The heat has eased off a little and I decided to do a little bit of baking to use up the summer fruits we have around, here in Berlin.
My mom brought white currants home, which I often find a bit too sour but they go well with sweeter summer fruits, such as the ripe nectarines that we also had in the house. Other summer fruits used for the tart were strawberries – possibly the last of the season – blueberries and a few red gooseberries.
Figs, apricots or blackberries, would have worked well too. You could even use just one type of fruit but whatever your preference, I would advise to go for some sweet fruits as the mascarpone cream itself is not overly sweet. You can vary the amounts of fruit as well – sometimes I like the fruit piled high on top of each other and at other times, lined up in neat rows next to each other.
The basic receipe however is always the same and you’ll need:
For the base
- 250g plain flour
- 125g cold butter
- 80g sugar
- 1 egg
- a pinch of salt
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- dried beans or peas to ‘blind bake’ the base
- a greased tart tin with a diameter of about 26cm
For the mascarpone cream
- 250g mascarpone
- 200g Schmand (this is a German type of sour cream, if you can’t get hold of it you could use more mascarpone or possibly crème fraiche, though in that case the cream will be thinner)
- 70g icing sugar
- grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
For the fruit topping
- 500-750g of fresh sweet summer fruit, such as berries
Start by mixing the ingredients for the base together ideally with an electric whisk with an attachment for kneading. The dough will be crumbly at first but as you keep kneading, it will soon become a smooth dough ball. Cover it in cling film and leave it to cool down in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling it out to the size of your tart tin.
After this cooling period, preheat the oven to 180 degrees to ‘blind bake’ the tart base. For this you’ll need to cover the dough in the cake tin with a sheet of baking paper and pour the dried beans on top, spreading them out evenly to avoid the base rising, when it’s baking for 25 minutes.
When it has baked, let the base cool down in it’s tin.
Once the base has cooled, make the mascarpone cream by mixing all ingredients with an electric whisk until smooth. Spread the cream on the baked base and top it with your choice of summer fruits. Return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.