09 July 2010

Cherry Mascarpone Tart

With July 4th at hand and a basketful of ruby cherries just arrived from our upstate farmers, I graciously sacrificed all of them for a BBQ and rooftop fireworks-viewing party at Rachel's last weekend. 

The recipe was inspired by the wonderfully symmetrical tart made by Deb at Smitten Kitchen, and in fact I followed her exact example a year ago with nectarines and the addition of blueberries. The tart is in the 'can't screw it up' category, which suits me just fine. You could pretty much use the various components -- ginger snap crust/mascarpone filling/fruit in other incarnations -- any which way. Layered in a dessert glass or placed free form in a bowl with the mascarpone covered with fruit and sprinkled with gingersnaps, directly from the mixing bowl with spoon. It took me a year to make this a second time and I feel stupid for the delay. 

This time round, I noticed Deb got her inspiration from Tracy (author of Shutterbean), and so I combined the best of both worlds to form my own Cherry Mascarpone Tart with Gingersnap crust. For reasons I won't go into, this necessitated me purchasing a new cherry pitter. So I now own two (2!) cherry pitters, but glad for the purchase as the second one is way more impressive than the first, shooting the pit out of the bottom of the cherry with a force so impressive it left barely a splatter of cherry juice anywhere in my kitchen. The man at the kitchen store also said it would do the same for olives... tapenade here we come!

Cherry Mascarpone Tart 
Adapted from 
smitten kitchen and Shutterbean 
Serves 8

About 3 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons finely smashed gingersnap cookies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger 

2 cups cherries
2 tbsp raspberry jam
juice of 1 quarter lemon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind gingersnaps in processor. Add butter and blend until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press mixture over bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake crust until color darkens, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.

To make filling: Whip all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Spread filling in prepared crust. 

Stem and pit cherries and cut into halves. Heat raspberry jam and add lemon juice. Strain to remove seeds and toss with cherries. Place cherries atop the pie and serve, or refrigerate up to 6 hours.

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