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Italian Date and Mascarpone Tart


235g dried pitted Dates

150ml Water

60g Brown Sugar or Zusto or Bochasweet

70g Caster Sugar or Zusto or Bochasweet

2 Eggs, large

1 teaspoon Vanilla essence

250g Mascarpone


225g Shipton Mill gluten free bread flour

45g Icing Sugar or ground Bochasweet

125g chilled Butter, chopped

1 Egg Yolk

2 tablespoons chilled Water

To make the pastry, place the flour, icing sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and water, and process until the dough just starts to come together.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until just smooth.

Shape into a disc.
Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Place the dates, water and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a simmer.
Cook, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes or until the dates start to soften and break down.
Set aside to cool.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 34cm-diameter disc.
Line the base and side of a 26cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with removable base, with the pastry and trim excess.
Use a fork to prick the base all over.
Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.

Preheat oven to 200°C non fan.

Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with pastry weights / beans / rice to blind bake.
Bake in oven for 12 minutes.
Remove the paper and pastry weights.
Bake in oven for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry case is golden.

Reduce oven temperature to 160°C.

Use an electric beater to beat the caster sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl for 3 minutes or until the mixture is thick and pale.
Add the mascarpone and beat until smooth.

Spread the date mixture over the pastry case.
Top with the mascarpone mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until light golden and just set.
Set aside to cool slightly.
Place in the fridge until cooled completely.

Note. When tart seems just a bit warm, the dates will still be very hot!