Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Winter Berry Tart

As I walked through the supermarket the other day, I couldn't resist picking up some punnets of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. There are so many berries available in the UK at this time of year, I thought I should make a dessert to put them to good use....rather than eat them all myself! I decided to prepare a quick tart which serves 6 people. You could use any type of berries or fruit as the topping - whatever takes your fancy! I have previously made it with cranberries and dark cherries which was delicious. Here's how to make a mixed berry version:

  • 3 cups fresh berries
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tbsp arrowroot
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 200ml fresh vanilla custard (you can either make this yourself ahead of time or use a store-bought variety if you are in a hurry)
  • Cooked shortcrust pastry case (8 inches - again you can either make this yourself or buy a pre-made case)


Tip the berries (or other fruit) into a pan with the orange zest, orange juice and sugar, and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the berries are just softened and the syrup has reduced slightly. Note, if you are using blueberries, add them a few minutes after the strawberries, or other larger berries as they soften faster.

Using a slotted spoon, strain off the berries and set them aside in a bowl, leaving the syrup in the pan.

Next, mix the arrowroot with 1 tablespoon of cold water, then add it to the pan and cook for about 1 minute while continuously stirring until the syrup has thickened. Pour over the berries and leave to cool.

To prepare the tart filling, put mascarpone and vanilla custard into a bowl and whisk with electric beaters until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the pastry case (note: a shop bought pastry case can save you time!).
Lastly top the tart with the berry mixture. Yum!!!
I made a bit too much syrup so you can see it running down the edges a bit - it still tasted really good though! Make sure you store the tart in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

Happy baking!

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