Are you guys ready to get your cheese on? Well, I guess I should rephrase that. Are you guys ready to get your SWEET cheese on? Yup, that’s right. I’ve got a super sweet decadent recipe for you today and it comes in the form of holiday mascarpone tarts with almonds and pomegranate. I’ve been eyeing the pomegranate arils at the store, and knew that I had to put them to use in dessert form. I know they are quite the splurge, but I’m not going to lie to you, I was super lazy this weekend and DID NOT want to break open a pomegranate. If that’s your thang, than please, be my guest. These tarts are just the perfect little snacks to serve at your next holiday party. They are SOOO easy, loaded with a luxurious cheese filling and topped with perfectly toasted sliced almonds and adorable pomegranate arils. This recipe is the perfect dessert that will make your guests think you spent all day in the kitchen!
I’ve got Christmas fever. I don’t know about you guys, but all I can think about lately is decorating the house and baking cookies. Zach just rolls his eyes at me every time I mention going to get our tree(s) … yes, this year I am putting up two trees because one is just not enough! I always feel bad for the ornaments that don’t make it on the tree (yes, there are that many).
So anyway, along with decorating for the holidays, all I can think about is baking cookies, bars and other decadent treats. I spent all weekend baking cookies and bars to send with Zach on his trip to Maryland this week for a conference, and I STILL can’t stop!
Holiday parties are one of my favorite kind of parties, and I love how creative the little tasty treats you serve can get. These holiday mascarpone tarts are the latest recipe to make it into the old recipe box.
They are so simple. Seriously, guys. I used store-bought pie crust because I wanted these babies done quickly, but if you want to make your own, then PLEASE do! I think that will make these mascarpone tarts just that much more special.
The pomegranate arils and sliced almonds are the way I went for toppings, but you can get as funky as you like with these tarts. Jams work just perfectly and I especially love apricots and dates. I thought that pomegranate arils just gave off that perfect holiday cheer.
Recipe is below along with a beer pairing! I hope everyone had a great weekend!
A Berliner Weisse with fruity notes or a fruit/lambic beer would be the perfect pairings for these tarts. They aren’t always the easiest beers to come across in the winter time, but trust me you don’t want to go any other way. Normally, I like to pair a rich stout or porter with a decadent sweet treat, but this is a different kind of sweet treat. Even though it is super decadent, it is light, airy and has a hint of freshness to it. Here are some examples of beers (both Berliner Weisse and lambic) I really adore for these mascarpone tarts.
Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche
(This is a seasonal brew, but if you just happen to have a bottle lying around, it really is the perfect pairing)
1 store-bought refrigerated pie crust (your favorite homemade pie crust may be substituted)
all-purpose flour (for dusting)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly dust 4, 4 to 5 inch round tart pans with flour.
Unroll your pie crust onto a flour-dusted surface. Cut out 4, 5 to 6 inch rounds with a cookie cutter or anything you have on hand that's circular. Place your rounds into your prepared tart pans, pressing down on the bottom and around the sides. Prick the bottom with a fork so that the crust can breathe while it's baking.
Bake your crusts at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
While your shells are cooling, prepare the cream filling. In your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, whip together the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and Greek yogurt until smooth and creamy. Add the honey, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Beat again until thoroughly combined.
Release the shells from their tart pans once cool.
Dollop the cream filling evenly among the 4 cooled tart shells. Smooth out the top with a an offset spatula. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
Before you serve, top with fresh pomegranate arils, sliced almonds and a drizzle of honey.
Sizes of tart pans will vary, so adjust the recipe accordingly. I used a 5-inch tart pans with removable bottoms, and cut my rounds with a 6-inch round cookie cutter. You may also use a 10 to 12-inch in diameter tart pan and make one large tart. At this point you will be able to avoid cutting rounds out of your dough. The choice is yours!