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In place of the balsamic I use a lightly sweetened rum Sauce and let it sink in for afew hours before serving and use small puff or pie crust tart shells for it.
This comes from my childhood roots in the Newark NJ area and an Italian bakery called Ditti Ferrara’s.
I’ve lived in florida for 15 years now and I haveta tell ya that although the climate is wonderful, you can’t get decent pizza, Italian bread, Italian cooking or pastry unless you make it yourself.
I don’t miss shoveling snow but I sure miss the food. Our extended family had Italian, polish, a lithuanian or two and mostly Irish folk (whose food Isn’t worth mentioning).
I had a Sicilian uncle–by marriage– who was the best Italian cook ever. He taught me how to make tomato sauce, meatballs , sausage and bracciola as well as veal dishes.
So I rarely dine out Italian down here in Tampa Bay because mine is better–and cheaper. And I’m pretty sure my Uncle Fred would back me up on this if he were alive. He was a carpenter and although I couldn’t saw a piece of wood or hammer a nail to his satisfaction, he raved about my saltimboca and spinach. then of course, he whacked me in the head and told me I should follow his instructions instead of inventing. He was one of my heroes.
Jim Grannon (an Irish Jersey boy)
Sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing your story Jim. If we could all have a Sicilian uncle to teach us the proper way to cook Italian food. :-)
just tried this filling and a pastry dough. it is awesome. i didn’t have any ricotta so i used sour cream with the mascarpone and it was very rich like cheese cake. but light at the same time like a fruit dip. which in my opinion is a good thing.
i am so glad i came across your recipe it is very hard to find good recipes that have to do with mascarpone and berries in a tart type dish that doesn’t necessarily need ricotta. or that only used ricotta which i can’t seem to keep around very long. we had extra filling and pastry but no more berries so i am going to go back to the store and get me some and make another one for my friend.
Just baked this. It’s great!!!!! I cut the sugar down somewhat, though.
FABULOUS!!! I’m really glad a poster above asked about this sitting over night because I was going to let it. Now I won’t! I’ll assemble tomorrow afternoon for dinner.
Also, for your reader from China, here’s a sub I used.
I live in rural Virginia and none of the stores in my area carry mascarpone on a regular basis. I’ve used this recipe a couple of times with great results.
I’m eating this for breakfast right now. SO GOOD! I know, I shouldn’t be eating it for breakfast, but I can’t help it!
This is a great Valentine’s day recipe. I made a version of this with bananas (dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning), chocolate crust, and strawberries on top: http://i47.tinypic.com/axk31d.jpg
Love the idea of bananas! Very pretty. ~Elise
OK, just finished it. Decided to use a mixture of marscapone and whipped cream. Think it will be amazing but wont know until I get it into work tomorrow. Have to say, my strawberries are much smaller than the ones in the photo so it doesn’t look nearly as good but I bet it will be TASTASTIC!
i tried this recipe, and while overall it was quite good, two things went wrong:
1) the tart crust (which you referenced here) shrank and became very tough
2) the balsamic glaze just didn’t taste quite right
in the first case, i’m guessing that my attempt to short-cut the re-chilling of the dough caused the butter (yes, real butter) to warm too much, also perhaps my dough was overly dry.
in the second, i bought some balsamic vinegar (7 yrs) just for the purpose, reduced it a little too much, and the flavor just didn’t blend with the strawberries so well.
do you need to spend $45+ on some balsamic to get a good one for dessert use?
or does my palette just not “get it”?
This recipe turned out to be wonderful! I was disappointed I must say the next day when I noticed on the left over tart the balsamic syrup had discolored the marscapone. I used a very dark thick balsamic vinegar. I wondered if there was a way to avoid the darkening affect or did I do something wrong? It still tasted delicious.
I don’t think this tart is something that holds up well for the next day. ~Elise
This dessert is an absolute show stopper! Thank you! I am not a dessert cook – mostly, I ask the guests to bring dessert when we’re having a dinner. This may change things.
I used a gingersnap cookie crust which was too stiff/hard when slicing. I will definitely do the puff pastry thing next time. I did not add sugar to the mascarpone and it was lovely without it.
One question, is it meant to be 2 pounds of strawberries then hulled and quartered? Or 2 pounds of hulled and quartered strawberries? I did the latter and it seemed like a lot of strawberries. No complaints, though!
Again, many thanks!
That would be 2 pounds of strawberries that you then hull and quarter. ~Elise
Though I cheated on the crust, I think the chocolate adds a little something extra special combined with the mascarpone and strawberries. Plus, it saved me bundles of time!
