Berry Tart

Every year the mother of my best friend from high school invites me to her 4th of July party. Mrs. Mull knows I like to cook so she encourages me, “Of course you’ll bring something wonderful to the party, Elise; I would be so disappointed if you didn’t!” At 79, Dorothy knows exactly what to say to inspire me to do my best. This year, the goal was a berry tart – blueberries and red berries on a white filling – so patriotic! My father and I experimented with several tarts in preparation for today, and this one was definitely the best. It’s based on a recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook, but with a different crust.

Berry Tart Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 8.

Ingredients

Tart Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds or almond flour (can substitute regular flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4-6 Tbsp ice cold water

Filling

  • 1 cup (8 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 1 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/3 cup strawberries - stems removed and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp orange marmalade
  • 2 Tbsp berry liqueur such as creme de cassis
  • Equipment needed: Food processor, a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom

Method

Pre-bake the Crust

1 In a food processor, combine flour, ground almonds, salt and sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add almond extract to 4 Tbsp of ice water, then add the almond water to the flour and pulse a few times to incorporate. Add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough begins to clump together. Remove the dough from the food processor and form into a ball onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a disc, 5-inches wide. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

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The dough pictured is ready to take out of the food processor.

2 Remove the dough disc from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Carefully place dough into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press dough into pan; have the dough come up 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the tart pan. Put tart pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.

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3 Preheat oven to 375°F. Take tart pan out of freezer and poke the bottom in several places with a fork. Line with aluminum foil, with enough extra foil off the two of the sides to use for lifting. Fill with pie weights - beans, ceramic or stainless pie weights. Place a shallow baking pan on the bottom rung of the oven to catch drippings. Put the tart pan in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the pie weights. (I lift the hot beans out by holding on to the aluminum foil and place the foil and beans into a large bowl to cool before storing.) Return the tart pan to the oven for 10-15 more minutes - bake until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Assemble the tart

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4 In a medium bowl, using a hand electric mixer or stand mixer, beat together the mascarpone, cream, and sugar at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Scoop mixture into tart crust, and spread so that it is level.

5 Combine marmalade and liqueur into a small saucepan and heat on medium heat until well mixed. If you are using a liqueur that is not sweet, you might want to add a teaspoon of sugar. Cook down to 3 Tbsp. Put berries into a bowl and pour the marmalade mixture over the berries. Use a large rubber spatula to gently mix the berries so they are all well coated with the marmalade mixture. Use a slotted spoon to lift up the berries from their bowl and place on the mascarpone cream.

Remove the rim of the tart pan before serving. (You may need to use a knife to gently separate the edges of the tart from the pan.)

Note: The marmalade and liqueur mixture brings added sweetness, berry flavor, and citrus acidity to the tart. The acid from the citrus sharpens the flavor of the berries. If you don't have marmalade on hand, and don't want to buy some just for this recipe, you might try making a berry coating with sugar, water, and a little lemon juice and lemon zest.

10 Comments

  1. motee

    I brought this to a neighbouhood bbq and it was the star! A really fantastic tart. The crust is the best I’ve made.
    Thanks!

  2. Latha

    I made 3 berry tarts for summer party at my son’s daycare. It was wiped off within minutes. I didn’t have orange marmalade so used a home-made cherry marmalade… it was on the sweeter side but nevertheless excellent. And once the base is kept ready it’s very easy to assemble. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  3. Christine

    I’ve made this tart so many times I’ve lost count! Absolutely delicious. Any tips on keeping the fruit topping whole and fresh looking? I find that the berries get soft and a lot of liquid is released after adding the the marmalade mixture. Even a slotted spoon doesn’t help.

  4. maiflower

    Oh my gosh, this is the best berry tart recipe! EVER! people listen…this is a winner. I made this for my dad on Father’s Day, and it was absolutely perfect! For my glaze, I added just a tad of hot water because it was a little too sweet for me. Thank you for sharing this recipe

  5. Jean

    I made this tart a year ago for the Fourth of July, and it was OUTSTANDING!!!! The almonds in the crust were fabulous. I’m off to the store to get ingredients for this year’s tart.

  6. Paula

    This is an excellent summer dessert, esp. impressive for company. My tart pan had shorter sides so the quantity of fruit (4 cups) was a little much, but I managed to get it all in the crust and everyone loved it. We served 9 at the table and had an extra piece left over for my husband and I to share the next day. I was concerned about assembling it too far in advance – afraid the bottom would get soggy. I had no choice; no time to do it closer to serving time. I assembled it around 3:00 and served it at 9:00. All went well – no soggy bottom. Thanks for the recipe, Elise, It’s definitely a keeper.

  7. Carol

    I needed a quick not-too-heavy dessert for a dinner with the in-laws so I gave this a whirl. It was AMAZING! So flavorful and summery, and not at all overly sweet or rich. I used amaretto with the orange marmalade, and I added a little bit of the marmalade to the mascarpone as well. I will definitely make this again (soon), and I can’t wait to experiment with different fruit combinations. (I think I’m going to try blackberries & blueberries with Saskatoon berry jam.) I can’t believe I waited so long try this recipe. Thank you Elise!

  8. Sharon

    Looks lovely! Planning on making mini tarts, but I’m wondering how long this can last in the fridge before I give them out as gifts? Thanks!

    Your guess is as good as mine. ~Elise

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