Inspired by a bumper crop of raspberries from her garden, Johnna Hanson created this layered tart of fresh berries, chocolate, and mascarpone cheese on an almond shortbread crust. Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour.
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor, pulse almonds and granulated sugar until finely ground, being careful to stop before they turn into nut butter. Add flour and salt and pulse to blend. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. With motor running, add egg, egg yolk, and almond extract and whirl until dough comes together.
Press dough evenly into the bottom (not the sides) of a 10-in. tart pan with removable rim. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then remove rim.
In a small frying pan, bring 1 in. of water to boil. Put chocolate in a small metal bowl. Set bowl directly in boiling water, turn off heat, and stir until melted. Stir in 2 tbsp. cream. Spread chocolate on crust and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat remaining 1/2 cup cream to firm peaks. Beat in mascarpone, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Spread on chocolate-coated crust. Arrange raspberries on top. Serve tart immediately or cover with plastic wrap and chill up to overnight.
As the original creator of this recipe, I would like to say that my recipe called for two 8 oz containers of mascarpone cheese and no whipped cream. The teaspoon of almond extract should be 1/2 tsp almond and 1/2 tsp vanilla as well. Sunset magazine altered it for publication when I submitted it for a contest. I tried their way just to see if they improved it and they did not in my opinion. Also I did not use a food processor for the crust as that would make it tough. I processed the almonds and granulated sugar only and the rest of the crust was done by cutting the butter in by hand. I hope this helps - Johnna
I make a lot of pies for our holiday dinners and this one is always first to be finished. Probably better to save for non holidays so people can enjoy the Apple and pumpkin pies without the decadent competition. A great dessert to impress. Careful not to overcook the crust. I also used almond flour. Use good chocolate. Pretty sure I had leftover mascarpone and needed extra chocolate. Yum!
This tart is delicious - and is pretty easy to make. I used almond flour instead of sliced almonds and skipped the food processor completely. I whisked the dry ingredients, worked the butter in by hand and mixed in the egg - easy and less dishes to wash. Also, I just heated the chocolate on a medium temp in the microwave. I would recommend cutting small pieces of this tart as it is fairly rich.
Surprisingly easy and quite tasty. I followed the creator's recommendation about only doing the almonds and sugar in the food processor; the crust was a perfect consistency. My only complaint was the mascarpone part was very sugary for my tastes. Next time I will reduce the amount of powdered sugar by a third, and then I think it will be 5 stars.
This recipe has become a family favorite and is often my "go to" recipe for entertaining. It has several steps but is very simple to make. The only time I ever had trouble with it was once when my mascarpone didn't whip up and it seemed to separate. I attribute this to the fact that it sat on the counter too long and got warm. Other than that, it has turned out perfect every time and I always get rave reviews. I love the flavor combination of almonds, chocolate, and raspberries. My husband and kids suggested some things we could do to tweak the recipe using different nuts and fruits. I told them "don't mess with perfection!"