Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, oh my! Markets and gardens are filled with berries right now and it is almost impossible to not think about making berry cobblers, fools, and crumbles. But these desserts probably won’t materialize on my dinner table. No, I’m not lazy. I just don’t have air conditioning. And it’s way too hot to think about cranking up the oven and baking.
At this time of year, I prefer to make tarts with graham cracker crusts. These buttery, crumbly crusts need to bake for only 10 minutes, and because my tart pan fits into our toaster over, I usually just bake the crust in there. This particular tart features a creamy mascarpone filling sweetened with honey and topped with fresh blackberries.
Blackberry Tart with Honeyed Mascarpone Filling
Blackberries are kind of sneaky. They turn a deep blackish, purple before they fully ripen. But these almost ripe berries are tart, firm, and just not as tasty as fully ripe ones. When picking blackberries (either off the canes or at the market) choose only the most luscious ones—they should be plump, soft, and have a dark (rather than whitish) core.
You can cover the entire tart with berries if you like, but I like to leave a pool of filing exposed in the middle because it looks so pretty.
What you’ll need:
1 7.5 ounce box of animal graham crackers (about 2 heaping cups)
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint of blackberries (or more if you want to cover the entire tart)
1. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Process the animal crackers and brown sugar in a food processor until the mixture looks like coarse sand (about 10 one second pulses). Then, with the processor blade running, pour in the melted butter and process until the crumbs are evenly moist. Press the crumbs into a 9 inch tart pan and bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is firm to the touch. Remove the crust from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
2. Meanwhile, beat the mascarpone cheese and sour cream in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in the honey and the vanilla. Spread the filling onto the cooled crust and arrange the berries in concentric circles over the filling, starting at the outside and moving in. You can chill the tart, if you like, but I usually eat it right away!