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I’ve been feeling incredibly thankful today. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with lots of old friends, and laze around in the newly born summer sunshine. After months of rain, cloud and unseasonable snow, finally, summer seems to have arrived, and with it, bright coral blooms have appeared on our rose bushes, begging to be immortalised next to a super seasonal dessert. pistachiocrust

Mascarpone is an ingredient that I haven’t ever used in my baking; it had been so long since I had even tasted it. My childhood memories usually seem to hinge on food in one way or another – I remember a weekend in which I stayed with my best friend in her big farmhouse. We paddled a rickety, bobbing boat across the pond and picked blackberries, slid down a hill on slippery, sudsy tarpaulin, and played tennis in the farmyard. At the end of the day, we all sat around the table eating soft boiled eggs and toast with Marmite, and watched hungrily as her mother filled tiny pastry cases with a teaspoonful of sweetened mascarpone, and topped the bite sized treat with a few raspberries.  lemontart

In this way, I think that mascarpone will always be an inherently summery ingredient to me. This tart offers a different texture to the usual crisp, buttery pastry, with bright green pistachios forming a dense, sweet, citrus touched base to complement the tart creaminess of the lemon mascarpone filling.IMG_1683Gluten Free Lemon Mascarpone Tartlets | plumful

For two 10 cm tartlets (serves 4)

3/4 cup shelled pistachios

1/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup melted butter

zest and juice of 1 lemon

3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature

A couple of drops of vanilla extract

1/4-1/2 cup icing sugar

In a blender, blitz the pistachios well, until they have reached a fine breadcrumb texture. Add the spelt flour, butter, and half of the lemon zest, before blending until a firm, dough-like consistency is achieved. Grease and flour the tartlet tins, before pressing the pistachio dough into the base. Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes, before chilling completely in the fridge. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mascarpone, remaining zest, and vanilla extract. Add 1/4 cup icing sugar, and beat. Add lemon juice in teaspoonfuls, beating after each addition. Be careful to avoid the filling splitting by being cautious with addition of lemon juice. Adjust sugar to taste, before splitting between the tartlet tins, and topping with twists of lemon and sprigs of mint. Chill before serving.

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