Sunday, 20 May 2012

White Chocolate, Blueberry & Lemon Mascarpone Tart

Mr Eve likened this bake to how he likes his women: sweet, zesty, beautiful and tarty! I'm not complaining at the comparison, for this delicate, rich and summery tart is my most delicious yet. The flaky pastry compliments an unctuous mascarpone filling, whilst a zingy blueberry sauce cuts through the sweet creaminess of the white chocolate, enhancing and balancing the flavours.

This is one of those recipes that's best made the day before and brought out when you're ready to wow. Bear in mind that as it contains an unbaked filling, you'll need to keep the tart in the fridge before and after serving.

Pastry recipe adapted from the one for Strawberry Tart by Alison Walker in the latest Country Living Magazine (June 2012), filling inspired by hers also. To buy the magazine and see more recipes, visit their website here:  You can also buy the magazine at all good UK newsagents this month.

Serves 8-10

for the sweet shortcrust pastry:
225g plain flour
100g cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons caster sugar
half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten

1. To make the pastry, quickly cut the cold butter into into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine the butter and flour, rubbing it in with your fingertips. Alternatively if you have a food processor then you can whizz them together briefly. Either way you want the mixture to be the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.

2. Mix in the sugar and nutmeg, before adding the egg, stirring gently until the mixture begins to cohere.

3. Place the pastry on a floured board, kneading it and adding a few drops of water if need be to encourage it to cling together.

4. Gather into a ball and wrap it with cling film then place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

5. After this time, roll the pastry out onto the floured board, rolling gently until it's the thickness of a 1 pound coin. Add a little more flour if the pastry starts sticking to the board. Get ready a deep 20cm tart tin with a removable base.

6. Carefully roll the pastry up over the rolling pin to help you place it onto the tart tin. Gently press the pastry into the base and sides of the tin and prick the base with a fork. Chill for 10 minutes in the fridge.

7. Turn the oven to 190C (170C fan ovens). Cover the base and sides of the pastry case with baking paper, and then fill the base with ceramic baking beans (or dried beans if easier). Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes until the pastry is set.

8. Remove the baking beans and paper, and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the pastry is sandy to touch. Then take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack. When cool, remove the pastry case from the tin and place on a plate.

for the filling:
250g mascarpone cheese
100g white chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 tablespoons golden syrup
150ml double cream
finely grated zest of 1 lemon

9. To make the filling, gently melt the mascarpone, chocolate and syrup together in a bain mairie (a heatproof bowl over a pan of almost simmering water). Stir briefly when the mixture has melted, then take off the heat and put to one side to cool.

10. Whip the double cream lightly, until it has the same consistency as the mascarpone mixture.

11. Next fold in the lemon zest, and stir, followed by spoonfuls of the double cream. Fold in the rest of the double cream.

12. Carefully pour the filling into the cool pastry case, and place in the fridge to chill overnight.

for the blueberry sauce:
juice of 1 large lemon or 2 small ones
200g blueberries, washed and dried
2 tablespoons golden syrup

13. For the blueberry sauce, heat the lemon juice, syrup and 100g of the blueberries in a pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 3-4 mins, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce, and add a dash more lemon juice if needed.

14. Next you can either use a liquidiser, or do what I did and mash the warmed mixture with a potato masher so that the blueberries have burst all their juices. Stir again, then pass the mixture through a fine sieve with a bowl underneath to catch the sauce. Put the sauce to one side to cool briefly.

15. Finally, take the tart out of the fridge and decorate it with blueberry sauce, plus the remaining blueberries. Serve immediately, with more sauce on the side.

This tart was idly baked while listening to Nick Drake's album Bryter Layter