Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mommy night in...Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Port Glaze

When we moved to Nevada nearly 4 years ago, it was a difficult transition for us. We have lived in California for close to 9 years and had a close group of friends that we hung out with on regular basis...When my husband was offered a job in Nevada, we had to make a quick decision to make a transition...I've never dreamed that we will end up in Sin City especially after we had a child. Olivia was 3 months old when we moved and as a new mommy I was preoccupied with taking care of an infant, working full time and making new friends...All aspects of this move was proven difficult to say the least, but by far the most challenging part for me was finding new friends. I have been lucky enough to have a handful of close friends now whom I love and have a great time with! Couple of months ago my friend Grace had a fabulous idea to have Mommy night a month where we all get together and have a potluck dinner or go out on a town. Last month we hung out at Grace's (who is also my next door neighbor-I loved not having to drive :))and had a great time just chatting and watching a movie. This month was my turn... we had a great turn out and fabulous time with all the girls. Great company, yummy food, plenty of wine and box of dominos...what else can a girl want? As you can see we don't require much ;) I had a GREAT time, I don't remember when I last laughed so much. THANKS GIRLS!!! I can't wait to do it again!!

As you probably have guessed I made a dessert: Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Port Glaze This recipe was adapted from Gourmet magazine, April 2009 issue.

For tart shell:

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
* Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 1 large egg yolk
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 3 tablespoons cold water

For filling:

* 1 1/2 pounds strawberries (about 1 1/2 quarts), trimmed and halved lengthwise
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup ruby Port
* 1 pound mascarpone (about 2 cups)
* 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
* 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make tart shell:

Blend together flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Beat together yolk, vanilla, lemon juice, and water with a fork, then drizzle over flour mixture and stir with fork (or pulse) until mixture comes together.

Gently knead with floured hands on a lightly floured surface until a dough forms, then gently knead 4 or 5 times. Press into a 5-inch disk. Place in center of tart pan and cover with plastic wrap. Using your fingers and bottom of a flat-bottomed measuring cup, spread and push dough to evenly cover bottom and side of pan. Prick bottom of tart shell all over with a fork and freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until side is set and edge is pale golden, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and continue to bake until shell is deep golden all over, about 20 minutes more. Cool in pan, about 45 minutes.

Make filling while tart shell cools:

Stir together strawberries and granulated sugar in a bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Strain in a sieve set over a small saucepan, reserving berries. Add Port to liquid in saucepan and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk together mascarpone, confectioners sugar, lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until stiff.

Assemble tart:
Spread the mascarpone mixture evenly in cooled tart shell, then top with strawberries. Drizzle Port glaze all over tart.

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