A Sarcastic Appetite

Strawberry Mascarpone Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
June 20, 2010, 11:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Almost every weekend I’m in town, I claim that I’m waking up early on Saturday morning and sauntering down to the Union Square Greenmarket. I swear this is the weekend I get there before 9am to wander through the stalls, picking up whatever suits my fancy and whipping up several delicious meals out of my bounty. Somehow, shockingly, this has never come to fruition. (Sleep turns out to be a really powerful incentive to stay put.) This weekend, though, I was determined to make it down there. And I did, to pick up some strawberries….though it was closer to 4pm than 9am. Whatever, it still counts. I knew I wanted to make this tart, which I had spied somewhere last summer, and the giant tasteless specimen from Gristede’s just wouldn’t do.

Gourmet claimed that the tart shell was “a breeze to make,” but I wasn’t buying it. I knew I wanted to fiddle with the filling – adding cream cheese in lieu of some of the mascarpone for a little bit of tang, so I figured an easy graham cracker crust might be just the thing. No pie weights, no foil, no butter or ice cold water. A veritable piece of cake (or pie, if you will). Right?

Somehow that’s never the case. The recipe I found claimed that 24 graham crackers made the required 2 cups of crumbs, and let me tell you that is not the case. It probably makes 5 cups, though my spatial reasoning is nonexistant so don’t quote me on it. Why didn’t I just stop pulsing graham crackers once I realized I had several cups already? Well. Excellent point. I….don’t have an answer for you. Anyway, try the variation listed here but keep in mind it’s probably more like 10 crackers. Or even less. Who knows? I certainly don’t.

Anyway, once I got through the dicey graham cracker crust stage, the rest of it really was a breeze. Hull and halve some strawberries, about 1 1/2 quarts, toss with sugar and leave for 30 minutes. Whisk together some mascarpone, cream cheese, lemon zest, juice, and vanilla. Oh, and sugar. The worst part, as it tends to be in these situations, is waiting for the crust to cool before spreading it with the cheese mixture, topping it with strawberries, and drizzling some reduced strawberry saucy deliciousness. And wow, it really is delicious. I should know, since I ate it for breakfast.

P.S. You like the new header!?! Yeah, me too.

Strawberry Mascarpone Pie

Makes one 9″ pie. Adapted from this recipe. A sidenote: I didn’t have Port and didn’t feel like buying some just for this, so I made my sauce from preserves, 1 tbsp. of the lemon juice, and the strawberry juice. Do whatever you like.

For the crust:

2 c. honey graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers?)

1/2 c. melted butter

1/3 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Mix all three ingredients and press into a pie plate (up the sides, too). Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling:

1 1/2 qts. nice strawberries, hulled and halved

1/3 c. granulated sugar

8 oz. mascarpone

8 oz. cream cheese (1/3 less fat is fine to use here)

1/2 c. confectioners sugar

zest of one lemon

1  tbsp. + 1 tsp. lemon juice, divided

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. strawberry preserves

1 tbsp. lemon juice

While the crust is cooling, toss the strawberries with 1/3 c. granulated sugar and let sit for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. In another large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, cream cheese, lemon zest, 1 tsp. of the lemon juice, sugar, and vanilla extract. Set aside. Meanwhile, set the strawberries in a sieve over another bowl and stir. Pour the juice into a small saucepan, add the preserves and the lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce slightly, not quite ten minutes.

Spread the cheese mixture over the cooled crust, then top with the strawberries. Drizzle the sauce over the pie (I didn’t use all of it).

1 Comment so far
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very impressed that you actually made it to the farmers market as hoped. maybe there is even hope for me one of these days…
lets hang out again soon, okay?

Comment by caitlin

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