Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mint Mascarpone & Lemon Curd Tarts

Soooo I know I said we were switching gears here, but my mint plant was getting out of control and I had to do something about it! 

As I was thinking what to do with all this mint, this combination of mint, lemon, and mascarpone got stuck in my head and I had to try it out. Once a baking daydream formulates in my head, I can't get it out until I make it into reality. So I pushed all the fall flavors waiting for me another week, and made these babies as soon as the weekend came around. 

And I gotta say, I loved how they came out! Usually my decoration skills are pretty shabby, but I think I did decently here. And the harmony between the tartness of the lemon curd, light creaminess of the mascarpone, buttery crust, and the fresh mint that lingers on your tastebuds is perfection. Honestly, put lemon curd on a piece of cardboard and it'll be good. 

Now almost a month into school, I'm more comfortable with the daily routine, which I think has made me less homesick. Last week I don't even know what was going on, I was a wreck of weird emotions. Every single phone call with my mom I would tear up a little bit for absolutely no reason, but now I think I can handle myself lol. I know this year is probably going to be the toughest I've had academically and mentally, but baking and getting back on the blog feels incredible and really gives me motivation to finish the week strong.

If for some reason you haven't hopped on the pumpkin spice train yet like me, make these dreamy tarts!

Makes 4 6-inch tarts

Tart Shell
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 TB sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup AP flour

1) Beat butter, sugar, and salt together until creamy.
2) Mix in egg yolk.
3) Add flour until dough comes together, just until you can't see anymore flour. It's a crumbly dough!
4) Knead dough for a minute so it comes together into a cohesive dough. Chill 30 min - overnight. (I did overnight.)
5) Divide dough into 4 sections. Roll each section until about 1/4 inch thick. Gently place into tart pan, and evenly press the dough into the pan. Trim any excess dough.
6) Prick bottom of the pan with a fork.
7) Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. 
8) Cool the tarts for 5 minutes in the pan before unmolding and cooling completely.

Lemon Curd
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of half lemon
2 1/2 TB sugar
3 TB unsalted butter (I just realized I forgot to add the butter, and it was still delicious)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk

1) Whisk eggs in small saucepan. Add sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Whisk until well combined. 
2) Place over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until thickened (5-10 minutes).
3) Remove pan from heat, stir in butter.
4) Cover the lemon curd with cling film, and cool in fridge completely.
*this made just enough for all the tarts. If you want extra lemon curd, double the recipe!

Mint Mascarpone Cream
8 oz mascarpone, room temp
2 Tb. honey
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla

handful of fresh mint

1) Briefly whisk mascarpone until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients until well combined.

Assembling the tarts: Spoon around a tablespoon of lemon curd into each cooled tart and spread evenly. Divide the cream into 4 portions. Spread cream into each tart evenly. Decorate with fresh mint, fruit, and remaining lemon curd. Enjoy!

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