Lemon Raspberry Mascarpone Tart

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It just started getting colder outside.  Fall is coming!  So I figured I should post this summer tart before it gets any colder!

I made this tart about 1 month ago for a dinner party.  I admit I wasn’t paying enough attention when I was making the crust (I blame too many hours at the hospital) and accidentally used 2 sticks of butter…instead of 6 Tbs!!!  I had a mini panic attack and then decided to just add another cup of flour and persevere on.  And I have to say, it was pretty delicious (and buttery!).  When life hands you lemons…turn it into a super buttery raspberry lemon mascarpone tart!

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For the Mascarpone Lemon Curd (from Joanne Chang in Fine Cooking)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
8 oz mascarpone cream , softened

For the crust (adapted from Martha Stewart):
2 sticks (16 Tbs) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

Assembly:
2 pints raspberries
Whipped cream (optional)

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For the mascarpone lemon curd:

In a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan, heat the lemon juice and butter over medium-high heat until just under a boil. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk and then slowly whisk in the sugar until combined. Gradually whisk the hot lemon juice mixture into the sugar and eggs.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan frequently, until the curd thickens and coats the spoon, 2 to 4 minutes. Draw your finger along the back of the spoon; when the curd is done, it should hold the trail.

Remove the curd from the heat and strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic onto the surface of the curd, and chill for 1 to 2 hours before using. Mix 1 cup lemon curd with the mascarpone cheese until thoroughly blended.

For the crust:

Stir together butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in yolks. Add flour and salt, and stir until mixture is dry and crumbly. Press dough into bottom and up sides of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake, rotating halfway through, just until crust turns golden around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool in tart pan on a wire rack, 1 hour.

Assembly:

Pour mascarpone lemon curd into chilled crust.  Top with fresh raspberries.  Serve with whipped cream if desired.

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Lemon Ricotta Bars

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I went on a baking/food styling spree 4th of July weekend (see my mini blueberry pie post) and finally got around to making these lemon ricotta bars I had been eyeing from Food52.  If you don’t already follow them (via email, Facebook, instagram, etc.) I highly recommend you do!  They have tons of fantastic, but simple, recipes as well as beautiful photos and a wonderful selection of kitchen goods/accessories.

I love lemon bars and I love ricotta cheese so it only seemed natural to put them together.  The ricotta cheese gave the lemon bars a lighter and fluffier texture than normal lemon bars and made for a tangy yet refreshing summer treat.  I brought them into the hospital for my hardworking team and they ate them up pretty quickly!

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I’ve been practicing my food styling from my food photography class with Betty Liu and Cottage Farm so I got a little creative with the photo set ups for this recipe.  Some of the tips I employed for this shoot was styling using remnants of ingredients (like the juiced lemon rinds and egg shells) and using cheese cloth to add simple texture to the backdrop.  One of my favorite things about these photos is the oyster shaped ceramic plate made by Ae ceramics in Maine that I picked up the the Portland Trading Co. in Portland, Maine.  I am a little obsessed with this plate which may look familiar to you if you have ever dined at Eventide Oyster Co., also in Portland, Maine.  I am planning to add to my collection next time I am in Portland!

Lemon Ricotta Bars (from Food52)

  For the Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1-inch pieces, slightly softened plus extra for greasing pan
For Lemon-Ricotta Filling

  • 8oz (1 cup) fresh whole milk Ricotta, drained
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice from 3 to 4 large lemons, strained
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

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  1. To make the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a pastry brush, lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and line with one sheet parchment paper. Butter paper, then lay second sheet crosswise over it.
  3. Pulse flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt in food processor.
  4. Add butter and process to blend; then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.
  5. Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  7. To make the filling: Whisk ricotta, eggs, sugar, and flour in medium bowl, then stir in lemon zest, juice, and salt to blend well.
  8. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  9. Stir filling mixture before pouring into warm crust.
  10. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 30 minutes.
  11. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours.
  12. Transfer to cutting board, fold paper down, and cut into bars, wiping knife or pizza cutter clean between cuts.
  13. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

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Deconstructed Lemon Cream Pie Parfait

Once again, I’m behind on blogging…The end of the year got a bit busy after I returned from vacation leaving little time for culinary prose in between 24 hour emergency room shifts.  But don’t worry! Despite a minor blog hiatus, I have made some time for baking and have a few delicious desserts to show off in the coming weeks.

This dessert was created after returning from my 5 day vacation in New Orleans.  My close friends and I, inspired by Top Chef, ventured to New Orleans solely to eat…and eat we did (with a little drinking and jazz along the way)! After 5 days of eating rich, heavy NOLA cuisine, my body needed a break.

 

Unfortunately/fortunately we had already planned a dinner when we got back and I was in charge of dessert.  In search of something lighter (or at least something that tasted lighter) my mind immediately turned to lemon.  There’s something about lemon that just lightens any dish or dessert it is added to.  I considered making Joanne Chang’s lemon bars but then had the brilliant idea for a deconstructed lemon cream pie using her lemon curd recipe.

This dessert layers delicious and tart lemon curd, with fluffy whipped mascarpone cream (I may have a slight obsession with mascarpone cream), and crumbled graham cracker crust.  For an added touch you can add candied lemon peel and/or fresh berries.  While the final product wasn’t exactly “light”, no one had any trouble finishing their parfait!

Deconstructed Lemon Cream Pie Parfait

(makes 8 parfaits with extra lemon curd…for snacking or other desserts)

Lemon Curd (from Joanne Chang’s Lemon Lust Bars)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (500 grams) fresh lemon juice (14 to 16 lemons)
1/2 cup (1 stick/114 grams) unsalted butter
½ cup (60 grams) heavy cream
8 eggs
4 egg yolks
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the lemon juice, butter, and cream. Place over medium-high heat and heat to just below a boil. Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks until blended. Slowly whisk in the granulated sugar until combined. Remove the lemon juice mixture fromheat and gradually whisk a little of it into the egg mixture. Continue whisking the hot liquid into the eggs, a little at a time, until all of it has been incorporated.

When all of the lemon juice mixture has been incorporated, return the contents of the bowl to the saucepan, and return the saucepan to medium heat. Cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon and making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan frequently to prevent the eggs from scrambling, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon thickly. To test, draw your finger along the back of the spoon; the curd should hold the trail for a second or two before it fills.

Remove the lemon curd from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl or pitcher. Whisk in the salt and vanilla.  Chill for 4 hours until cool.

Whipped Mascarpone Cream

8 oz whipping cream, chilled
8 oz mascarpone cream
2 Tbs powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Place the whipping cream in a stand mixer with a whip attachment and beat cream until just before soft peaks start to form.  Add in the mascarpone cream and beat together until stiff peaks form. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and beat until combined.  Chill for at least an hour.

Graham Cracker Crust

7 whole graham crackers, coarsely broken

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with foil.  Blend graham crackers, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in processor until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture over prepared baking sheet.   Bake crust until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Let cool.   Crumble again into crumbs to use for parfaits.

Candied Lemon Peel (optional)

click here for recipe from epicurious.com

Assembly:

Layer lemon curd, whipped mascarpone cream and graham cracker crumbs into 8 glasses.  You should be able to layer each ingredient twice.  You will have extra lemon curd and graham cracker crumbs.  Top with candied lemon peel and/or berries if desired.