Each week when I do the grocery shopping, I make a routine stop in the berry section and check to see if there are any good sales going on.  I just love berries and can’t get enough of them, so if I find them on sale I grab them up as fast as I can.  Last week I gave the signs my customary glance and saw “Blackberries – $1.00″.  I did a double-take – wait, really?  $1.00??  Yes, please!  I grabbed several containers and immediately knew I would be making this tart.  I headed straight over to the specialty cheese section to pick up the mascarpone, and shortly thereafter the tart was ready to be eaten.

This tart really exceeded my expectations.  I figured it would be like any other berry tart I’ve ever had.  Which definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I was hoping for a new twist and this definitely delivered.  I used my standard tart dough recipe, which was delicious as always.  The filling was wonderful – the mascarpone and sour cream gave it a more interesting flavor that regular cream cheese, and the honey really came through.  If you are scared of the sour cream in the filling, don’t be.  I love sour cream on Mexican food but in baking it always makes me a bit leery, particularly in this context where the only sweetener is honey.  It was great though, and you definitely could not identify the taste of the sour cream itself.  I used honey from a local honey farm because I think it can make a big difference in the flavor, but I’m sure this would be great no matter what kind of honey you have on hand.  Of course the berries were still the star of the show, as they should be.  If we had less discipline, this would have been devoured in one night.

Blackberry Tart with Honey Mascarpone Filling
Ingredients:
For the crust:
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. very cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes 

For the filling:
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch ground nutmeg

For the topping:
Fresh blackberries (I used about 12 oz.)

Directions:
To make the crust, in a small bowl stir together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside.  Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas.  Add the egg mixture and beat on low speed just until the dough comes together.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  When you are ready to roll out the dough, unwrap it and place it on a lightly floured work surface.  Roll out with a floured rolling pin, lifting and turning the dough occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the work surface.  Roll it out evenly until it is large enough to line a 9-inch tart pan and is about 1/8-inch thick.  Carefully transfer the dough to the tart pan, pressing it into the sides, and trim to remove the excess.  

Cover the dough with foil or parchment paper and fill with baking beads.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Remove the foil and baking beads and using a fork, gently poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust.  Bake until the crust is golden, 15-20 minutes more.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

To make the filling, combine the mascarpone, sour cream, and honey in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat until smooth.  Mix in the vanilla extract and nutmeg.

Spread the filling into the cooled tart shell and smooth the top with a spatula.  Top with fresh blackberries.  Transfer to a serving platter.  Store in the refrigerator.

Source: tart dough adapted from Williams Sonoma, filling adapted from Good Egg