Fresh Strawberry Tart
by Michael Brisson
- 1-1⁄2 pints (12 to 14 ounces) strawberries, cored and quartered or sliced
- 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 3⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄2 cup (about 4 oz.) mascarpone cheese
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1-1⁄2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 4 medium or 6 small cooked puff pastry tart shells lined with choco- late (for recipe, see the next page; shells can be made up to a day ahead)
- 1⁄4 confectioners sugar (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. chocolate sauce
- 1⁄2 cup shelled pistachios or sliced almonds, toasted and chopped
Twenty minutes before serving, mix the berries with the 3 Tbs. sugar and let sit, stirring occasionally. Combine the heavy cream, the mascarpone, and the 1/3 cup sugar in a cold mixing bowl. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat on medium speed until the mixture is thick and stiff (it will hold firm peaks), about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. (The cream will hold in the refrigerator for a few hours.) Just before serving, fold in half of the strawberries and the juice that has been accumulating.
Set out four (or six if using small shells) dessert plates and put each of the chocolate-lined puff pastries on a plate. Put a generous scoop of the mascarpone cream in the center and top with the remaining strawberries arranged artfully. Fill a small strainer with confectioners’ sugar (if using) and dust over the pastry and plate. Drizzle a bit of the chocolate sauce over the dessert and sprinkle on the chopped nuts.