Tuesday, 15 June 2010


I'm stuck in the flat. Literally. I've done my back in again and have lost the ability to tackle stairs. So my thoughts turn to the big wide world out there and also to the food shopping I was supposed to do after Mother and Toddlers this morning. I'm in the mood for pudding(s), are you?
The wonderful thing about the time of year is the fruit available and the excellent quality of locally produced fruit. So here are two recipes (or variations on a theme) involving my favourite fruits: strawberries and raspberries.
But fear not this will not be a light summery fruit salad type thing, no this is a Fran pudding so it requires taking some beautiful berries and covering them with heavy creamy mascarpone, loads of butter, booze etc. So stick the oven on at 180 degrees, loosen your trousers and embrace the summer. 

Crostata al mascarpone e lamponi (or Raspberry and Mascarpone tart)
  • 450g sweet shortcrust pastry (I bought a 450g packet of JUS ROL, and used two rolls - one on top of the other, and they were already cut into a round shape)
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 200g ricotta
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g icing sugar
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 300g raspberries 
  • 300g raspberries
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

Make it!

Roll out the pastry and use it to line your tart dish.  Line with baking paper, fill with baking beans and cook at 180c/fan 170c/gas5 for 20 mins.

Take out the beans and paper and put back in the oven for another 10 mins until completely golden and cooked through.  Allow it to cool completely before filling.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and ricotta with the vanilla extract, icing sugar and lemon zest.  When the mixture is completely smooth and thick, spoon it into the pastry case.

Decorate with raspberries.  

Strawberry, Vin Santo and Mascarpone trifles


  1. 500g strawberries, hulled
  2. 4 tsp caster sugar, plus a little extra, if needed
  3. 200g mascarpone
  4. 6 tbsp single cream
  5. Few drops vanilla extract
  6. 125ml (or more if you like) Vin Santo, pudding wine or grappa
  7. 50g salted pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
  8. 16 savoiardi sponge fingers


  1. Mash the strawberries with a little sugar if they’re a bit tart. Blend the mascarpone, cream, vanilla and caster sugar together until smooth.
  2. Put a spoonful of crushed strawberries in each trifle glass. Cut the sponge fingers, using half to make a layer in the glasses that covers the layer of strawberries (it doesn’t matter if it’s not very neat).
  3. Spoon 2 tbsp or so of Vin Santo, pudding wine or grappa over each one – the exact quantity is up to you.
  4. Cover with half the mascarpone mixture, then sprinkle over half the pistachios. Repeat the layers of strawberries, sponge fingers and mascarpone mix and top it off with the last of the pistachios.

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