Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fruit au gratin - delish!

I'm at Left Coast Conference starting today. This is a fun writers' and fans' conference, set in the beautiful town
of Santa Fe. I've never visited Santa Fe before, but I'm looking forward to drinking in the local atmosphere. I hear the colors are fabulous. There are a number of chocolate shops and a few local co-op markets I intend to check out for cheese. I will report back.

In the meantime...

I ADORE SPRING. I love the temperatures, blue skies, and the aroma of fresh fruits and flowers. I had family over for a little barbecue (always needed to ring in the onset of spring), and decided to try a new fruit tart that I'd seen in the newspaper Food Section. The recipe included mascarpone cheese. I had to try it, right?

So, I liked the recipe, but I decided to tweak it by adding Amaretto liqueur. Glad I did. It gave the tart a smoothness that was incredible. But of course, it can be made without it. :)

This is easy, quick, and delicious cold for breakfast (if you have an extra one left over). Oh, yeah. I love "leftovers."



Serves 4

8 amaretti cookies, crumbled

2 cups fresh fruit, in bite-sized pieces (more if desired)

1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, room temperature

4 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur

2 teaspoons cornstarch


Heat broiler an set the rack about four inches from the heating element.

Divide the amaretti cookies into the 4 gratin or ramekin dishes. Divide the fruit evenly over the top and press down to make fruit “even.”

In a large bowl, whis the mascarpone, the honey, the liqueur and cornstarch (or potato starch) until evenly combined. Dollop the cheese mixture onto the fruit. Spread with a spoon. It will be sticky and probably won’t cover the whole thing evenly. That’s fine.

Put the dishes on a tray and set under the broiler for 1 -2 minutes, but watch them like a hawk. You do NOT want them to burn.

Remove from heat and cool for three minutes before serving. Dishes will be warm.

Note: Amaretti cookies are almond macaroons. I found them in the grocery store in a sealed tins.

Note: Mascarpone can be subbed out with cream cheese or crème fraiche.


By the way, as I approach the launch of LOST AND FONDUE I'm going to do a blog tour. I'll be offering a number of different "prizes" for those who comment on the tour. Check out my event calendar to get in on the contests.

Also, a SNEAK PREVIEW of LOST AND FONDUE is up on my website. Click here to read.
If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well.

And last but not least, sign up for the mailing list to get in on the next contest...coming every two weeks as I approach the launch of L&F in May.

Say cheese!


  1. Yummm...finally a use for mascarpone that isn't tiramisu. I must be the only Philistine on earth that doesn't care for it. But fruit? Oh yeah, I'm all over that!

  2. Amaretto liqueur! Oh this fruit dish looks delish, Avery. Hope you have a wonderful time at the Left Coast Conference!

  3. This is being saved as a grilling dessert! Just imagine (seems like a someday, but it will happen) when the weather finally breaks for good... Some cool weeknight (temps in low 60's), nice little steak dinner. Then pull these (pre-assembled) out of the fridge, popped on the grill (indirect heat) for 10 minutes (I do wonder why they need to be broiled, wouldn't a slower bake set up the crust of the tart better... but I digress from my spring fantasy). Then move over to our firepit, wearing our snuggies (yes, I will admit it, I love my snuggie) and eating these fruit tarts hot out of the grill.

    Can you tell I had great hopes to grill this weekend and now I see rain and cold... BAH

    But one day soon, you will see this coming out of my grill. Great post and have fun. I love Santa Fe... A great fresh foodie town


  4. Shel ~perhaps you haven't had the "right" Tiramisu? Or is it the mascarpone you don't like? At any rate, this works. It really does.

    Elizabeth ~ I'll take pictures and post. I'm hoping it will be fun.

    Dave ~ Hm. What container would you put them in to grill them? My little broiler-safe tartin dish I fear would go pop on the grill. The 5 minutes is to "bubble up the mascarpone" and give it a brown crust, but yes, I guess you could cook them longer. The crust is a cookie that is already chewy, so I'm not sure it can get crispier. But go for it and let me know what you come up with. A steak from the barbecue is one of the best dinners in the whole world! IMHO Add a little blue cheese and grilled onions...


  5. I know this might sound strange, but I have never tried mascarpone that I know of so this will be a great new recipe to try for that reason.
    My middle son called me a rat last night. We had spaghetti and of course I use a lot of parmesan cheese. He said, "momma you eat way too much cheese is there one you don't eat?" I simply said no ha ha.

    Thanks for sharing Avery.

  6. Babs ~ too funny. Tell your son that cheese is good for calcium. It helps make strong bones.


  7. Avery, I love this. What a wonderful dessert. I'm looking forward to trying it in berry season.

    Hmm, could it be made on the grill in a cast iron pan?

    Babs, tell your son that there's one thing rats like more than cheese -- popcorn. So maybe you're just a cute little mousie!

    ~ Krista

  8. Avery I will tell him that he thinks milk is the only thing good for bones. He loves milk as much as I love cheese.

    Krista too cute.

  9. Amaretti with amaretto - brilliant! This dessert looks absolutely delicioso. Have a great time in Sante Fe, Avery! Send some of that beautiful southwest sun our way. :)

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  10. Oooh, great recipe, Avery!
    And Shel... I'll join you on the "No Tiramasu for me, thanks" bandwagon.

    Have a wonderful time at LCC, Avery! Say hi to everyone for me!

  11. Krista, Cleo, & Julie,
    Thanks for chiming in. I'll take pix.

  12. *whispers so Cleo won't hear me*'s the coffee, not the mascarpone.

  13. I love mascarpone and this sounds like a great way to use it. Something completely different! Have a great time at LCC, Avery. Send reports!

  14. As to the dishes for grilling... Any oven safe dish is safe in a grill. ESPECIALLY if you do an indirect heat (only have the coals under half the grate and put the ramekins on the grate that does not have the coals under them. With the lid closed, it works just like an oven.

    I have been pondering this for a day, would add some butter to the cookies to make a standard graham cracker type crust. I don't think i have an Amaretto, but will probably use some Bailey's Irish Cream instead.

    Still cold and rainy here, but this is set for my next grilling session... will keep you posted