I’ve mentioned before that berries are best eaten fresh and when in season, and this applies to raspberries more so than any other because they lose their flavor so quickly after being picked. It is a great blessing, then, that raspberry season lasts into autumn. I hate to think that summer is coming to a close, but I can’t deny the fact that not only is it no longer July, but August is nearly gone as well. The fact that I can still get fresh raspberries makes the transition a little sweeter, and their effervescent flavor is perfect for the Indian summer weather that we’re having right now, especially when paired with the floral nuances of honey.
Honey is another food that I believe everyone should buy from farmer’s markets if at all possible. This ensures that your honey is from local flowers and it’s more likely that you’ll be able to find honey from specific types of flowers (as opposed to the generic mixed honey that you find at most supermarkets). Most people are familiar with honey simply as a sweetener and something to put in tea when they have a sore throat, and its health benefits shouldn’t be underestimated. Local honey is actually great for reducing allergies because it exposes you to pollens from the area you actually live in. I think the flavor is worth buying high quality local honey as well, though. If you sample a variety of honeys, you’ll notice that each type of blossom has a unique taste and that they will complement foods and drinks in different ways. When used to flavor the cream in these tartlets, along with the raspberries, it helps capture the essence of the short season between summer and fall.
Honeyed Cream Tartlets with Raspberries
3 ½ cups raspberries
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
3 tbs high quality honey
1/8 tsp salt
4 tbs heavy whipping cream
8 prebaked tartlet shells*
1) Puree 1 cup of the raspberries in a food processor or blender, or crush using a spoon until mostly liquid. Add granulated sugar, stir to combine, and set aside.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, honey, salt, and cream until smooth and thick. Spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of the prebaked tartlet shells.
3) Place the remaining raspberries in a bowl and pour the pureed raspberries over. Stir gently to combine.
4) Divide the raspberries evenly among the tartlets. Serve immediately.
*You can find tartlet shells in the freezer section of the grocery store or make them yourself. These are smaller than tart shells, which are generally large enough to serve several people. Tartlet shells are usually between 3 and 5 inches in diameter.