Fruity and savoury tapas with homemade mascarpone

I love this time of the year. Not everyone feels that way, but for me, it’s a season for visiting and getting together with friends. It’s also the perfect time to cocoon and enjoy the company of those nearest to me. When I entertain, I like to change things up, use different cooking methods or unusual foods that will surprise my guests.

These tasty tapas don’t require a lot of work to make and they’ll impress your guests every time! The refrigerator takes care of the mascarpone, and as for the rest, get creative! You’ll end up with an attractive selection of original tapas packed with flavour.

Preparation

  1. Place a bowl on top of a bain-marie. Add the cream to the bowl and heat until the cream reaches 190°F (88°C). Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Stir for about 5 minutes.
  2. Return the bowl to the bain-marie and heat until the cream once again reaches 190°F (88°C), after about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the fleur de sel. (The cream will be thicker and have the consistency of English cream.)
  3. Place the cream mixture in the refrigerator for about 3 hours. (After this step, the cream will be very thick and keep its shape when you scoop up a spoonful.)
  4. Place a sieve on top of a bowl and line it with about six coffee filters. Add the cream mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate again for 12 to 15 hours or all night.
  5. Just before serving, place a few toasts on a cookie sheet. Cover them with a thick layer of homemade mascarpone.
  6. For Provençale-style tapas, top the mascarpone with some arugula leaves. Add a few sun-dried tomatoes and black olives. Season with pepper.
    For apple and honey tapas, top the mascarpone with a few slices of apple. Add a little green onion and generously drizzle with honey. Season with pepper.
    And for savoury fig tapas, top the mascarpone with a slice of prosciutto. Throw on a few pieces of fig (don’t arrange!) and drizzle with a bit of balsamic reduction (or balsamic vinegar). Season with pepper. Enjoy!

Ariane Paris

Quebec, Quebec

A number of years ago, I had to deal with the reality of being lactose intolerant. The most sensible solution was to cook for myself.

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