If you are wondering who is Tony and more what the heck is ATOM, check this and find out. If I should tel you, Tony is a great and inspiring blogger that I have followed a lot. ATOM (A taste of the Mediterranean) is his contest: “The premise of this culinary excursion is to virtually travel to the different regions of the Mediterranean through food and our blogs. Hold on, it gets better. Each month a traditional dish of the region we are visiting will be presented. The goal is to then blog about your own spin on that dish for a chance to win that month’s prize”.
So, January means tarts: I love tarts, but they are not on hubby’s top list – he still eats them with pleasure but it is not what he would choose if given the opportunity. When I saw tarts, I devilishly laughed and announced him that he is getting tarts, no matter what his opinion is.
But then, I had a problem: what to choose. It is not a dish I investigated too much as I told you why, so I had to think a bit. After a few days, I started to have the puzzle pieces come together. For the crust, I have chosen a graham one (I am on the whole side of foods lately). Then I went with a orange water flavored mascarpone topping, that can never go wrong, sugar syrup poached blackberries and orange caramel sauce.
For the crust
225 g butter (room temperature)
100 g brown sugar
80 g honey
280 g all purpose flour
70 g whole wheat flour
salt, ground cinnamon
With an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar to the butter and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and light colored. Add the honey and beat until combined.
In another bowl, sift the flours and mix them with the salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in two batches scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Mix until the dough is well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and form into a disk – the flatter the better (you will be able to work with it much better). Chill until firm, at least an hour and up to two days.
Preheat the oven to 265 degrees C.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to be quite thick (3 mm). Use round cookie cutters, any size you please (make sure you cut out a circle bigger than your tart pan).
Press the dough gently into your tins, prick dough with a fork all over, and let chill for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is firm enough to trim off the excess easily.
The shells should be baked until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. You can store them in an airtight container for about a day or freeze them for up to 3 months.
For the Mascarpone topping
250 g mascarpone (or you could use part mascarpone/ part cream cheese)
40-45 g confectioner sugar
100 ml heavy cream
orange water extract
Mix the mascarpone and sugar until smooth. Add the orange water and the heavy cream whipped to soft peaks.
Pipe the cream on top of the baked shells.
For the fruit
200 g blackberries
sugar syrup made from boiling 90 ml water and 120 g brown sugar
Make the sugar syrup and let the blackberries stand in it for 1-2 hours.
For the orange caramel sauce
100 g sugar
240 ml orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
Caramelize the sugar in a clean pan. When it reaches a dark, amber color, add the juice (it will steam like hell). Put it on low heat and let it simmer until all caramel is dissolved and the sauce thickens a bit. Let it cool.
Pipe the topping in the shells. Place a few blackberries on top and then add some sauce.
Note: the topping, blackberries and sauce are for about 6 tarts. The tart recipe however will give you much more (about 18 shells), so either cut it down or freeze remaining tarts for latter use.