Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mango and Mascarpone Cheese Tart

Pies and Tarts have been a pride of bakers and dessert restaurants since quite some time now, and though I've baked a lot of cakes and cookies, Tarts were one thing I had never tried. So after visiting a lot of dessert cafes and seeing their beautiful and delicious line-up of delicacies, I was tempted to try one myself too. The obvious choice would have been a Fruit Tart, but then I realized that there's just one favourite fruit for me in the whole world, and that would undoubtedly be "Mango". I combined it with Mascarpone Cheese to bake this delicious Mango and Mascarpone Cheese Tart that is sure to take your breath away!!

Ingredients

Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence

Filling
1 package mascarpone cheese (or light cream cheese)
sugar - to taste if needed
1 cup mango puree
2 fresh mangoes - cut into thin slices or pieces (canned mango slices will work too)
1 tsp cardamom powder (optional)
5-6 saffron strands

Method
You can buy the ready-made pie crust from the market, or even use the small mini-tart foil containers to make your work easier. Below you'll find a recipe that I used for my crust.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. In another bowl, blend butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla essence and beat well. Add flour mixture slowly and blend just until mixed. Do not beat too much; this has to be thicker than a cake mix. Roll the dough into a disk using a rolling pin and some oil and flour, into a small disk the size of a cake. Now cover and refrigerate for a little over an hour.

Preheat oven to 350° F. remove the dough from the fridge and place on a lightly-dusted pizza pan. Pizza pan has no edges, hence it is easier to remove the crust after it is baked. You can use a regular tart or pie shell if you are comfortable with those. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Allow the crust to cool down to room temperature. (Crust can be made a day in advance also and kept.)

Combine the mango puree and the mascarpone cheese and whisk until smooth. Add the sugar, cardamom powder and saffron, then mix well and spread the mixture on the cooled crust. Arrange the mango slices on the top. Freeze it again, and transfer from the freezer to the refrigerator an hour before serving.

Cut the tart into small triangular pieces. You can garnish each serving with whip cream and raspberries or cherries if you want. This will be a wonderful dessert for your friends and family! My crust came out a little thinner than I'd expected, but it gave more flavor to the Mango, and that made my day!

Tip: The saffron and cardamon added a subtle flavor that went well with the mango. You can omit it from the recipe if you want, but I'd urge you to give it a try! mascarpone cheese does wonders to a pie recipe, and I'd use if with different fruits if you are looking for variaitons.

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