Apricot-Mascarpone Tart


_MG_4828If you are new to this blog, you may not know that we are pretty big stone fruit fans around here. Though I love the early-summer strawberries, my favorites are the endless peaches, plums, and apricots that show up in July for just a few short months. Though I feel like I have generally confined myself to desserts in the past, this summer, I'm excited to try using stone fruits in more inventive ways, such as making a peach salsa or adding them to a salad. I haven't seen apricots at the farmer's market yet, but these were at a local market and were surprisingly good. I think that next time I make this, I would make a couple of changes, including adding just a bit more lemon zest to both the mascarpone cream, and using this crust recipe instead of the one below -- I felt that you could taste the cornstarch a little too much, although that could also be solved by adding more flour and cutting the cornstarch. That said, I think that this still makes a lovely summer dessert, and since you only bake the crust, it's a great way to not have the oven on for too long, and to show off those lovely berries or apricots._MG_4823



Apricot-Mascarpone Tart (adapted from Bon Appétit)

Crust 1 cup all purpose flour 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup apricot preserves

Filling 1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, chilled 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream 1/3 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

3-4 apricots, pitted and thinly sliced

To prepare:

For crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Add flour mixture and beat until large clumps form. Gather dough into ball; press over bottom and up sides of prepared tart pan. Freeze crust 15 minutes.

Bake crust 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Using back of spoon, press sides to raise until even with top edge of pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Spread preserves over bottom of crust. Bake 5 minutes. Cool on rack.

Meanwhile, prepare filling: Using electric mixer, beat mascarpone, cream, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and both extracts in large bowl until peaks form, about 2 minutes. Spread filling evenly in cooled crust. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Arrange apricot slices in concentric circles atop filling and serve. Keeps well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Stone Fruit Cobbler

During the winter, I live for summer days when I can walk over to the farmer's market and pick up a bag of peaches. They are by far my favorite fruit, and though I think the best way to eat them is raw, I always need to make cobbler at least once per summer. Deceptively simple, you can use any combination of stone fruit and the results will be just as excellent. I had some peaches, nectarines, plums, and sour cherries lying around, so that's what I used -- but only peaches is wonderful too. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Stone Fruit Cobbler (adapted from Bon Appétit)

1 1/2 pounds assorted stone fruit, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

For crust:

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In an 8x8x2 baking dish (or a 9-inch cake pan in my case), mix fruit with sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Using an electric mixer,beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in egg yolk, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add flour mixture; beat just until dough comes together. Drop by the teaspoonful onto fruit. Bake until topping is golden brown and fruit juices are bubbling, 50-55 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.