Spring Asparagus Tart For Mother’s Day Brunch

asparagus tart

This simple elegant tart is perfect for a special occasion brunch such as Mother’s Day which happens to be right around the corner. Start the day spoiling mom or those that are mother-figures in your life with this springtime tart and mimosa in hand!

ingredients for tart

The ingredients in this tart is what makes it so special, fresh spring asparagus, eggs, Parmigiano Reggiano and two types of cheese, Boursin which is a soft cheese filled with garlic and herbs, it really gives the tart a unique and delicious flavor. The other is a hard cheese which is a mix of cheddar and parmesan, although you can change it up with a gruyere or grated mozzarella if you can’t find it.

tart pan with phyllo dough

Another feature of this tart is the use of phyllo pastry for the crust, in my opinion it really makes it. The phyllo pastry serves as a crunchy base for the creamy filling.

If you ever were afraid to use phyllo, don’t be, it’s so forgiving! The key thing to remember is once you open up the package and lay the sheets out be sure to cover them with a damp cloth because they can dry out fast. If the sheets rip while you’re layering them no worries, just cover with another one, you won’t even see any flaws in the finished product.

asparagus tart

Phyllo gives the tart a rustic yet elegant look, here’s another springtime tart I made using phyllo with ricotta as the base.

savory asparagus tart

So golden brown and crispy!

slices of tart

A nice slice of this delicious tart alongside a fresh salad is the way to go.

arugula salad

I like to serve this arugula, avocado and cucumber salad with shaved parmigiano and a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing, it’s the perfect accompaniment.

plated asparagus tart

Serve warm or at room temperature, either way you’re in for a treat!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spring Asparagus Tart For Mother's Day Brunch
 
A simple, elegant tart perfect for a special occasion
Author:
Ingredients
  • Tart pan with removable bottom, I used a 12x8 pan
  • 1 lb. or bunch of fresh asparagus, preferably not thick ones, cleaned and trimmed
  • 7-8 sheets of phyllo pastry, be sure to cover the sheets with a damp cloth while in use
  • 1 stick of melted butter, unsalted
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 package of Boursin cheese, garlic and fine herbs, 5.2 oz
  • 1 very heaping cup of shredded cheese such as the cheddar parmesan mix I had or gruyere or mozzarella ( not fresh)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese plus extra for sprinkling between. sheets
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375F.
  2. Place the asparagus single layer on a sheet pan and into the oven for 5 minutes just to soften slightly.
  3. Smash the room temperature Boursin cheese in a medium bowl to get most of the lumps out.
  4. Add the six eggs into the bowl and whisk together along with the heavy cream, zest, Parmigiano, thyme, and then fold in the shredded cheese, set aside.
  5. Put the tart pan on a rimmed sheet pan for easy in and out of the oven.
  6. Butter the tart pan sides and bottom with the melted butter.
  7. Then 1 x 1 layer a sheet of phyllo, overlapping sides then brush all over quickly with melted butter.
  8. On each sheet you can sprinkle a little Parmigiano and some black pepper.
  9. Repeat on each layer brushing the butter on top and sides adding a little Parmigiano and black pepper or you can do every other layer if you wish.
  10. When you reach the top fold in the sides to make a nice crust all the way around, don't worry if it doesn't look perfect, remember phyllo is forgiving.
  11. Butter the top crust all around the edge.
  12. Pour in all the creamy filling over the pastry crust.
  13. Arrange the asparagus stalks in a nice pattern on top of the cheese mixture.
  14. Bake at 375F 35- 40 minutes and it reaches a nice deep golden color.
  15. Cool it down before removing the sides of the pan then slide it onto a platter without the bottom which should slide off easily.
  16. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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Dark Chocolate Amaretto Tart with Amaretti Cookie Crust

chocolate tart

Calling all chocolate lovers! Here’s an easy dessert to make for upcoming Valentines Day, a special occasion or if you just have a wild craving for dark chocolate!

The best part about this dark chocolate tart with the almond flavor of Amaretto is that the only thing you’ll have to bake is the crust!

