These little strawberry tarts are divine and super simple to make. The flavours work well together to create a tart that is not overly sweet. There is bitterness from the caramel in the toffee jam as well as the slight savoury edge from the mascarpone. The jam is placed in the case before the mascarpone cream, so you get the surprise of the jam when you take your first bite. Once you have the pastry and the jam made there is no extra cooking to put these ones together.
When I have made these, I have made the pastry cases the night before (and stored in an air tight container), this has worked well to save time preparing the fillings before serving.
You will make 16-18 tarts (standard muffin tin sized)
short crust pastry
Makes 16-18 cases in a standard muffin tin. Roll out to 2-3 mm.
180g salted butter. Chilled.
240g plain flour
15 g icing sugar
tiny pinch of salt (optional – but the extra helps in making the pastry less sweet)
¼ cup of water
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
raspberry toffee jam:
2.5 tbs raspberry jam
¾ (165g) cup caster sugar
2 tbs water
mascarpone cream filling:
375 g mascarpone
225 ml cream
15 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 punnet (about 250-300 g) strawberries. Sliced.
making the pastry dough:
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Mix flour, icing sugar and salt together.
Sift out onto benchtop.
Grate the chilled butter into the flour.
Lightly rub the butter and flour together with the tips of your fingers until all combined.
Make a well in the centre and pour in water and vanilla bean paste.
Bring together with both hands.
Using the heel of your hand, press down and knead the pastry away from you across the workbench. Stop once all combined.
Gather together and press into a flat cake shape. Roll out some cling wrap. Dust both sides of the pastry dough with flour and wrap in the cling wrap. Freeze for 20 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the toffee jam:
Organise a pastry brush and bowl of water. Sit to one side.
In a medium saucepan, add the ¾ cup of caster sugar and 2 tbs of water. Cook on a low heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.
Moving quickly, brush down the sides of the saucepan with the wet pastry brush until all sugar is removed from the sides of the saucepan. This is so the sugar doesn’t catch in the next step.
Increase heat to medium-low. Cook, without stirring, until it is golden in colour. The darker the colour, the deeper the caramel taste. I like mine quite dark – this gives the slight bitterness to the toffee jam.
Remove from heat, carefully add the 2.5 tbs of raspberry jam. Stir in.
Put in a plastic container to help it cool quicker. As it cools, the toffee jam will thicken.
preparing for blind baking:
If you haven’t already, pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Grease and flour your muffin tin.
Dust bench top with flour and using a floured rolling pin or tall glass, roll out pastry onto your bench.
Roll to be an even thickness (about 2-3 mm)
Cut rectangles large enough to have some overhang (about 1cm) on each muffin hole.
Press the rectangle in around the muffin hole.
Cut off any excess (but remember to leave about 1cm around the edge). Push the edges of the overhang in slightly to create a smooth, rounded edge of each case. (not shown in the pictures)
Any excess can be collected and rolled out again to push the amount the can make dough further.
If there are any really thin bits, tears or holes press a little of the leftover pastry to fix.
Prick each base with a fork a few times.
Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Have a cup of tea or drink of wine while you wait.
blind bake your pastry:
Line the each casing with baking paper. Fill with rice or baking beads. Bake for 15 minutes.
Take off baking paper and rice/beads (rice can be kept in a plastic container to use for blind baking). Cook pastry cases until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes)
While cases are cooling, make the mascarpone cream:
In a large bowl, add the 225 ml cream and 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste, sift in the 15 g of icing sugar. Whisk until thick enough to sit in the cases.
Add the 375 g of mascarpone and whisk in until combined. Cling wrap and put into the fridge.
When the pastry cases and toffee jam has cooled, the cases are ready to fill. A spatula and metal spoon worked well to place little amounts of the jam at the bottom of the case. Follow with the mascarpone cream and top with sliced strawberries.