Strawberries have to be one of the summer’s most popular fruit and certainly one that touches multiple senses. They are gorgeous in appearance, their scent is unmistakable and the sweetness of this luscious berry comes with just a hint of tartness.
There are so many ways to capture the essence of this wonderful berry, but their starring role in this glorious tart is a showstopper. The beauty of this dessert- it’s perfect to serve any month of the year. Refreshing in the late heat of summer it is also spectacular on a holiday table.
Whole, plump strawberries sit on a creamy layer of mascarpone cheese, blended with a touch of Cointreau and a hint of almond. Then a layer of sweet, thick crushed strawberries smothers those whole berries, all of which are cradled in a buttery graham cracker crust.
Looking for something to make your guests feel special… Look no further!
For the crust:
2-1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
6 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoons kosher salt
2/3 cups melted butter
In a medium bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and the kosher salt.
Add the melted butter and mix well into the graham cracker crumbs.
Press the crumb mixture into a 10” deep-dish tart pan that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray.
Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until the crust begins to lightly brown and becomes fragrant.
For the tart:
2 cups sliced strawberries plus 3-4 cups whole berries, preferably similar in size
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Cointreau, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract, divided
1 carton mascarpone (8 ounces), at room temperature
Add the 2 cups of sliced berries and the water to a saucepan. Gently crush the berries with a pastry knife or potato masher. Whisk together the cornstarch and the sugar, stir into the berries and water until well blended.
Cook the berries over low heat, stirring frequently until thickened. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cointreau, the vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon of the almond extract. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a small bowl combine the mascarpone cheese, the remaining 1 tablespoon Cointreau and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, blending together until smooth. Spread the mascarpone cheese mixture evenly across the bottom of the graham cracker crust.
Place the whole berries evenly over the top of the mascarpone cheese.
Pour the thickened strawberry mixture over the top of the whole berries, spreading to cover the tart. Cover and chill overnight or until well set.