It’s 4th of July! Did you know that? Yes, yes, why, of course you knew that!
But, if you’re a procrastinator like me, you may not be 100% ready, especially troublesome if you’re supposed to be bringing dessert to a potluck or other celebratory shindig. Well, that’s why this month’s Pretty. Easy. is a ridiculously simple tart. But don’t let that fool you — just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s boring.
So this is the deal: you can bake the puff pastry squares and make the mascarpone filling up to a day in advance (though that might be difficult seeing as today is the 4th) and then assemble everything once you’re at your block party or whatever other get together you may be attending. And, if you make it with a mix of blueberries and red berries, it will indeed look festive. Just don’t turn it into a flag tart — there are already enough of those out there today!
Strawberry Tartlets with Cardamom Mascarpone Cream
- Makes: 6 servings
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Hands-On Time: 25 minutes
- 1 pound all-butter storebought or homemade puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted pistachios, divided (about 2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 12 ounces strawberries, trimmed and thinly sliced
- Juice and zest from 1 orange
- A few tablespoons apricot or fig jam or orange marmalade
- 8 ounces chilled mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut a sheet of puff pastry into 6 (4-inch) squares and place the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the bottom of each square with a fork, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the edge of each square.
Beat egg yolk with a spoonful of water until smooth then brush puff pastry with egg wash. Bake until golden and puffed, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.)
While puff pastry squares are baking, combine strawberries, 1 tablespoons of the sugar, and orange juice in a bowl and toss to combine. Set aside to macerate for at least 10 minutes (can be done up to 2 hours in advance).
When ready to serve, brush borders of the puff pastry with the jam then sprinkle a few spoonfuls of the pistachios along the border of each puff pastry square.
Combine mascarpone, cream, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cardamom, and orange zest in medium bowl. Using a clean whisk, beat just until well combined and fluffy. Spread filling evenly in cooled crust, making sure to leave the 1/2-inch border uncovered. Arrange strawberries slices atop tart, drizzle with a spoonful of strawberry juices, sprinkle with remaining pistachios, and serve.
Glorified: Serve a la mode or with a drizzle of melted chocolate. Or both.
Modified: Top with a mix of blackberries and peaches with toasted walnuts.
Simplified: Ditch the filling and simply serve the macerated berries on the tartlets.
Pretty Easy is a monthly feature showcasing doable, yet interesting recipes. Even those who claim they can’t cook, find success with these recipes.