Pumpkin Seed Mascarpone Mousse And Raspberry Tartelettes
I realized a couple of years into our marriage that the occasions to take out our china and break into grandma’s pretty silveware were going to be limited if we did not expand the meaning of "occasions". Even a simple and casual dinner with friends is now considered one. A moment to celebrate friendship, time set aside to connect or reconnect, all made special by the conversations and the people around them. Even a simple dinner calls for a special dessert like these Pumpkin Seed Mascarpone Mousse And Raspberry Tartelettes and my grandmother’s vintage dessert spoons. Just because.
I like to set a pretty table and make a special meal when we have company and you can guess that there is a treat awaiting them for dessert. We are not stuck into fussy table settings and usually end up taking our plates to the back deck during Spring and Summer or cozy up in front of the fireplace during the winter. I also love the fact that I can take the dogs to the dock around 7pm and sit there watching the sunset while the porpoises give us a little show. Pretty idyllic. Something to take in and make time for.
We had friends over the other night and decided to get some crabs at the dock and have a simple crab boil for dinner. I knew we’d have to cover the deck table with layers of newspaper and just get ready for things to get messy. But oh so much fun! What I did not expect was for B. to call me from the dock and ask us to bring the party over there. I trust him and I knew there was a reason. We were not disappointed. The sea was at full tide, the sunset gorgeously pink, yellow and red and the porpoises were giving us the funniest game of hide and seek. Good company, good food, delicious surroundings. I don’t know how I got so lucky and I tried to take it all in since I know we won’t be here forever.
I wish my dad would have been there with us that night because it would have been the perfect setting to wish him a Happy Father’s Day (he also had a birthday just a few days ago!). I know he would loved it and he would have loved the whole meal, complete with these tarts. And I know my grandma would have loved to see her pretty silverware hanging out at the dock in a very informal setting. She was cool like that.
My intentions were to make pistachio and mascarpone mousse tarts but I was already using all of my pistachio stash for another project. I am stubborn though. I wanted something green to contrast with the red of the raspberries I intended to use. I looked around in the pantry and remembered a container of raw pumpkin seeds. Hmmm…would it work? Well, there is no better way to find out than to just do it, right?
Oh yes…it does! The tartelettes start with basic shortcrust rounds (or sable dough) set at the bottom of a tart ring and topped with a layer of almond cream. The pumpkin seeds are finely ground before being mixed in with mascarpone and whipped cream to make the mousse. To finish the tarts are studded with plump and tasty fresh raspberries. I admit there is a new store opening up nearby and with opening specials running all week, I got ingredients for close to nothing but if either mascarpone are hard to find or cost prohibitive where you live, you can substitute cream cheese and other berries like strawberries .
Pumpkin Seed Mascarpone Mousse and Raspberry Tartelettes:
For the tart shells:
1 stick (115 gr) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (93 gr) powdered sugar, unsifted
1 large egg
1 1 /2 cups (190gr) flour
2 tablespoons (20 gr) cornstarch (makes for a lighter crumb)
pinch of salt
For the almond cream:
1 stick (115 gr) butter, softened
1/2 cup (100 gr) granulated sugar
1 cup (100 gr) ground almonds
1/4 cup (60gr) heavy cream
Pumpkin Seed Mascarpone Mousse:
200 ml heavy cream
4 oz (120gr) mascarpone, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (25gr) sugar
1/3 cup (80gr) raw pumpkin seeds, ground
2 cups fresh raspberries
Prepare the tart shells:
In a mixer, whip together the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and mix briefly. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Do not work the dough while in the mixer or it will toughen it up. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between the sheets of plastic. You will need half the amount of dough to make the tartelettes. The other half can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen, well wrapped for up to 3 months. Cut out eight rounds with a 3-inch pastry ring. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
Prepare the almond cream:
Place the butter, sugar, almond powder, and the eggs in a large bowl and whisk until smooth (can also be done in a food processor). Add the cream but stir it in carefully instead of whisking it (you do not want to emulsify it or it will rise while baking). Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place the 8 baked rounds of dough in eight 3-inch pastry rings, divide the cream evenly among the rings and bake 20 minutes at 350F. Let cool.
Prepare the mousse:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream to medium stiff peaks and reserve it in the refrigerator while you prepare the mousse.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and sugar with a spatula (really no need to put your mixer to use on that one). Add the ground pumpkin seeds and mix thoroughly until incorporated.
