Grape Tart with Mascarpone Custard and Phyllo

grape tart

Grapes are in season right now and this grape tart features plump and juicy grapes nestled inside a custard of mascarpone cheese with flaky phyllo as the crust.

Let’s be honest, you don’t see grapes all that often showing up in desserts, but why not? They’re naturally sweet, crisp and juicy and when baked into a dessert their sweetness gets even more concentrated.

red grapes

To make this tart you need to macerate the grapes first by piercing them, tossing in sugar and letting them sit covered for a while at room temperature.

grape tart

This grape tart can be made with any pastry bottom of your choice, you can use puff pastry, a shortcrust pastry or what I’ve chosen, phyllo.

I like using phyllo, it’s so forgiving and easy to use once you get the hang of it. Using phyllo also gives you a wonderful crunchy crust to bite into, a nice contrast to the creamy mascarpone custard.

You can also flavor the custard mixture with a bit of liquor or extract such as vanilla or almond or even some citrus zest if you so desire.

grape tart

Hurry up and get some grapes so you can make this dreamy tart, your friends and family will thank you!

grape tart

Creamy custard with a sweet burst of intense grape flavor, what’s not to love?

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Grape Tart with Mascarpone Custard and Phyllo
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • red grapes, enough to fill the bottom of a 9' springform pan with removable bottom. ( I like to make sure of the amount of grapes I'm going to use by picking them off the vine and placing them in the pan just to see if I have enough as a tester.)
  • ¼ cup of sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top of tart
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of room temperature mascarpone cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon to ½ of vanilla, or extract of your choice, or citrus zest if you choose
  • 8 sheets of phyllo dough, defrosted
Instructions
  1. MACERATE THE GRAPES AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE
  2. Place grapes in a bowl, prick them with a fork, toss in ¼ cup sugar, stir and cover with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temperature, stir occasionally, the granules of sugar should be dissolved and juice forming on the bottom. When finished strain the juice and set aside.
  3. FOR THE CUSTARD
  4. In a bowl add the eggs and mascarpone, ¼ cup of sugar plus optional extracts or liquor, beat on low speed with a hand mixer until it's nice and smooth.
  5. PREPARING THE CRUST ( oven temp at 375 )
  6. Grease the bottom and sides of the tart pan with butter.
  7. Keeping your phyllo covered and working fast, layer each sheet individually and either brush with melted butter, butter spray or olive oil spray.
  8. Continue layers of phyllo covering the bottom and sides of pan with buttering in between. Don't worry if phyllo rips you won't even notice it when it's done.
  9. Pace the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet for easy in and out.
  10. Pour the drained grapes onto the tart pan covered in phyllo, bake it for 10 minutes then remove from oven.
  11. Pour the mascarpone mixture all over the top of the grapes and sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  12. Place back into the oven until the top is slightly golden, the mascarpone mixture sets and the crust is crusty and golden. 30 minutes or so, but ovens do vary so watch it.
  13. When finished let it cool down so you can touch it snd remove the bottom.
  14. It's ready to serve!

 

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Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Carrots on Cheesy Baked Ricotta

roasted rainbow carrots

Gorgeous rainbow carrots! I have to admit they’re much more exciting than plain carrots and I’m drawn to them whenever I see their vibrant colors and pretty shapes.

I love roasting them because roasting creates caramelization and we all know that caramelization equals intense flavor, especially so when dowsed with grated parmesan and infused garlic oil.

