This is a lot less complicated than it may initially seem, and is a lovely thing to make and eat in late summer/early autumn. The pairing of blackberries and sage is an inspired one, the sage adds a musky, citrus edge to the wine-flavoured berries. The chocolate pastry looks wonderfully striking against the black berries, and the filling is merely a question of a quick whisking (no cooking of custards or other faff).
Makes 1 x 28cm Tart Shell
For the tart shell:
Pasta Frolla al Cioccolato
300g 00 flour
130g icing sugar
30g cocoa powder
A pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
Pulse the butter, flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a blender until fine, sandy crumbs are formed. Add the egg yolks and pulse again until the whole lot comes together as a dough. Wrap and chill for at least half an hour before rolling out.
Roll out to coin thickness and line your tart tin. (If things begin to get sticky then do this between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper). Chill for another 30 minutes then blind bake with baking beans in a 180 oven for 13-15 minutes or so, until crisp. Set aside to cool.
3 tbsp icing sugar
Juice & zest of 1 lemon
Juice & zest of 1 lemon
6 sage leaves
For the Tart:
Place the icing sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt in an electric mixer and add the butter. Blitz to form a fine crumb, then add the egg yolks and blitz the mix again briefly until it comes together as an even dough. Remove from the mixer and pat it into a rough round, before wrapping it in cling film and putting it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes (you can also freeze this pastry for a later occasion).
Once well chilled, remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out to a 2mm thickness, placing it between two sheets of baking paper if it begins to come too soft and sticky (this will depend on the temperature of your room and hands).
Place the pastry over your tart tin and trim it to fit the tin, pressing it into the edges and flutes well.
Place the tart shell back in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170. Blind bake the shell (with baking beads*) for 13 minutes, until crisp and browned at the edges. Remove the baking beads and return to the oven for another 6 or so minutes, until the base has become crisp.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
For the Filling:
Mix the icing sugar with the lemon zest and juice in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the mascarpone and keep the mixture chilled until you need to use it (it stays firmer this way).
For the Blackberries:
Puree/blitz/mash half of the blackberries (reserve the other half for decorating the tart).
Cook the mushed berries in a small saucepan with the lemon zest, sugar, water and sage leaves. Simmer gently for around 10 minutes until thick and jammy.
Set aside and leave to cool. Remove the sage leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. Add more lemon to taste.
Once ready to assemble your tart, spread the mascarpone mix evenly over the chilled pastry base.
Spread over the cooled blackberry jam/puree then arrange the remaining berries over the top. Serve.
Crystallised Sage Leaves Decoration
This is also very good decorated with sliced fresh figs rather than blackberries.