See photo here:
Very pretty! ~Elise
Despite being bleary-eyed and sort of sick of msacarpone with strawberries at this point (I stayed up until 2 am last night making 3″ cocoa-coconut flour [GF] pancake sandwiches with strawberry mascarpone filling for my son’s 4th grade class), this looks great and would be a good use for all the strawberries that come weekly in our CSA box these days (yes, I’m in So Cal so the strawberry season is l-o-n-g).
I’ll try a nut crust because my family is gluten-free, grain-free, & low carb; probably I’ll reduce the sugar, too. And it will likely be eaten for breakfast just as easily as for dessert….
Hey Elise, this looks amazing, but being in China, I have quite a difficulty finding the mascarpone cheese, can I use ricotta for the entire thing? Or would that not turn out okay…also, strawberries are not in season, do you suggest another type of fruit?
I do not suggest ricotta for the whole thing. As for other fruit, sure, a tart like this could be easily made with other berries. ~Elise
For me store bought mascarpone did not taste great. I suspect it must be really fresh to taste as good as it sounds. I use a mixture of cream cheese and whipped cream (whipped with mixer, not from a can). Just a little powdered sugar and after couple hours of refrigeration it’s perfectly creamy and just sweet enough for a summer tart.
Elise, your sour cream pie dough is the best! I have not bought a prepared pie crust in a very long time!
I made this for Mother’s Day and it was delicious. However, when I added the confectioners’ sugar to the mascarpone the whole mixture sort of curdled. I’ve used mascarpone a lot in the past, but never with conf. sugar, and I’ve never had that happen, so I’m wondering if I can subst. fine granulated sugar and prevent the curdling – ? Any suggestions? The taste wasn’t affected overall, but the tart ended up being a little sloppier than I would have liked.
On the other hand the crust was great, and I will continue to use it as is.
Curdling? That’s very weird. Shouldn’t happen. If it is lumpy it just needs to be beaten more to get the lumps out. ~Elise
As usual another perfect recipe :) Instead of ricotta cheese I added one cup of thick custard to the mascarpone.
(I Love Elise and family : They sound like us.)
I passive-aggressively suggested to my sister that she should make this for Mother’s Day since she lives at home and I live thousands of miles away. Here is the result:
Score! Great photo. Hope she liked it! ~Elise
I made this yesterday with some strawberries that I’d picked up at the farmer’s market and it was FABULOUS. Thanks, Elise!
Being lazy, I bought a 9″ frozen pie crust and here is the result: http://i39.tinypic.com/r9hd74.jpg
So easy and pretty! However… Since my tart is smaller, the mascarpone filling was a little too thick, and I have a bunch of strawberries left over. I would probably reduce the filling by 1/3 and use 1 lb of strawberries with this crust.
I also had (and have, in general) trouble with using balsamic vinegar in recipes, including this one. It just tastes so…. vinegary to me. I put a little of it in the glaze (not the whole amount) and it was too much for me. Is it an acquired taste? Am I using bad balsamic vinegar?
What a pretty photo! Regarding the balsamic, could be, there is a wide variety of quality levels when it comes to balsamic. Most balsamic vinegars available at the local grocery store aren’t even real balsamic, they’re just sweetened vinegar. Real balsamic has been aged for years and is usually quite pricey. If price is a guideline, I typically spend between $30 to $40 for a bottle of balsamic, and that’s not even considered the good stuff. You would know the difference in a taste test. The real stuff is hardly at all acidic, mostly just deeply flavorful and a little sweet. For this recipe, you can also just skip the balsamic and add a little lemon juice (or orange juice for that matter) to the glaze. ~Elise
I just tried a smaller batch of the glaze from this recipe and cooked it a minute too long…oops the syrup crystallized the moment it touched the cool strawberries! Still delicious though, more like a strawberry balsamic lollipop. :)
Yes, that can happen if you let it bubble for too long. Helps to cool the syrup first, that way you know what you are dealing with. ~Elise
Would you recommend assembling the tart the evening prior to an event? It might be absolutely fine, but I was thinking that the crust may become soggy if I do. Also, if you don’t recommend to assemble the tart the night before, do you think that it would be alright to prepare the separate components and whip it up in the morning?
Thanks for your help with this tidbit.
I definitely do not recommend assembling this tart ahead of time. You can bake the tart shell (do not refrigerate), and mix the mascarpone ingredients together and chill. But if you let the strawberries sit too long in sugar, they will become soggy. Assemble right before serving. ~Elise