John and I have just returned from a long journey through Europe, one whose final destination is one of my favorite in the world: Paris. This beautiful city holds a very special place in my heart for countless reasons, so being back in its magic atmosphere for a week was mesmerizing. Upon entering the city we set a course to artisan boulanger Eric Kayser at once to pick up one of their glorious raspberry tarts. A delicious, salty, buttery crust is filled to the brim with the most delicate pastry cream and topped with fresh raspberries and a dusting of crushed pistachios. It’s perfection.
Now that I’m home, I’m taking the time to remember all the special moments John and I shared throughout Europe, that amazing tart being no exception. And I’m trying to bring into my life at home all the things that make me so happy when I’m away—starting with the amazing tart. I made new recipe inspired by Eric Kayser’s excellent creation, and I began by swapping the shortbread crust for an almond version that adds a lovely boost of nutty flavor. And as much as I love pastry cream, I went for a simpler approach and quickly put together a filling comprised of rich mascarpone cheese and whipped cream. After topping this with market fresh raspberries and a light dusting of powdered sugar, a little piece of Paris sitting there in my kitchen. It’s certainly an improvisation, and I’m not comfortable saying it exceeds my beloved Eric Kayser, but boy is it satisfying. I still have to figure out how to apply all the joys of life traveling to my life back at home, but at least I’ve got my dessert covered.
Raspberry Mascarpone Tart
1 cup all purpose flour - 125 g
¾ cup almond flour - 72g
1/2 tsp sea salt
¼ cup +3 tbs superfine or granulated sugar
9 tbs cold unsalted butter, cubed- 4.5 oz
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
¾ cup heavy cream
1/2 cup +1 tbs powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
zest of one large lemon
For the crust: Lightly grease, or butter a 14" L x 4.5" W rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom.
To a food processor add the almond flour, all purpose flour, sugar, and sea salt and process to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture begins to clump up a looks more crumbly.
Transfer the clumpy dough to the prepared tart pan and using your fingers, evenly press dough along the bottom and sides of the pan. Gently puncture the dough with the tines of a fork all over. This will help the crust from puffing up.
Wrap the tart pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before the tart is done chilling, heat oven to 400F.
Unwrap the tart and place it in the oven. Bake until golden, about 15-17 minutes. This isn’t totally necessary, but once the tart is removed from the oven, I like the press down the dough a bit if it puffed up at all. You want to make sure there is enough room for all that glorious filling. Allow the tart to cool completely.
For the filling: Whisk together mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in a large bowl just until blended.
Beat whipping cream and a pinch of salt at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into mascarpone mixture. Fill tart let chill for 2 hrs then garnish with fresh raspberries.
Place the tart in the fridge for about 2 hours to chill. garnish with a light dusting of powdered sugar before serving.