CSA Week 9 - Plum, Apricot and Mascarpone Tarts

Almond shortbread crust.  Apricot, mascarpone, and plum toppings.  No wonder these were devoured!  The sweetness of the fresh fruit worked perfectly with the creamy (and slightly tart) mascarpone, and the crumbly shortbread made these difficult to sneak into a movie theater (trust me...), but super worth it.
My food processor is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen.  It makes quick work of this shortbread crust, but I use it for everything from making pesto to shredding massive amounts of zucchini for zucchini bread.  If you're looking for an all-around star for your kitchen, I highly recommend this Cuisinart!
Pulse everything, then get it into the fridge to rest while we make the apricot jam.
Pits and skins removed, and left to simmer on the stove until thick enough to spread on the tarts!
 Assemble!
Distribute the dough into your mini tart shells, I have these and love them- super non-stick and easy to clean.
Bake them, then fill them!  I did a layer of apricot jam, with a dollop of mascarpone, and a fun assembly of plums on top.
Get creative!  Use any fruit you want!  Use creme fraiche instead of mascarpone, or cool whip, or whatever you have on hand.  These are really customizable and did I mention delicious?!
I couldn't help myself while photographing them, good thing it's all in the days work of a food blogger :-)
Plum, Apricot, and Mascarpone Tartsserves 6-12 (each is rather large and can easily be divided in half to share)

Ingredients:
1/3 cup almonds
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), cut into cubes
1-2 tablespoons ice water (depending on how the dough comes together)
6 apricots, halved, pitted and peeled
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
6 plums, pitted and sliced

Add the almonds to your food processor and pulse a few times for the almonds to break up a bit into smaller pieces.  Be sure not to over-process, you don't want almond butter, and we'll be adding more to the processor!  Add the flour, sugar, and salt and process until the almonds are much smaller and fine like an almond meal.  Again, make sure you don't over-process!  Add the egg yolks and pulse to incorporate, then add the butter and process until the dough comes together- adding the ice water as needed.  When pinched, the dough should stay together, it shouldn't be too shaggy, or too wet.

Remove the dough from the food processor, pat into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge to rest.

Meanwhile, add the apricot halves to a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Mine were ripe and didn't need additional sugar, but if yours need it, add a tablespoon or two.  Stir every few minutes and let the apricots break down into a jam-like consistency.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Distribute the dough evenly into 6 mini tart pans, pushing the dough up the sides a bit.  Prick each with a fork several times and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden and cooked through.  Layer the apricot jam, the mascarpone cheese, and the slices of plums on the tarts and serve!  These are delicious warm, at room temperature, or chilled.  Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Enjoy!

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