Sunday, May 20, 2012

Berry Mascarpone Tart from Ventura Beach's Fruit Stand

This past weekend Prescott and I went on a lovely day trip to Ventura Beach, which is by far, hands down, my favorite beach in California.  It is not flashy, there are no street entertainers and no ferris wheels, but there are real sand dunes, lots of kids and open space to build sand castles :)  Not to mention, the biggest outlet shopping center on the West coast just 10 minutes away in Camarillo and an awesome breakfast spot called Waypoint Cafe where you can watch the planes land while you enjoy the best biscuits this side of North Carolina.  Perfect for kids!  

I guess, the main reason I love Ventura Beach so much is because it reminds me of back home.  The beaches out here can be awfully intimidating, scary and weird (no offense to all those who love them and live here!) but Ventura Beach is so down to earth, normal and family oriented.  It is the only California beach that I have witnessed actual sand dunes, which makes me feel all giddy inside!  

Lastly, for all those who live in the SCV it is only a hour and a half drive and a scenic one at that.  You take the 126 the whole way, passing strawberry fields, fruit stands and even wine tasting rooms.  It is a gorgeous drive and worth every gallon of it :)  We made this delicious berry mascarpone tart from the local berries and honey that we bought on our way home from our favorite little fruit stand.  It might be the best thing I have made thus far!

The California Sand Dunes

The Local Berries

The Local Honey (great for preventing seasonal allergies!)

Step 1
grind 25 reduced fat oreos in a food processor
pour in 1/2 a stick of melted Smart Balance Butter and combine until crumbs are wet
pour into pie dish and push down until it forms a crust

Step 2
whip 16 oz. organic heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup of pure cane sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extrac and the zest of 1 lemon tin a stand mixer with the whip attachment until stiff peaks form 
(do not over beat or it will become grainy)
gently fold in an 8 oz. container of room temperature mascarpone cheese until fully incorporated.
spread evenly over crust.

Step 3
in a separate bowl combine fresh raspberries, blackberries and diced strawberries (about an 8 oz container or less of each berry) with enough honey and blackberry jam to coat them (about 1/8 cup of each) and pour over your mascarpone mixture.

Step 4 
microwave equal parts skim milk and semi sweet or dark chocolate chips in a heat resistant bowl for 30 seconds at a time, stirring intermediately, until melted.  Do not overheat or chocolate will burn. Place it in a plastic baggie and cut the end off of one corner to drizzle your ganache over the top.

Gorgeous.  Delicious.
Refrigerate for a couple hours and serve with a fruity red wine!


  1. This looks so good!! I love anything with mascarpone :)

  2. Thanks Nina! I think you actually pinned something a few weeks ago that inspired me to make this :) Also, thanks for the correct spelling of mascarpone, I needed a real Italian to help me out there :D It really is delicious, I think it would be right up your alley!