Strawberry & Mascarpone Tartlets

Strawberry & mascarpone tartlet
Strawberry & mascarpone tartlet

I wasn’t planning to post today but when my husband came back from a trip to Shillong he got some local produce. I wasn’t expecting these berries. Well, as far as I know October isn’t the season for picking strawberries. The dark purple fruits could easily be mistaken for grapes at first glance but there’s a seed in the middle, rather like a plum. I immediately thought of the bit of mascarpone cheese left in the fridge. It wasn’t enough as I had used most of it for the icing on a lemon cake I had baked for my sister. It was her birthday on 1 October.

I had baked a simple lemon cake and the frosting was made with a mix of mascarpone, whipped cream and icing sugar. The cake had a scattering of candied lemon peel that I had made a few days ago.
The pastry:
50 grams cold butter, cubed+extra to grease the tart tins
1 tbsp icing sugar
135 grams all-purpose flour
Chilled water
(I got 12 tartlets from this quantity of ingredients).
Because it is still so humid in our parts, I chill the flour in the mixing bowl for about an hour.
Add the cubed butter to the flour and mix till the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the chilled water and bring the dough together. Gently shape it into a ball and flatten it. Wrap it in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out little circles to fill the greased mini tart tins. Chill again for another 15-20 minutes. Place buttered foil in each tin (buttered side down as this makes it easy to remove the foil/beans later), fill up with baking beans and bake in a preheated 180C oven for 10 minutes. 
Remove the foil and the beans and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
Let the shells cool down before you add the filling.

Strawberry & mascarpone tartlets
The filling:
For the filling I had to make do with whatever little bit of mascarpone left. I took a bit of condensed milk, added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and the mascarpone and mixed them all up with a fork. Then I filled a few tart shells with this filling, placed some strawberry slices on top and added a few sprigs of mint leaves.
The taste was delicious!! As for the remaining tart ‘shells’ I’m toying with ideas…

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