Berries have just started appearing at farmers markets in Chicago. I spotted strawberries at a few stalls last week, and I expect to see more. Before we know it, all the tables will be crowded with berries. At the grocery it’s been summer for a while. Seeing berries on sale and back in their full-sized containers has me overbuying blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.
With Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer, it felt like the right time for a red, white and blue dessert. I made mini mixed berry mascarpone tarts that used up only a fraction of the berries I had bought. After baking the tart shells, I whipped up the filling, a combination of mascarpone, yogurt and lemon zest. The tarts seemed kind of like a shortcut version of cheesecake.
Mini Mixed Berry Mascarpone Tarts
Makes 6 tarts
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup 2% vanilla yogurt
2-1/2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Zest of half a lemon
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries (hulled and sliced)
For the dough, pulse the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the yolk and vanilla extract and mix until a dough forms. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough until it is 1/4-inch thick. Cut out rounds slightly larger than the 4-inch diameter tart pans. Press the dough into the pans and trim the edges. Re-roll the scraps as needed for the remaining pans. Place the six tarts on a sheet pan and bake for 18-22 minutes until golden brown. Cool the tarts completely.
For the filling, use an electric mixer to beat together the mascarpone, yogurt, confectioners’ sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Spoon the filling into the tart shells and arrange the berries on top. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.