This is one of the prettiest sweet treats you will ever see and they taste absolutely sensational. If you want to cheat, just buy the pastry cases ready made and fill them, however this pastry recipe is fairly painless.
330g plain flour
100g icing sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
180g cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
1 free range egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water
110g mascarpone cheese
110ml creme fraiche
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
25g icing sugar
1. Brush a muffin tin with a thin layer of melted butter and leave to set in the fridge.
2. To make the pastry put the flour, icing sugar, lemon zest and salt in a bowl and add the butter. Rub it in with your hands to get a coarse breadcrumb consistency with no large lumps of butter.
3. Add the egg yolk and water and mix just until the dough comes together, being careful not to mix any longer than necessary. I usually need to add a bit more water than the recipe calls for.
4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead very lightly for a few seconds only, just to shape it into a smooth disc, 5-6cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins in the fridge
5. Lightly dust your work surface, remove the pastry from the fridge and cling film, place in the middle and roll out with a rolling pin until it is no more than 2-3mm thick. Work quickly so that the pastry does not get warm.
6. Cut out 6 circles using a pastry cutter or the rim of a glass as I do. Line the muffin tin by placing the circles inside and gently pressing them into the corners and sides. Leave in the fridge for 30 mins.
7. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Line each pastry case with a circle of baking paper which should come 1cm above the edge of the pastry and fill with rice or dried beans. Place in the oven and blind bake for 30 mins or until golden brown (which will probably take another 10 mins).
8. Remove the pastry cases from the tin when they are still slightly warm.
9. Put the mascarpone cream, creme fraiche, vanilla essence and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until the cream thickens up and can hold its shape when lifted with a spoon.
10. Spoon the mixture into the pastry cases and top with the berries.
Recipe inspired by the fabulous Ottolenghi cookbook.