I love baking with fresh fruits, especially in tarts. There aren’t many choices when it comes to fruits in the winter. I picked up some fresh pomegranate for the first time ever, and was delighted at its juiciness and bright flavour. Each white seed is encased in a dark red colour coat with some seed showing through. They resemble little glistening Christmas lights around this time of the year, and adding green pistachios made the tart extra festive. This may be the only dessert I need this holiday – Mascarpone Tart with Pomegranate and Pistachios.
- 185 g / 6 oz butter, softened
- 25 g / 1-1/2 tbsp warm milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 250 g / 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 80 g / 1/3 cup sugar
- 250 g Mascarpone cheese (1 small container)
- 15 g / 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 90 g / 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp whipping cream
- 15 g / 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 5 g / 1 tsp salt
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Half of a large pomegranate
- 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter with a paddle attachment at low speed. Beat in warm milk and egg yolk. Add in sugar and salt, beat until smooth.
- Lastly, mix in flour to form a soft dough. Avoid over-mixing. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic, chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12 circle, line dough onto a 9.5 inch fluted round tart pan with a removable bottom. Dock the bottom with a fork. Rest the shell in the fridge until firm.
- Blind bake tart shell: line the inside of the shell with parchment paper, fill with pie weights (beans, rice etc), bake in a 350 F oven for 25 - 30 minutes until the edges are slightly golden. Cool and take out pie weights. Set aside until ready to use.
- Place all ingredients in a large glass measuring cup, blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to blend.
- Pour custard into prepared tart shell. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until slightly golden on top. Cool completely. Dust with icing sugar, and garnish with pomegranate and pistachios.
This tart is quite easy to put together. My favourite part of it was the pastry, it was tender, rich, and not so sweet, making it the perfect crust for the sweet and creamy mascarpone custard. I am not sure what took me so long to finally buy my first pomegranate, perhaps because of its intimidating looks?
Thinking that I wouldn’t like the taste as much as I love its beautiful colour, I was surprised at how delicious they were. Its tart flavour and crunch texture made an excellent companion to this rich dessert.
I took these photos on a dreary winter day in Vancouver, thinking the photos may not do the tart justice. I was relieved to see the photos turned out better than I have expected! The intense red of the pomegranate definitely helped. What are you most excited about this holiday? I am both excited and ever so slightly stressed out about work and baking cookies to feed my family and friends, just like every other holiday season.