These pretty little elderflower and mascarpone cream tartlets are decorated with fresh redcurrants and whitecurrants. The red and white currants have a jewel like appearance that works well these little bite-sized tartlets but you can also use other berries.
These tartlets are just a few bites big which makes them perfect to serve as part of an elegant afternoon tea. They would also make a delightful end to a meal if like me you always like to finish with a little sweet treat but you are too full for a more substantial dessert.
The pastry cases are short and crumbly, which contrast well with the really easy to make sweet elderflower flavoured mascarpone cream. Simply stir elderflower cordial into the mascarpone before filling the little tart cases.
Redcurrants and White Currants
I’ve finished them off with some fresh redcurrants and whitecurrants which I picked from my allotment. Having made a delicious Peach and Red Currant cake with the first of my harvest I was wondering what else I could make. In previous years I have used them to make jams and jellies such as my Raspberry and Redcurrant Jam.
But I like to come up with some new recipes every year so I looked up ideas from Nigel Slater one of my favourite cookbook authors. He suggested just piling them onto a sweet tart. Hence the idea for these tartlets was born and he is so right this is the perfect way to enjoy these lovely seasonal berries just as they are.
I think they look really pretty too. The season for fresh red, white and black currants is short which makes eating them fresh all the more enjoyable. If you cannot find them or they are out of season you can make these pretty tartlets with other soft fruits. Blueberries and strawberries work well.
Optional glaze for other fruits
When using fresh currants I think these tarts are nicest served as they are but if you are using other berries especially larger berries like strawberries that have been cut you may like to finish with a little glaze.
To make the glaze, melt 4tbsp apricot or seedless raspberry jam in a small saucepan with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp water and stir until combined. If using apricot jam strain through a small sieve or tea strainer into a bowl. Brush or spoon over the fruit and allow to set.
If you make these tarts in advance you will need to store in the refrigerator, however, I think they are best served at room temperature when the mascarpone cream is lovely and soft. Remove the tartlets about one hour before serving.
Step by Step Elderflower and Mascarpone Cream Tartlets
Elderflower and mascarpone cream tartlets
- 200 g (7oz) Plain flour
- 100 g (3½oz) butter cut into cubes
- 25 g (1oz) caster sugar
- 2½ tbsp cold milk
- 250 g (9oz) mascarpone
- 3–4 tbsp elderflower cordial
- 200 g (7oz) red and white currants or other summer berries
- 2 x 12 hole bun tray
- 7.5cm (3in) round fluted biscuit/cookie cutter
To make the pastry
- Place 200g (7oz) flour in a mixing bowl and rub in 100g (3½oz) butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 25g (1oz)caster sugar. Add 2½tbsp cold milk then mix with dinner knife using a cutting movement. Finish bringing the pastry together with your hands, adding a little more milk if required, to mix to a soft dough. Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and cut into rounds7.5cm(3in) with a round fluted biscuit cutter,re-rolling the pastry until you have used all the pastry and have 18 rounds.
- Carefully place the pastry rounds into the bun tray, pressing them gently into the holes with your fingertips. Prick the base with a fork and pop into the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 6. Bake the pastry cases for about 15 minutes or until pale golden and crisp. Allow to cool completely.
To fill the pastry cases
- Beat together 250g (9oz) mascarpone with 3–4 tbsp elderflower cordial until combined. Spoon equally between the pastry cases and spread flat with a dinner knife.
- Wash the redcurrants and whitecurrants and dry with kitchen paper. Strip from the stems, you can do this by pulling the stems between the tines of a fork. Pile on top of the tartlets. Chill until required.
StoreCovered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Allow to come to room tmeperature before serving. The pastry cases and filling can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store the pastry cases in an airtight conatiner in a cool place and the mascarpone cream in the refrigerator. Assemble when required. The completd tart is not suitable for freezing, but the pastry cases can be frozen for up to 3 months.
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