Speaking of the crust, it’s made with crushed amaretti cookies and butter, just like you would make a graham cracker crust but only better.

chopped chocolate

The filling is basically a mousse made of melted dark chocolate that’s folded into whipped cream and flavored with amaretto liquor. The liquor gives it a rich deep flavor, but if you want to substitute that with almond extract go ahead, you need to have that almond flavor.

amaretti cookie crust

As soon as you open up the bag of amaretti cookies that almond smell hits you right away, I promise you it will make the tart so much more amazing by using them for the crust.

dark chocolate

Grab some good quality dark chocolate to melt down and when it cools you’re going to fold it into some heavy whipped cream to create a wonderful silky mousse.

chocolate moussetart filling

Then it’s onto your baked amaretti crust and into the fridge for chilling, but the wait is worth it!

chocolate mousse tart

When chilled, garnish the top with some of the crushed amaretti cookies and toasted sliced almonds and then share a piece with someone you love!

chocolate tart slice

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dark Chocolate and Amaretto Tart with Amaretti Cookie Crust
 
Satisfy your chocolate craving with this easy to make chocolate Amaretto tart.
Author:
Ingredients
  • Tart Crust
  • 1-7oz. package of amaretti cookies
  • 5 Tablespoons melted butter
  • Mousse Filling
  • 1¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Amaretto liquor or ½ to 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 5 oz. chopped dark chocolate, good quality
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • toasted sliced almonds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 325F
  2. Melt butter then set aside.
  3. Pour 90% of the cookies into a food processor and process until fine crumbs, leaving the rest to crush by hand later for garnish.
  4. Pour the butter through the tube of processor until the crumbs look like wet sand.
  5. Press the crumbs into a 9" fluted tart pan.
  6. Bake the crust at 325F for 20 minutes until set, then cool completely.
  7. In a small saucepan add ¾ cup of heavy cream, when it starts to slightly simmer remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and Amaretto. Stir til the chocolate is silky smooth, then let it cool to room temperature.
  8. In a medium size bowl add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream and powdered sugar, whip til you get stiff peaks.
  9. Gently fold in the cooled down chocolate and mix until fully incorporated.
  10. Pour filling into cooled crust and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
  11. Right before serving garnish with toasted almonds and some of the remaining crushed amaretti cookies.
  12. ***Recipe adapted from Everyday Food***

 

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Squash And Ricotta Rustic Tart

squash tart

As soon as the weather starts to change into cooler days and nights, I’m in the stores buying squash. Squash of any kind is so versatile and you can create so many healthy and delicious meals with it.

Tarts are the perfect way to showcase winter squash, it can be served as a meatless main dish or a tasty appetizer or side, either way you can’t go wrong!

delicata squash

For this tart I paired creamy ricotta with delicata squash, delicata is easy to work with because the skin is nice and thin and totally edible, but you can certainly make this with butternut squash you just have to peel it first.

The crust is homemade ( which is a breeze to make in the food processor) and has the addition of polenta which gives it the ultimate crunch factor. As much as I like to buy pre-made crusts nothing compares to this one.

Topped with crispy sage and toasted pepitas, this tart screams FALL!

tart dough

I used two delicata squash, sliced them into half inch rounds then scooped out the seeds. Placed them onto a baking sheet and roasted them beforehand.

pre baked tart

Ready for the oven with a quick drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan before baking.

delicata tart

A crunchy crust with the creamy, cheesy filling of ricotta, topped with the sweet rich flavor of the delicata squash, it’s the ultimate combo!

If you want to try another version, here’s one I did a few years back, using different veggies with the same delicious crust.

