July 24, 2008

More summer desserts

This afternoon I was simultaneously dying of heat exhaustion and dreaming about dessert, something cold and lightly sweet like the berry tart in yesterday's Minimalist column. For about 2 seconds I considered making the crust from scratch. But because I felt unabashedly lazy today, that thought evaporated into nothing more than a good intention. And you know what? It's okay, because this dessert is not trying to be fancy. This is a dessert you could serve to your family and friends and enjoy just because the fruit is flavorful, the creamy filling is sweet and a little lemony, and you didn't have to turn on any machine or make a big mess.

And I like that.

Berry Tart with Cream Cheese/Mascarpone Filling (inspired by Mark Bittman)

MB uses ricotta and honey in his version, whereas I decided to use mascarpone and plain old refined sugar.
  • 1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • zest of one small lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.) or any other seasonal fruit
  • 1 9 inch graham cracker crust
Prepare graham cracker crust (pre-bake only if desired). Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture into crust, carefully and evenly. Arrange any combination of thinly sliced fruit or berries on top in any manner that pleases you. Refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to eating.