Carefully fold the reserved whipped cream into the mascarpone base by placing your spatula in the center of the bowl, scooping the bottom over the top. Give your bowl a 45 degree turn and repeat until the batter is smooth.
Assemble the tarts:
Place the mousse in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe a large dollop of mousse right in the center of the tartelettes, leaving a small border all around. Place raspberries all around the mousse. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I need to end this post by telling you that I feel like the luckiest girl on my block lately and I’ll tell you more about it during the week when I am done rubbing my eyes in amazement. All I can say is that you will see a group of bloggers doing a bunch of fun and food related things in a pretty cool place. All in the name of research. Of course. Which reminds me I need to start packing…
Katie June 21, 2009 um 7:52 am
Beautiful. It makes me think of hot sunny days and BBQs with family. Love the idea of the pumkin seed cream – I can imagine that going very well with the raspberries. So inventive.
Finla June 21, 2009 um 8:02 am
You are so creative , I would have never thought of using the seeds as i only used htem for my bread etc……..
Beautiful looking tartlletes.
My bookmarks from your place is growing each time i come here 🙂
Looking forward to hear aobut , why you feel th eluvkiest girl around the block.
Have a wonderful sunday.
Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul June 21, 2009 um 8:06 am
Aaah! Helen…the joys of summer! Crabs, sunsets, good friends and great dessert! I like this experiment and I imagine the flavour to be quite nutty…can't wait to see where you go next week!
Dominique June 21, 2009 um 8:22 am
L'argenterie s'abîme quand on la laisse dans les placards! je la sors dès que je peux, même avec des repas très simples. Ta recette semble délicieuse… superbes photos!
Snooky doodle June 21, 2009 um 8:31 am
Oh I really enjoyed reading your post. I was imagining the view on the deck and enjoying the time. must be marvelous. These tartlets look so good and I think the pumpkin seeds go well with the raspberries. So colourful too 🙂
Rosa's Yummy Yums June 21, 2009 um 9:16 am
A wonderful recipe! Those tartelettes are refined and very pretty!
shaz June 21, 2009 um 9:20 am
Crabs, then raspberries…how simple yet so decadent. It sounds like the perfect evening…thanks for sharing 🙂
Botacook June 21, 2009 um 9:30 am
Quelle bonne idée! Ça doit être drôlement bon et original! En tous cas tes tartelettes sont superbes!
♥peachkins♥ June 21, 2009 um 9:36 am
These are the most gorgeous raspberry tartlette I've ever seen..
Julie June 21, 2009 um 9:37 am
très belles photos! Ca donne envie…
Arwen from Hoglet K June 21, 2009 um 10:45 am
Great improvisation with the pumpkin seeds, and it makes a lovely contrast! Sounds like you had a beautiful evening for your party.
Cakelaw June 21, 2009 um 11:29 am
Congrats on your mystery gig, whatever it may be. These look groegous. I think any occasion is time to break out the good china, instead of having it gather dust. I have a dinner set "in the glory box" for 10 years before opening it – and had so much fun when I used it for no reason at all.
Oceanside Creations June 21, 2009 um 11:35 am
These look fantastic!
Manggy June 21, 2009 um 12:00 pm
Aaaaah no no no tell us NOW! Hee hee, kidding 🙂 I thought I knew where and when it was, but you are packing now, so it's somewhere else and sooner?
I am totally jealous of those perfect ruby-red globes. I didn't even know they went well with pumpkin seed, but I love the balance of flavors and of course the creativity 🙂
Cata June 21, 2009 um 12:20 pm
I love your blog, pictures look sooo good and yummy.
Good luck and keep posting!
Hilda June 21, 2009 um 12:33 pm
I couldn't possibly be the first person to comment right? So unusual to see 0 comments when I click on one of your delightful posts. These are beautiful and just sound absolutely delicious. And I totally agree about broadening the definition of occasions, otherwise I think most peoples' china would never see the light of day.
Big hugs to you and Bon Anniversaire a ton Papa!
