Sweet Pastry Crust:
In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside. Place the butter in your mixer and beat until softened. Add
the sugar and beat
until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating just until
incorporated. Don't over mix or the butter will separate and lighten in color. Add flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball. Don't
overwork or pastry will be hard when baked.
Flatten dough into disk,
cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate about one hour or until firm.
Have ready an 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) tart
pan with removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the
pastry into an 11 - 12 inch (28 - 30 cm) circle that is about 1/8 inch (3 mm)
thick. To prevent the pastry from sticking to
the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the
pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry
outwards to get uniform thickness). To make sure it is
the right size, take your tart pan, flip it over, and place it on the rolled out
pastry. The pastry should be about an inch larger than pan.
When the pastry is
the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your
rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto top of tart pan. Never pull pastry or you will get shrinkage (shrinkage is caused by too
much pulling of the pastry when placing it in the pan). Gently lay in pan and with a small
floured piece of pastry, lightly press pastry into bottom and up sides of pan. Roll
your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry. With a thumb up movement, again press dough into pan. Roll rolling pin over top again to get
rid of any extra pastry. Prick bottom of dough (this will prevent the
dough from puffing up as it bakes). Cover and freeze for about 20
minutes to chill the butter and to rest the gluten.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to
375 degrees F
(190 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line unbaked pastry
shell with parchment
paper or aluminum foil. Fill tart pan with pie weights, rice or beans, making sure
the weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed over the entire
surface. Bake crust for 20
minutes or until crust is dry and lightly golden brown. Remove weights and
continue to bake for about 5 - 10 minutes or until the crust is cooked through.
Remove from oven and completely cool
the crust on a wire rack before filling.
Cream Filling: In
the bowl of
your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer or wire whisk) beat the mascarpone
cheese, heavy whipping
cream, sugar and vanilla extract just until soft peaks form.
To Assemble Tart:
To remove the tart from the fluted sides of the pan, place your hand under the
pan, touching only the removable bottom not the sides. Gently push the tart
straight up, away from the sides. The fluted tart ring will fall away and slide
down your arm. If you want to remove the bottom of the pan, run a knife or thin
metal spatula between the crust and metal bottom, then slide the tart onto your
cream onto the tart, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon or with an offset
spatula. Scatter the blackberries on top of the cream.
In a small
saucepan, warm the jam. Strain to remove any large lumps of fruit, and then
gently brush or spoon the jam over the berries. This step will keep the berries
from drying out and also makes them nice and shiny. If not serving immediately,
refrigerate. Take out about 30 minutes before serving to give the fruit and
cream a chance to warm to room temperature.
Serves about 6 - 8 people.