The baked ricotta is a flavorful base that showcases the vibrant colors of the rainbow carrots and takes this lovely side dish to another level!

rainbow carrots

When I saw this huge bundle at the farmers market I just couldn’t resist, they get me every time!

roasted carrots

Tossing the carrots into a garlic infused olive oil is a nice savory contrast that goes well with the sweetness of the carrots as they roast.

roasted carrots

Halfway through the roasting process you sprinkle in a generous amount of grated Parmigiano Reggiano which will create a yummy crust all over as it bakes on.

ricotta spread

The ricotta gets prepped before it’s baked with grated Parmigiano, garlic, herbs and lemon zest. Both elements of this dish, the carrots and the ricotta are roasted separately then brought together as one.

roasted carrots

The ricotta becomes a heavenly pairing when eaten together with the cheesy carrots, and I must say it makes a dynamite presentation!

glazed carrots

I posted this version a couple of years ago, rainbow carrots roasted with balsamic and thyme, and again I placed it on a bed of baked ricotta, it’s crazy good as well!

carrot salad

And this pretty rainbow carrot ribbon salad, posted a few years ago, it’s crunchy, delicious and filled with so much flavor. I told you I can’t resist them!

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Carrots on Cheesy Baked Ricotta
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 bundle of rainbow carrots, (preferably the long slender ones, if they have tops, snip them off,
  • (although if you can't find them you can use the plain orange ones but pick the thinner ones.)
  • 1½ cups of whole milk ricotta, liquid drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1 generous cup or so of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, half for the ricotta mixture and the other half for sprinkling on the carrots. ( you can sub grated pecorino)
  • 1 small smashed garlic clove
  • zest of a lemon
  • chopped basil and parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • infused garlic oil for roasting the carrots, but can sub regular olive oil
  • olive oil for drizzling
Instructions
  1. Toss the carrots with the olive oil, salt and pepper, then place them single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or parchment.
  2. Place the carrots into a 400 degree oven turning them until the bottom starts to look golden, you don't want mushy carrots, aim for a little bite to them.
  3. Halfway through the roasting process pull the pan out and generously sprinkle the grated cheese and some of the chopped herbs all over the carrots, return to the oven to let them finish cooking and a little crust forms on the carrots.
  4. When carrots are finished remove and set aside.
  5. Turn oven down to 375.
  6. In a small bowl add the ricotta, egg, salt and pepper, smashed garlic clove, lemon zest and some of the chopped herbs, mix well til all combined.
  7. Oil the bottom of a casserole dish.
  8. Spread your ricotta mixture on the bottom.
  9. Place casserole dish into oven and bake for around 20 minutes, ovens vary so check to see if ricotta is set, if it looks too pale, place it under the broiler for just a couple of minutes so it looks lightly golden, but don't leave the scene!
  10. Then arrange the cooked carrots on top of the cooked cooked ricotta, garnish with more grated cheese and fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil all over.
  11. Both can be done early in the day then warmed up later before eating.

 

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Eggplant, Tomato and Feta Summer Side Dish

eggplant side dish

We’re still in the dog days of summer with an abundance of garden produce still available You just can’t beat the flavor of garden ripe tomatoes, there’s nothing like it, and I will dream about that taste when summer ends.

But for now, if you need to use up some of those sweet cherry tomatoes you might have, this is the perfect side dish to make.

It’s a delicious combination of eggplant with tomatoes and feta cheese.

 

roasted tomatoes

You honestly don’t need a recipe for this because you’ll never go wrong with the ingredients and amounts. All you have to do is roast some cherry tomatoes with a good amount of olive oil and shaved garlic, salt and pepper. It doesn’t matter how many tomatoes you use, just fill up a sheet pan like I did.

Place them into the oven at 400 degrees until they start to blister and their flavorful juices mingle with the olive oil.

roasted eggplant

Same thing goes for the eggplant, I like to peel the skin of my eggplant into stripes, some on, some off. Then cut your eggplant into bite size pieces, 2 or 3 eggplant  or however many you have, place on a sheet pan, douse with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast at 425 degrees until the moisture is gone and you start to see lightly golden edges.

eggplant side dish

Now basically it’s all about combining everything. In a bowl add the blistered cherry tomatoes and every bit of that luscious garlicky juice, toss in the roasted eggplant, and crumble in the best quality Greek feta you can find.

Combine gently and arrange it all on a pretty platter garnished with chopped parsley, now watch it disappear!

I can’t tell you how good this is, you’re just going to have to make this amazing summer side dish, but hurry!

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