I know. You’re just dying to read all about this sassy little honey mascarpone tart that requires less than 10 ingredients and 30 minutes to prep. But first, I thought I’d spend a minute talking about making a home in a new city.
When I moved to Selma, it was a culture shock. I’d moved around a good bit throughout my life, planting roots in upstate New York, rural Kentucky, and even central Florida, but not even my decade in Birmingham could prepare me for the small town life that awaited me in lower Alabama. The town of less than 20,000 operated at a slower, more relaxed pace of life. No Starbucks, no Whole Foods, no movie theatre. Most of the people I met had lived there pretty much their whole life, and in a sea of new faces, I sweat under the heat of being the new kid.
I felt kinda like a square peg in a town filled with round holes. People were warm and inviting, but the level of kindness and hospitality around me was intimidating. I didn’t feel polite enough or talkative enough or Southern enough to fit in. I talked different and dressed different, listened to different music. I wasn’t outdoorsy, I didn’t fry chicken, and I couldn’t give two craps about who won the Iron Bowl. I felt like an outsider.
Normal, social people, maybe ones with fewer insecurities and fears than I had, would have embraced the change. They probably would have welcomed the kindness and warmth that this small community shared so generously. They would have jumped at the chance to be known, to belong.
But to be frank, it scared the mess out of me. I didn’t like the constant show of new faces and I missed the quick runs to Target and my favorite Thai restaurant. I cried in the shower and avoided going to the supermarket because I knew I would be met with unfamiliar faces and awkward conversation. I felt like I had amnesia, like I was lost in a foreign land and I didn’t know who or where I was.
Instead of dealing with it, I pushed back. I cut my hair and put on my best yankee accent. I turned my nose up to the beautiful tastes and sounds that were all around me, retreating to things that were more familiar- throwback playlists on my iPod, old Converse sneakers, and recipes that reminded me of home. I desperately wanted my own identity, one that wasn’t just “Brett’s wife,” or “the new girl from Orlando.”
One day at work, I had a patient ask me how my transition to Selma was going. Obnoxiously, I cleared my throat and with an eye roll or two, I told him that my new life was harder than I thought it would be. The change was more than I expected. I’m honestly not sure what else was said in the conversation, or if I even responded with the grace that man deserved, but what plays clear as black and white in the reel of my memories is the look on his face and the gentle words that came next: “My Mama always told me, ‘Blossom where you’re planted.’ I sure hope you take the chance to bloom here, ma’am.”
Those words affected me. They exposed a stubborn seed of pride in my heart that was unwilling to bend for my new home in any way. I was so busy with my self-deprecation and mourning the loss of outlet malls that I forget to look for the silver lining. I failed to seek out the gold in Selma, the gold in its people.
A lot has transpired in the four year since that day. I won’t say much about it now, but what I will share is that Selma has become a home. There are roots now, woven snug to some of the most intimate parts of who I am. Roots that connect me to memories of my children, new smells and flavors, and faces of people who have become “forever friends.” There’s buds here, signs of new life and growth, and I’m certain now more than ever that Selma is the soil I want to blossom in.
Every summer since moving to Selma, I’ve found myself with a basket of figs. My father-in-law has a gigantic fig tree at his home, so when the tree’s fruit ripens, I strap on some boots and sweat, sweat, sweat for the love of sweet summer fruit. Preserves come first, and we enjoy that bounty all year round on toast and biscuits, even inside some sweet little pop-tarts that I plan to share with you all next month. This year, I made a few extra trips to pick figs and this honey mascarpone tart is the result.
A simple, 8 ingredient tart, requiring less than 30 minutes of prep work and zero use of the oven, this honey mascarpone tart is a beautiful vehicle for late summer’s freshest fruits. I’ve chosen to pair mine with figs, but I think any cherry, peach, or berry would find themselves more than at home on this little beauty.
To make this honey mascarpone tart, we start by preparing the crust. Salty, soft, and unabashedly buttery, the graham cracker crust here is anything but subtle. It is the perfect match for the creamy, lightly sweetened cream and fresh figs. A simple stir of graham cracker crumbs, butter, salt, and brown sugar and you’re halfway there to creating the best no-bake honey graham crust a gal could ask for. Press the crumbs into the removable bottom of a tart pan and let the whole thing chill up in the fridge.
Next, make the filling. Mascarpone cheese, honey, and brown sugar are the main stars here. After combining all three, fold in some whipped cream and spread it into the chilled crust. At that point, the honey mascarpone tart could really be finished. I could easily polish off the entire thing over the course of a few nights without even blinking an eye. Instead, let’s decorate it with some fresh summer fruit, a handful of pistachios, and a drizzle of honey because YOLO, okay?
This honey mascarpone tart feels special. It feels like a dessert worth celebrating over, and yet, it’s just a few simple ingredients that shine their brightest when paired together. Light and fresh, a chilled slice of this honey mascarpone tart is just the ticket on these warm summer nights we’re having. It’s easy enough for a weeknight at home, decadent enough to raise a toast to.
Give this honey mascarpone tart a try and let me know what you think! Happy Thursday!
If you like this honey mascarpone tart, be sure to check out:
Honey Mascarpone Tart
This honey mascarpone tart is a quick and simple mascarpone cream dessert with a salty graham cracker crust. The tart is finished with fresh figs and toasted pistachios.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 240
- Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
For the crust:
- 1/3 cup (70 gm) brown sugar, packed
- 2 cups (200 gm) graham cracker crumbs
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons (100 gm) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 8 ounces (230 gm) mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup plus 1/3 cup (320 mL) heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 cups of fresh figs, halved (peaches, berries, or cherries can be substituted)
- ¼ cup (40 gm) chopped pistachios, toasted (optional)
- Additional honey for drizzling (optional)
To prepare the crust:
- Whisk together the brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until well combined. Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 9-10” tart pan with a removable bottom. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
To prepare the filling:
- In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese on medium speed until creamed and no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Be sure the cheese has come to room temperature or you will have a clumpy filling. Add the brown sugar and beat to combine, about 30 seconds. Add in the honey slowly with the mixer on low. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for an additional 30 seconds to ensure everything is well combined.
- In a separate bowl, beat 1 cup of the heavy cream on medium low speed until it gets frothy. Increase the speed and beat until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat.
- Fold about half of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Add the remaining half and fold to combine. If you notice your filling is a bit clumpy, add in the additional 1/3 cup of cream and beat briefly to smooth out.
- Spread the filling into the prepared tart crust and allow to chill in the fridge for several hours to firm up. Once ready to serve, garnish the tart or each slice with figs, pistachios, and an extra drizzle of honey, if desired. Store in the fridge up to 3 days.
- In a pinch, you can use cream cheese in place of mascarpone, but I highly encourage the mascarpone! It works perfectly with the honey.
- If your mascarpone curdles a bit when you add the honey, try refrigerating it and then re-mixing. I have found this helps to minimize the curdles. Most of the lumps disappear with the addition of the whipped cream anyways.