Helene June 21, 2009 um 1:32 pm
Hilda: nope not the first one. I have to moderate the comments manually because of spam messages and on Sunday mornings…well there are other things more important than the computer, ehehe 🙂
Sarah June 21, 2009 um 1:35 pm
Last night my parents were talking about a taste test they staged at home between some hard-to-get beers they purchased overseas. I asked if they opened them for a special occasion and they responded that no, it was just a Wednesday night, the BEER was the occasion. So, the food (or drink) can certainly make it a reason to celebrate! And these tarts look like they would do the trick…
Jo June 21, 2009 um 2:06 pm
I can only imagine the entire ambience of the dinner setting, beautiful. Furthermore after looking at your photos, I can understand your stubborness of using something green to bring out the colours of the raspberries! Another delicious recipe and beautiful clicks.
Barbara June 21, 2009 um 2:30 pm
You've done it again. Who would have thought of subbing pumpkin seeds?? Aren't the raspberries gorgeous?
Deeba PAB June 21, 2009 um 3:45 pm
Just gorgeous Helen…everything…the crabs, the newspaper, the sunset, the seeds, the tartslets, the very idea behind them… & gran's silver! Beautiful!
Hale June 21, 2009 um 3:48 pm
I was wondering how did you get your forks clean? And are they Silver?
maybelle's mom June 21, 2009 um 4:32 pm
Oh, you are so right about occasions. These tarts are yummy but I really want that crab boil!
alison June 21, 2009 um 4:36 pm
this looks like GREAT FUN! and easy…thank you so much for exposing yr delicious ideas…
Erin June 21, 2009 um 4:54 pm
These look so incredibly beautiful and delicious!
Cannelle Et Vanille June 21, 2009 um 5:21 pm
crab boil, dock, friends and fresh berry tarts… you just described the perfect summer evening. mosquitoes and all, but how fun!
Valérie June 21, 2009 um 5:28 pm
Just lovely! The combination of ingredients especially wows me!
I agree that we often don't create enough "occasions" in our lives. Sometimes, we need more good silverware and fancy desserts!
The Purple Foodie June 21, 2009 um 7:15 pm
Love how you spent your day! Crabs are so messy, but so much fun to eat. The tartelelttes are so cute! You are very brave to use pumpkin instead of pistachios!
Helene June 21, 2009 um 7:49 pm
Hale: they are silver and they do get dark if not polished. I use the same product grandma used to use on hers. It's called Bulle Argent but I have my mom bring me some when they come visit from France. I have not tried anything here though.
Jennifer June 21, 2009 um 9:59 pm
I adore the unique combination of flavors in these!! And the presentation and pictures are simply amazing!
veron June 21, 2009 um 10:12 pm
As usual, this looks delicious. I love crab…we have big ones back home and simply boiled is the way to go. And dipped in vinegar…yum.
Brilynn June 22, 2009 um 1:18 am
Raspberries are just so photogenic! Those look gorgeous.
Kim June 22, 2009 um 2:14 am
Sometimes when I read you it seems as if we are worlds apart; rather than just around the corner from each other. This is one of my favorites, so glad that you are stubborn. Love the contrast in colors and flavors.Splendid!!!
Poorni Pillai June 22, 2009 um 2:53 am
I love the hint of green from the pumpkin seeds….beautiful!
Alexandra June 22, 2009 um 4:53 am
Magnifique! Your photo perfectly illustrates Summer's crowning glory…
Salon de Sucre June 22, 2009 um 6:43 am
this spells SUMMER! I love this.. I also like how the forks are presented tied up together!
Anonymous June 22, 2009 um 8:47 am
I can't wait to read about the surprise you are preparing. The tarts are amazing.
Unknown June 22, 2009 um 10:10 am
You're always a source of new ideas. I would have never thought to use pumpkin seeds in this way, where I live they are usually boiled then salted and cooked in the oven and used as little snacks.
And the images of the recipe are wonderful as usual, you're really refining your shooting style.
Jessie K June 22, 2009 um 12:03 pm
Tartelette :What beautiful photography! Raspberries are the best summer fruit. I'm wondering….do you ever bake with mulberries? My husband and I discovered we have a gigantic mulberry tree growing on our property and are wondering how best to serve. So far….we serve it over homemade vanilla ice cream. So delicious!
Sunshine June 22, 2009 um 1:33 pm
It's not even 9:00AM here and you've got me wanting dessert. Those look scrumptious!
Zoe June 22, 2009 um 2:07 pm
I love the idea of pumpkin seeds and mascarpone. Wonderful!
