Aug 25
2010

Mini Fig & White Chocolate Mascarpone Cream Tarts

in Chocolate, Dessert, Fruits & Vegetables

Fig Week

Although I love eating fig preserves on crackers with cream cheese, or simply spread on a slice of toasted and buttered bread (especially brioche!), fig preserves also make excellent additions to other dishes.  Whether it be using the preserves to make a glaze for a pork roast or adding the preserves to a yogurt parfait, the preserves are versatile and delicious.  I used some of my preserves to make mini fig and white chocolate mascarpone cream tarts.  These tarts are perfect for party finger food.  Not only are they delicious, but they are super easy to make and the components can be made ahead of time.  They are also the perfect size to be slipped into mini cupcake papers and packaged up to be given as a special treat to someone.

Mini tarts packaged to be given to a friend

I started out by making the mini tart shells.  I made the dough, then rolled it out, and cut out 24 circles using a 2.25″ circle cutter.  Then I pressed the circles of dough into a mini muffin pan (1 1/2-inch muffin cups).  I used a wooden tart tamper to make these go a bit quicker, but you can totally do the same thing using your fingers and pressing the dough into the muffin cups.  Then I pricked the dough with a fork and baked the shells until the edges had turned a golden brown.

Making the mini tart shells

When the shells had cooled, I spooned a bit of the fig preserves into each shell, topped them off with white chocolate mascarpone cream, and garnished them with a fresh mint leaf.

Assembling the mini tarts

The tarts were wonderful.  It’s a good thing that I had lots of people to share them, because it limited the number of times I could pop “just one more” into my mouth.

Mini Fig & White Chocolate Mascarpone Cream Tarts

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Mini Fig & White Chocolate Mascarpone Cream Tarts

Makes 24 mini tarts

For the Tart Crust:
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water, plus a few drops more if needed

For the White Chocolate Mascarpone Cream:
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup milk
3 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 – 8 tablespoons fig preserves

24 fresh mint leaves1. Make the tart shells*: Place the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and butter in a food processor.  Pulse 5 or 6 times in short bursts to break up the butter.  Then add the shortening, turn on the food processor, and immediately pour in the ice water, pulsing 2 or 3 times.  At this point the dough should be a mass of smaller lumps and just hold together when pressed together.  If it is too dry, add a couple drops of water and pulse 2 or 3 more times.  Gather the dough into a ball, then flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).**

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Have an ungreased mini-muffin pan (1 1/2-inch cups) ready (you will need 24 muffin cups to accommodate this recipe).  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until it is 1/8-inch thick, working quickly so that the dough warms up as little as possible.  Use a 2.25 or 2.5-inch circular cookie/biscuit cutter*** to cut 24 circles of dough.  Gently press the circles of dough into the muffin cups.  Poke the bottom and sides with a fork.  Bake the shells in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes until the edges of the shells are golden brown.  Remove the shells from the oven and let them cool completely.****

3. Make the white chocolate mascarpone cream: Place the white chocolate in a small mixing bowl.  In a small saucepan, gently bring the milk just to a boil.  Immediately remove the milk from the heat and pour it over the white chocolate.  Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt, then gently whisk it until it is smooth.  Whisk in the mascarpone cheese and vanilla.  Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

4. Assemble the tarts: Place 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of fig preserves in the bottom of each tart shell.  Fill the rest of the tart shell with white chocolate mascarpone cream.  Garnish each tart with a mint leaf.*****  Refrigerate the finished tarts until ready to serve.

* The mixture of all-purpose flour and cake flour results in a more tender crust.  If you have pastry flour, you can substitute 1 cup of pastry flour in place of the all-purpose flour and cake flour.

** You can also freeze the tart dough for several months if it is wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

*** I actually used a Wilton circular fondant cutter to cut my dough.

**** The shells can be made 1 to 2 days ahead of time.

***** Garnish variation: Toasted sliced almonds, toasted pine nuts, and fresh raspberries would also be delicious garnishes.

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* Don’t forget to enter for the chance to win your own box of fresh California figs!!  Details can be found in my Fresh California Figs + A Giveaway! post.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }



The Cilantropist August 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm

*sigh* Heavenly.

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Brian @ A Thought For Food August 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I want a plate of these right now! They look incredible!

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Ray August 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Hi,

Looks very yummy. Just one question and forgive my ignorance about baking. What is the reason for pricking the dough?

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) August 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm

@Ray, No worries, that’s a great question! Steam that is created during the baking process escapes through the holes creating by pricking the dough with a fork, which helps prevent the crust from puffing up as much and giving you less of a crust space to fill. You wouldn’t do this, however, if you fill the crust BEFORE baking it, otherwise the filling will seep through the holes and under the crust during baking, and will result in a soggy crust.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking August 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Ohh, these look sooo good and so cute! Love small desserts!

Ray, pricking the dough is called “docking,” and it helps to ensure the dough doesn’t puff up during baking.

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SMITH BITES August 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm

you know what? i have a mini tart pan AND the wooden tart tamper – the only thing missing are the FIGS! which i hope i win from your giveaway – yummmm!

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Fuji Nana August 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm

These are beautiful. It seems such a shame to eat them . . . but I’m shameless. Bring it on.

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Mary at Deep South Dish August 25, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Mouthwatering – wow!! Wish I had one right now!

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Life is Like A Box Of Chocolates August 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm

That looks DIVINE!! Love your blog!

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Simply Life August 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Oh wow, those look great!

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Katherine August 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm

These look SO good!

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Mika August 26, 2010 at 4:10 am

They seem super delicious and I’m sure they are super delicious…I have to try your white chocolate mascarpone cream, I really love mascarpone… ^_^

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Lora August 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm

These are simply gorgeous..

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Joy August 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm

That looks wonderful. I love the use of fig jam.

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 5, 2010 at 6:33 am

Wow – I love these tarts but I am kinda in love with the tart tamper. What a great tool!

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tamara August 27, 2011 at 5:33 am

beautiful idea, love the figs and mascarpone combo

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Abigail February 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I just found this recipe because my boyfriend adores figs and white chocolate – made it for Valentine’s Day and his first words were “I’m thinking we should probably elope.” So thank you for a magnificent recipe!

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