Beautiful berry tarts

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PREP TIME

10 min

TOTAL TIME

55 min

Serves

8 to 10

Treat yourself to decadent fresh berries on a light mascarpone cheese base. Store-bought pastry shells make this an ideal quick dessert for festive dinner parties.


Ingredients

  • 255-g pkg store-bought frozen tart shells , or 9-in. store-bought frozen pie shell or homemade pastry (see tip)
  • 2 cups cold mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp Grand Marnier , or amaretto liqueur
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries , whole raspberries, or a mix

Instructions

  • To bake frozen tart shells, preheat oven to 375F (190C). Remove shells from freezer and thaw at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes. Separate shells and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, from 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. To bake a frozen pie shell, preheat oven to 400F (200C). Remove shell from freezer and let thaw 10 minutes, then prick bottom and sides of shell with a fork. Bake on bottom rack of 400F (200C) oven until golden, from 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.
  • Meanwhile, place mascarpone, sugar, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) Grand Marnier and 1/4 cup (50 mL) berries in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Whirl until mixture is smooth and has an easy-spreading consistency, scraping down sides as needed with a spatula, from 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add more sugar, if needed.
  • Fill each cooled tart shell with about 2 tablespoons (30 mL) cheese mixture and smooth surface. Or scrape cheese mixture into cooled pie shell and smooth surface. Toss remaining berries with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Grand Marnier and a generous pinch of granulated sugar. Arrange on top of tarts or pie. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. If making ahead, add berries just before serving. Serve tarts as is or cut pie into wedges. Garnish with fresh mint, if you like.

Make ahead

Filling for tarts or pie can be made in advance, covered and refrigerated up to 2 days. To make it easier to spread, bring to room temperature before filling shells. Tart and pie shells can be baked, then covered and left at room temperature up to 2 days. Don’t fill more than 4 hours before serving as crust may become soggy.

 

Home-made pastry tip

Prepare enough pastry for a single-crust pie. Use this amount to make tart shells or 9-inch (23-cm) single-crust pie. Prick all over to reduce air bubbles. Bake as directed above.