I go bananas for brownies, wild over pie, and I’ll be a dedicated cookie fan forever. But when I’m brainstorming a dessert to tie the bow on the perfect summer gathering, I want to surprise, delight, and leave my guests in awe. Enter: the tastiest recipe for delicate and delicious raspberry mascarpone tartlets.
If you’re looking for a cookbook to add to your ever-growing library, we can’t recommend our new fave enough. A Year at Catbird Cottage: Recipes for a Nourished Life is Melina Hammer’s ode to slow living and thoughtful meals, and as she knows well, no summer meal is complete without a fruit-forward dessert. This recipe for Black Raspberry–Bourbon Mascarpone Tartlets is our sweet of choice.
Before you dive into the recipe below, a word to the wise: don’t let the long instructions list intimidate you. These black raspberry mascarpone tartlets are simpler (and more foolproof!) than they may seem. And while we love hanging out in the kitchen all Saturday long to take on our current baking project of choice, components of these confectionary cuties can be made up to three days in advance. So whip and chill your mascarpone, assemble your pastry, and make your pistachio praline the day of. Your easy breezy treats await!
The perfect weekend project! These tartlets require time and attention—but trust us, it’s worth it.
Maple Rye Mascarpone
1/3cup thick plain yogurt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon rye whiskey
Pinch kosher salt
1 1/2cups all-purpose flour
1cup rye flour
1 teaspoon cane sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks salted butter, cubed and freezer-cold
1/2cup ice water
1/4cup apple cider vinegar
Scant 1 / 2 cup cane sugar
1 / 2cup lightly salted pistachios
1cup heavy cream
2cups black or red raspberries
Petals from wild bergamot/monarda flowers or very small fresh oregano leaves or flowers for garnish
Maple Rye Mascarpone
Vigorously whip the mascarpone, yogurt, maple syrup, rye whiskey, and salt together in a small bowl until uniform and fluffy.
Chill for 20 minutes before using.
Note: This can be made up to 3 days in advance, stored in the refrigerator sealed with a lid or plastic wrap. Rewhip prior to using if prepared in advance.
Place the flours, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
Add the cold butter and pulse, until the mixture forms pea-size bits.
Combine the ice water and vinegar in a measuring cup. In a slow stream, add the ice water–vinegar mixture while pulsing, stopping once the dough holds together.
To test, open the lid and squeeze some of the dough in your hand—if it holds together, it is ready. If the dough still crumbles, add just a bit more of the ice water mixture and pulse a few more times. You may end up using slightly less than the full amount.
Empty the dough out onto a long section of plastic wrap. Separate it into two mounds, then divide one mound into four smaller balls. Flatten each to form a disk.
Place plastic wrap in between the disks and wrap each, saving the larger one for a galette.
Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to let the dough mellow.
Note: This can be made up to 3 days in advance.
Heat the sugar in a small sauté pan over medium heat. When the sugar begins to melt, add the pistachios.
As it turns into liquid, stir the mixture with a rubber spatula, coating the pistachios fully.
When the mixture is completely liquid and coating the nuts, quickly and carefully scrape the mixture onto a parchment-or silpat-lined sheet pan. Allow the mixture to set until hard and brittle.
Note: If it is warm on the day you make this, the pan can be placed in the refrigerator to accelerate the process.
Bring one of the four small pastry disks from the refrigerator, giving it 10 minutes to warm up so you may roll it without splitting it at the edges.
Roll the dough between lightly floured parchment and the plastic wrap it was wrapped in, peeling the wrap away and re-flouring at intervals.
Roll the dough roughly in the shape of a circle, 1 ? 8 inch thick. If the dough becomes smeary or flabby at any point, transfer to a sheet pan and chill in the refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes.
Place a removable-bottom tartlet pan over the dough to ensure there is 1-inch overhang; if not, roll it again until it is wide enough to accommodate it.
Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and center the inverted tartlet pan on it. With one hand underneath the parchment and the other on top of the pan, invert the dough, then peel away the parchment.
Working your way around the pastry, lift the overhang with one hand while the other gently presses the pastry flush with the base and into the corners of the pan. Hold along the outside pan edge as you press the dough into the fluting.
Place the tartlet shell back in the refrigerator and repeat rolling, transferring, and lining the pans with the remaining disks.
Use a rolling pin over the top edge of each pan to trim any overhang and use the scraps to repair any tears or thin areas. Save the scraps for another use.
Dock the pastry bases all over with the tines of a fork. Return them to the refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Place the tartlets on a sheet pan.
Cut squares of parchment larger than the tart pans and lay them over each pastry, filling them with pie weights, rice, or dry beans, especially at the corners.
Blind-bake for 15 minutes or until the edges turn golden.
Gather the parchment corners to remove the pie weights and bake for a further 12 to 15 minutes, until the shells are golden all over. Keep an eye on the edges—if they start to darken too much, cover them with lengths of foil as the rest of the pastry finishes baking.
Cool the tartlets completely on a wire rack.
While the pastry shells cool, chop the pistachio brittle into a coarse praline.
In a food processor, combine the mascarpone and heavy cream. Pulse until fluffy and the cream holds soft peaks, pausing at intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Arrange the pastry shells on small plates or a serving platter. Divide the cream evenly among each shell, swirling it to the edges. Nestle the berries into the fluffy cream and shower with the pistachio praline. Sprinkle with wild bergamot petals or oregano leaves to top and eat at once.