squash tart

I hope you make this amazing tart and serve up a slice to your family and friends this fall season.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Squash And Ricotta Rustic Tart
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 delicata squash, cut into ½ inch rings with the seeds scooped out
  • FILLING
  • 1 cup ricotta, drained of moisture
  • 1 finely minced garlic clove
  • 2 eggs, 1 for the filling and 1 to brush on top
  • ½ cup of grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • DOUGH
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour (unbleached)
  • ½ cup of instant polenta or fine cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ to ½ cup of ice water
  • fresh sage leaves
  • pepitas (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  2. Place rings of delicata onto a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, roast til lightly golden on each side, then remove and let them cool down.
  3. Prepare the dough in a food processor by pulsing the flour, polenta, salt and pepper together. Add the butter and process until combined. Then while the machine is running add the ice water down the tube a little at a time until the dough starts to come together in a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for ½ hour.
  4. Meanwhile mix up the ricotta in a bowl along with the grated cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and 1 egg.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge, let it sit at room temp for 15 minutes the on parchment roll it out to about 12 inches in diameter. Take your time rolling then place the whole thing onto a baking sheet.
  6. Spread the ricotta mixture onto the dough leaving a 2 inch border all around. Place your roasted squash on top all around. Fold the edges up and pleat where needed to seal it in good.
  7. Brush the crust with the remaining egg, you won't use it all.
  8. Sprinkle the edge with grated cheese, black pepper .
  9. Drizzle the top with olive oil.
  10. Bake around 35 minutes at 400F or until crust is deep golden and ricotta is set.
  11. To garnish the top, drizzle a bit of olive oil in a small pan and crisp up the sage and toss in pepeitas to get golden and arrange all over the finished tart.
  12. Enjoy!

 

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10 Inspiring Easter Desserts

limoncello tiramisu

Are you looking for some inspiration while planning for your Easter dessert? Well here are 10 of my favorites! Each and very one I have made for family and friends and all have been a big hit!

Let’s start out with this dreamy Limoncello Tiramisu. It’s bright and delicious and the perfect ending to a great meal. This particular recipe can be made in individual parfait glasses or in a 9×13 inch pan like featured above, all you have to do is double the recipe!

cannoli pie

Cannoli Pie, I call it a pie because it’s actually a take on another Easter pie that I make.

This special dessert is made in a spring form pan which allows you to press broken cannoli shells easily against the wall of the pan in forming the crust. You can  make it a day ahead then adorn the top with all things cannoli, like pistachios, mini chocolate chips and powdered sugar.

easter cookies

Italian Anise Cookies, these are a staple in many Italian homes, usually made often for any type of celebration and holidays. The nice thing about these cookies is the fact that you can decorate them according to whatever occasion it is.

The pastel colors scream winter is gone and spring is upon us! I promise they’ll be the perfect addition to your Easter table.

olive oil cake

Olive Oil Chardonnay Pound Cake with Citrus Vanilla Glaze. This recipe has been on my blog since 2013 and I have to say I have a weakness for this cake.

This pound cake has a bright and bold flavorful glaze that mixes three different citrus zests together, and the texture of the cake is amazing, plus I think it gives a pretty awesome presentation.

Easter Lamb cake

Easter Lamb Cake. Lamb cakes have been a tradition for years and years at Easter time. Yes, you can buy them at bakeries and grocery stores around the holiday, but have you ever wanted to make your own?

I had a dear friend show me step by step how she makes her old school recipe which she’s been making for over 50 years! Get the kids involved in the decorating it would be a nice tradition to start in your own family as well.

Check out her delicious pound cake recipe that she uses.

 

strawberry tiramisu

Strawberry Tiramisu, I love a rich and creamy tiramisu. You can change up the berries using which ones that you like or even do a mixed berry version.

I have a confession to make, I never make my tiramisu with raw eggs, I prefer it without.

limoncello tart

Limoncello Tart. ( Can you tell I love Limoncello?) This one has a crust that’s made with crushed amaretti cookies and it’s served with a blueberry sauce on the side.

It’s an amazing combination and a real show stopper!

ricotta cookies

Triple Zested Ricotta Cookies. Flavors of lemon, orange and lime are tasted through out every bite of this cookie.

They’ll look nice and pretty set out on your Easter dessert table, everyone loves a ricotta cookie, so light and refreshing!

Easter rice pie

Easter Italian Rice Pie with Rum Soaked Raisins. Arborio rice and soaked rum raisins nestled in with a mix of mascarpone and ricotta.

My little twist uses a phyllo crust which is very forgiving.  The contrast between the creamy and the crunchy is out of this world good!

A very traditional Easter dessert with a little updated twist.

Lemon knot cookies

Anginetti, Italian Lemon Knot Cookies. This cookie goes by many names but one thing that remains the same is the taste. Intense lemon flavor with a soft texture to the bite. Another special occasion cookie and just perfect for Easter time.

I hope I’ve given you some inspiration with some of these Easter dessert options.

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

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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?

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

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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