Edda June 22, 2009 um 3:22 pm
Délicieuses et interessantes en même temps, et ta petite touche sentimentale agrémente ce dessert magnifique 🙂
J'aime toujours autant venir ici, une harmonie totale un peu hors du temps, merci!!!
diva June 22, 2009 um 4:38 pm
these are beautiful!! and i do love pretty plates and china. reckon when i have my own apartment i'll find EVERY excuse to whip em out 🙂 x
Cakespy June 22, 2009 um 6:11 pm
These little morsels are desserts befitting a queen! Even their little ring of fresh berries recalls a crown. Yay for summery desserts!
Anonymous June 22, 2009 um 7:02 pm
What a beautiful looking tart:) I bet it taste just as good as it looks!
Angelique from Bitchin' Lifestyle June 22, 2009 um 7:56 pm
Oh My! You had me at Mascarpone, pumpkin, and raspberries!!!
jillian June 22, 2009 um 9:22 pm
That dinner sounds amazing. You have such a lovely way of describing things!
Cookie baker Lynn June 22, 2009 um 10:32 pm
I love the crown of raspberries on the tart. So fresh and juicy!
Engineer Baker June 23, 2009 um 12:59 am
I can't stand the suspense – I don't really have the patience for surprises, but I'll wait 🙂 And pumpkin seeds are wonderful; I try to get them in savory dishes, but I've never used them as a sub for nuts. Might just need to try that now!
Lori June 23, 2009 um 1:17 am
Very idyllic indeed, all of it, the friends, the dock, the crab boil, the dessert and the porpoises. Ahhh, very nice indeed.
cindy* June 23, 2009 um 2:11 am
your evening sounds like it was magic! lovely tarts as always, and i love that you use your fancy stuff for any occasion you see fit…that's the way it should be helen!
Joanne Choi June 23, 2009 um 5:31 am
your photographs are heart-achingly, stomaching growling, eye-tingling beautiful. Thank you for sharing your talent and your skill with us. Everything looks amazing!
morgana June 23, 2009 um 9:45 am
Pumpkin seed!!! I love them but I never thought about using them in a sweet mousse. Great idea.
I can't wait for you to reveal the secret of your happiness!!! 😉
Maybe June 23, 2009 um 9:54 am
Je suis totalement d'accord avec toi quant au fait que la meilleure façon de savoir si des saveurs se marient bien, c'est de les associer et de goûter ! Et quelle réussite, tu as clairement bien fait ! Et j'ai hâte d'en savoir plus sur ces "expériences culinaires" :o)
Shari June 23, 2009 um 2:45 pm
Sounds like the perfect setting for a dinner. Gorgeous, as always!
Jen Yu June 23, 2009 um 3:52 pm
Ooooh, the crab boil!!! I mean – beautiful lovely tartelettes!! But that image of a crab boil is just… *sigh* Love it. Miss that (probably one of the only things I miss about Mid-Atlantic seaboard living). Hope you are having a terrific time in NC 🙂 xxoo
Bonbon Oiseau June 23, 2009 um 4:30 pm
helen, what a beautiful sounding (and looking of course) recipe…love the sound of pumpkin seeds with raspberries and the creaminess of the almond cream…just perfect..ox, deb
Sunshinemom June 23, 2009 um 5:22 pm
That does sound like the perfect weekend! Enjoy your lucky foodie day:)
Mausi June 23, 2009 um 8:04 pm
Hi! I visited your blog a few times but this is my first time leaving comment. Your pictures are always so beautiful and makes me wanna eat everything I see on your blog 🙂 I am looking forward to visiting your blog again. Thank you for the wonderful blog.
Abby June 24, 2009 um 4:23 am
Beautiful as always! Who would have thought to use pumpkin seeds but you, the dessert genius that you are?!
Also. I'm coming to visit. I need to see that pink sky and porpoises.
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Anonymous June 24, 2009 um 5:05 pm
Wish we lived closer, Helen. I would love to be a dinner guest at your home! Have a beautiful day. 🙂
Bri June 24, 2009 um 6:03 pm
Wow. These look delicious, and your pictures are just lovely.
Helene October 25, 2010 um 2:35 am
Anonymous: the rings form the outer borders/shells of the tart since the cream only sit on the bottom round, there is no tart shell like other most common tart recipes. Without the rings, the cream would not stay put. You can find cheap ones at Michaels generally in the cookie cutter section, other wise, amazon.con is pretty reasonable too.