I recently acquired some tiny little tart tins. I wouldn't have pegged myself for a tiny little tart tin kind of girl, but I do have a weakness for pie-like things. And a weakness for raspberries. I wanted something to showcase the fresh, plump berries, something not too terribly difficult. This is what I came up with: fresh raspberries with vanilla mascarpone cream in a Biscoff cookie crust.
If you're not familiar with Biscoff cookies, they're a type of Belgian biscuit called speculoos. They taste like fancy graham crackers with a hint of gingersnap, but just a hint. You can find them in the snobby section of the cookie aisle. You know where I'm talking about, with the imported Scotch shortbread and Italian wafer cookies. Pepperidge Farm is never too far away. I use Biscoff a lot and they happen to make a great crumb crust.
I will warn you, trying to get a cookie crumb crust out of a tiny little tart tin in one piece can be tricky. Forget the butter, the ones slathered in oil work best. Also, they should be completely cool. It's easier to spoon the filling into the tart shells when they're still in the pan. Otherwise, the shell might crumble right in your hand. But the problem with pre-filling the shells is that when you try to remove the tarts from the tins, gently squeezing the sides and shaking them upside-down, you inevitably end up with some crumbs in your filling. I don't know how to avoid that. I just removed them with a toothpick and covered the rest with raspberries. This is why I could never work in a restaurant. I'm just not that picky about the presentation. (Also, I hate being screamed at.)
But, hey, fussiness aside, these tasted great. Like the kind of dessert you can feel good about.
Can't find Biscoff biscuits? Or don't care to find them? Sub in graham crackers or thin chocolate wafer cookies instead.
8.8 oz. package Biscoff biscuits
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. mascarpone
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
1 pint raspberries
Vegetable oil, for greasing tins
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Set the tart tins on a sheet pan. Oil very well (I swirl the oil in one tin so it gets in all the crevices, then dump the oil into the next tin and repeat).
Crush the Biscoff biscuits in a food processer or blender into fine crumbs. Mix in the melted butter. One at a time, fill the tins almost to the top with buttered cookie crumbs. Firmly press the crumbs up against the sides flush with the top edge all the way around (use one thumb to press the crumbs against the side of the tin, one thumb along the top to keep them contained and flush with the top). Then press the crumbs along the bottom. Place the whole sheet pan in the oven and bake the crusts for 10 minutes until dry and fragrant. Remove the pan from the oven and let the crusts cool on a rack until completely cool.
Meanwhile, for the filling, whip the mascarpone briefly with an electric mixer in a medium bowl to loosen. Add the heavy cream, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla. Mix on medium-low speed for 1 to 2 minutes until well combined and thick enough to hold its shape. Set aside.
Carefully fill the cooled crusts with the mascarpone cream. Gently remove the tarts from the tins and set on the pan. Remove any crumbs with a toothpick, then arrange the raspberries on top. Chill until ready to serve. Makes about 8.