat serving plate.  The base can be made the day before and can stay fresh if covered properly.

While the tart bakes add the blueberries into a saucepan and set to a medium to high heat.  Add the caster sugar, lemon juice and cook for about 10 minutes before removing from the heat.  It will take a little longer with frozen fruit but here you just want to soften the fruit and create a little syrup.  You want the blueberries to remain mostly whole.  Scrape into a bowl and put to one side to cool.

For the filling add the double cream, icing sugar, orange blossom water, vanilla seeds from the vanilla pod and use a hand whisker to beat the cream until light and fluffy.  Next add the mascarpone and whip everything together for about a minute or two until it is combined and looks thick and luscious.  Keep covered in the fridge until needed.

Assemble the tart just before serving and layer up the cream into the tart case, spoon the blueberry compote on top and dot the raspberries hole-side down over the tart.  Dust over generously with icing sugar and eat straight away.  

Nina ParkerComment