Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A banner arrival.

The first thing Louisa and I did when we got home from the Cleveland airport? Pore over some cookbooks, of course! Each year when I visit, we cook up a storm, and this week has been no exception. We set to work planning the week's meals and treats, and made a preliminary grocery list to get us started.

Up first, the cover recipe from Gourmet's April issue - a strawberry mascarpone tart with a port glaze. It was a raging success - we managed to find some just-ripe strawberries, despite its being a bit late in the season, and the grocery store had scads of mascarpone on offer. (Not always a done deal out here in northern Ohio.)

The tart is remarkably easy to make. You make the pastry in a food processor and press it into the tart pan - no rolling out required. The crust itself is flavored with lemon and vanilla, which takes it beyond the usual pâte sucrée. Chilled in the freezer for a few minutes, it bakes up golden and flaky. Just before serving, you mix the mascarpone with a little confectioners' sugar, lemon, vanilla and salt, make a glaze with some port (and the reserved juice of your macerated berries), and put the whole thing together.

It's a great dessert for warm weather - the only baking required can be done a day in advance, so you won't turn your kitchen (or entire apartment, in my case) into a hellishly hot den for your guests. It's easy, but it also makes a visual impact - and it tastes pretty damn good, too.

And, in the spirit of leftovers: we had a little extra filling left, and we spread it on our scones the next morning. We think we might make the filling by itself just for this purpose from now on.


Shani said...

Funny, it seems like half the people I've run into (including my husband) were in Cleveland today or yesterday! This tart sounds divine. Yum!

Meg Blocker said...

@Shani: It's true; there was a big party there - you should have joined us! ;-)

Wendy said...

looks delicious!!!

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