I’ve written and rewritten this sentence 13 times. How do I compete with this?
Aren’t they cute? And tiny. And little. I have an affinity towards small things. Simon Birch is my favorite movie. And the only movie I can quote every line. “Ah, it’s a horse!” Simon says in a squeaky voice after coming into contact with a large dog. I feel that way sometimes too, Simon. Five. Zero. That’s all the length I’ve got. We short people have to stick together. And that’s why I like mini tarts. They’re just my size.
Besides their dashing good looks, they taste good. Real good. But it’s what’s inside that counts. Have you ever had mascarpone before? It’s a light italian cheese. Similar to cream cheese, but smoother. I hope that’s a word, but you know what I mean if not. Add some orange zest to it. Heck, and some heavy cream. And you’ve got one mighty fine combination. Most likely, you’ll have leftover filling. Oh the places it can go. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know I’m talking about. If not, you’ll have to wait until later this week. So stay tuned. But in the meantime, I give you the cutest little nectarine mascarpone tarts.
9 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, whisked
2 c. (1 lb.) mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp. orange zest
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
Make the crust. Place flour, sugar, and sea salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse. Add butter. Pulse until butter resembles coarse meal. Add egg and pulse again until dough is combined.
Turn dough out on to surface and knead until it comes together. Separate into 4 equal parts. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 30 minutes.
Roll out dough on a well-floured surface. About 5 1/2? in diameter. Fold in to quarters for transportation. Place dough in 4 1/2? mini tart pan. Press dough into pan. Fold overhang over for a double thick crust. Clean up any rough edges with a bit of cold water and your pointer finger. Prick dough with a fork. Repeat. Place tarts on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°. Before baking tart shells, place pie weights in tart. Bake for 20 minutes or until just golden in color. Allow to cool. Tart shells can be prepared a day in advance.
Make filling. Place mascarpone in a mixing bowl and stir in orange zest.
Add in heavy cream a third at a time, stirring between additions until the mixture is smooth. Don’t overbeat. Mascarpone will become grainy.
Stir in confectioners’ sugar.
Assemble. Add filling to cooled tart shells. Smooth with an offset spatule. (Save extra filling. I’ll tell you how to use it later this week.)
Thinly slice nectarines, being careful not to bruise it. You’ll need 13 slices per tart. To create flower, place 4 slices into a large circle. For the second layer, place 4 more slices, a bit closer together. For the third layer, place 3 slices into an even smaller circle. Finish it off with two mores slices, framing the final raspberry.