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Raspberry mascarpone mini tarts

An elegant sweet treat so simple a child can make it.

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    Simply stir together jam and softened mascarpone cheese and then fill premade filo pastry cups. Top each with a fresh berry, and voila! Serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
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For me, some of my earliest memories are hanging out with Mom in the kitchen. When she wasn’t cooking (my earliest memory of her cooking  is watching her fry homemade donuts), we would hang out in there. Sometimes while she did the ironing, she would have me count or read my older brother’s reading books from school. Fun time was often making paper dolls from old Sears catalog photos or making Barbie cars from empty shoe boxes while she stitched home made clothes for my dolls. We didn’t have very much back then, and she taught me a lot about thrift, and reusing things, and making things from scratch. Perhaps one of the reasons I enjoy cooking and making foods from scratch today.

Mom always took great pride in her cooking. Even if back in the 1960s cooking wasn’t exactly the same as it is today. We have so many more choices now. And many things we can buy can make things much easier.

These raspberry mascarpone mini tarts, which are no-bake, made with only five simple ingredients, can be made in just a few minutes time, and are easy enough for a small child to put together, with little to no supervision or assistance from a parent, or even an older brother or sister.

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I do think that at least for me, Mother’s Day was less about celebrating the things my family loved me for and more about teaching my child about how to be able to honor someone they cared about, showing them simple ways to show their appreciation, and develop the sense of pride in their own cooking skills. For if I had made these for my own mother, I am sure she would have exclaimed “Oh! How sweet!” and made me feel wonderful the way she always managed to do. But we didn’t have these easy ingredients back then, and not even when my own child was growing up.

And as a kid, I would have felt such pride and happiness to be able to put together a dessert that looked dainty, fancy and elegant, without it being above my own ability to make. These are so simple – stir the filling, fill the cups and add fruit and powdered sugar. As an idea for Dad to help the kids get a surprisingly wonderful food treat together for Mom, this is going to be the bomb.

So I hope that if your kids get to make this for their mom, they are as pleased about it as their mom will be. These kind of food memories tend to last for so long, and as well, help to build cooking skills which will enrich their health and lives far into the future.

Raspberry mascarpone mini tarts
Serves 5

1 (1.9-ounce box) Athens frozen mini fillo shells, thawed
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup raspberry jam
15 fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1. Stir together jam and softened mascarpone cheese until smooth.

2. You can pre-bake the filo cups but it is not necessary (especially if you want smaller children to do this whole thing themselves).

3. Fill filo shells with filling.

4. Place one raspberry on top of each.

5. Place powdered sugar in a sieve and dust mini tarts.

6. Can be served at once, but also can be chilled for several hours before serving (may need a recharge on the powdered sugar).

Related post on a Palatable Pastime: Oreo truffles

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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