Mini Berry Tarts

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I love berry tarts, and generally I’ve always made the large(ish) 10-12″ ones.  But whenever my sister used to visit, I would always go to a local French bakery and buy one of these super small but adorable, bite-sized fruit tarts since I knew she loved them.  Recently, my friend and I decided to try recreating them ourselves, with Matthew providing “quality control” and we all couldn’t get over how delicious they were!  (As an aside, as part of our baking adventure we also made this rhubarb snacking cake and it was also fantastic.)

I had researched a bunch of fruit tart recipes and was generally underwhelmed or maybe overwhelmed with the ones I was reading when it occurred to me that I had one awesome pie crust recipe (from Lisa, of course) and one great filling recipe from a tart I had made years ago (that I had nearly forgotten about), and together they were a perfect pairing. (As my friend pointed out, these little tarts also were very reminiscent of Olaf… just saying, not saying.)  I also splurged and bought this mini muffin tray, mainly because I figured it would be much easier than trying to bake and clean 20 some-odd mini tart molds, and since I figured I could reuse it for a muffin party.

Crust

2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1⁄4 tsp. Kosher salt
2 T granulated sugar
8 T margarine (unsalted) from the freezer cut up into approx. 16 pieces
4 T unsalted, sweet butter from the refrigerator, cut up into approx. 8 pieces
2 large egg yolks
3 T ice water
1⁄4 tsp. pure almond extract

Directions for Crust

1. Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor with the steel blade. Pulse twice to mix.

2. Add the shortening and the yolks and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs

3. Add the ice water and almond extract, preferably while the machine is running. Let the machine run until the pastry begins to ball-up at the end of the blade.

4. Gather the pastry carefully and handling as little as possible, form a ball over a piece of waxed paper. Flatten with your hand to form a disk.  (For best results, stick this into the fridge covered with plastic wrap for about an hour or more if possible, but I was in a rush and didn’t do this and given how small the tart shells were, it worked out okay.)

5. Turn the dough as you roll it out and use even pressure going from the center out to the edge. If a crack appears, take a bit of dough from an edge and cover the crack, sprinkle with flour and roll over it.

6. Have your muffin tray ready, and cut out about 3″ diameter circles (I used a small Ball jar lid for this) and press into the mini muffin tray slots.

7. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until browned.

Filling

1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
12 oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for Filling

1. Combine lemon juice, mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar.  Mix thoroughly until silky smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Putting it all Together!

1. After the tart shells have come out of the oven and cooled off, use a teaspoon to dollop filling into each of the tart shells.

2. Dice about 1 pint of strawberries into quarters (or whatever shape you would like) and rinse some blueberries and place them on the mini filled tarts.

3. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or serve immediately and enjoy!

 

 

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