Jul 30, 2009

Lazy kitchen

When I really have no energy left for cooking after unpacking and recovering from the labors of vacation, I usually resort to easy and quick recipes to cheat my way onto the dinner table, and bring happy faces all around.

Today the heat in Rome is Turkish bath steam room-style. The scorching 38° C with 99% humidity level, raises the heat perception to an equivalent of 105.8° F - not pretty when it's 11pm.
As I stood there in the dark, wearing a birthday suit in the kitchen with both the freezer and fridge doors open, my eyes landed on the 2 cups of fresh raspberries bought yesterday at the farmer's market. Which immediately reminded me of a steadfast summer family classic. Here is a dessert recipe for all you sweltering friends who have no desire whatsoever to light an oven and bake. It takes 20 minutes to prep, 1 hour to chill and 5 minutes to finish off. And then it ends up looking like this.

No-bake Raspberry Tart
  • 200 gr (1 cup) digestive biscuits (or graham crackers)
  • 100 gr (1/2 cup) butter, melted
  • 200 gr (1 cup) mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tbsp whipping cream
  • 3 drops natural vanilla extract, or 1/2 tsp vanillin
  • Confectioner's sugar to taste
  • 400 gr (2 cups) fresh raspberries
  • 2 fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 50 gr (1/4 cup) raspberry glaze (which is simply melted raspberry jam)
Blitz the biscuits in the food processor until they form coarse crumbs. If you prefer you can put them in a sealed ziploc bag and bash the hell out of them with a rolling pin. Tip into a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and a tablespoon of water, and work in with your fingertips until clumpy.

Start by spooning about half the mixture in the center of a loose-bottomed tart dish or tin. Using the back of a large metal spoon and your fingers, press down firmly and evenly. Gradually add more mixture as needed to line the base and sides of the pan. Any leftover mixture can be frozen and crumbled over softened ice cream).

Refrigerate the lined pan for at least 1 hour, or overnight if convenient. Whisk together the mascarpone, cream and vanilla, sweeten to your liking with the powdered sugar, and refrigerate until needed. Shortly before serving your meal, spread the mascarpone cream over the chilled tart and return to the refrigerator.

Just before serving, lift the tart carefully out of the pan, and place on a serving dish. Heap the raspberries on top, sprinkle with chopped mint leaves and either dust with more icing sugar if you like, OR use a pastry brush (or a crumpled-up paper towel) to coat the fruit with the raspberry glaze.

Do you have a decent bottle of chilled rosé?
Uncork it then, and commence drooling.


  1. Hi Lola

    you do have some lovely treats. This one I am borrowing too...
    My Farmers' market has raspberries too so next Sunday I can whip up this treat a la Lola...

    Happy days

  2. Lola your food ideas are magnificent.
    I always leave your place feeling hungry and keen to eat what you have on offer.
    Unfortunately I've grown lazy about cooking and end up snacking on something that I shouldn't.
    Soon I'm definitely going to change my attitude and start cooking again with passion just to try some of your delights :)

    x Ribbon

  3. A sweetie from a sweetie.....YUM! Thank you, Lola, I am going to make this for sure. We had Fagioli on Sunday night - thanks, it was delish.xx♥

  4. What a perfect summer recipe. I hope your heat breaks soon. You could do this with so many different fruit toppings - so versatile. I may just have to make it tonight.

  5. Wow, wonderful! I'd have to give this a try! :-)

    Thank you for the recipe!

  6. good morning. hope you get a break from the heat...you can only keep the fridge door open so long...i am sure the ziploc trick helps too with any heat frustration, smiles...sounds like a great summer treat...always a sucker for fruit, especially respberries. have a marvelous day!

  7. Perfetto! We're having the same heat in Washington (DC) & I know well the Roman version.

    I've everything in the kitchen right now except for the mascarpone. I shall pick some up today & give this a test run for a summer potluck next weekend. I'd like to take something very pretty & less labor-intensive this year. Grazie.

    ciao bella...

  8. This is awesome. both easy and delicious. I clipped it and will be making it soon. Thanks

  9. Ecellente! There is a U-Pick raspberry farm in our village, but with any luck they'll have some already picked for sale. Next trip to town, I'm picking up the rest of the ingredients and will toast a glass of chilled white to you when we sit down to scarf the delectable dessert!

    With such heat & humidity, no wonder Romans have to get out of town.

  10. Another reason to make a trip to the Pacific Northwest. Our gardens are full of these beauties. But only you can whip up a fabolous dessert in the middle of the night.

  11. I am already drooling! I love raspberries... this sounds like a perfect no-bake dessert.

  12. wow, that is pretty hot!! thanks for the lovely no-bake recipe. Perfect for summer, indeed! will wait till things warm up a bit, down here x

  13. Well, that's just a big yum. And those are the biggest freakin' raspberries I have ever seen. I feel refreshed just looking at them.

  14. This looks like a fantastic treat.

    The Bella Sinclair Award for you was over at my food blog. That's probably why you didn't find it.



  15. These looks refreshing, the photos I like. Stay cool! :)

  16. yum! I can't wait to make this when I get home. I so hear you on "recovering from the labors of vacation!". And I love the idea of "no-bake" more than you know :)

  17. yummie. that looks beyond delicious. i love berries and eat them everyday. maybe i can make this look as pretty as yours!

    can you go cool off in one of those fountains? one time when i was in Portugal i saw children playing and splashing in their birthday suits! but perhaps you'd better put on your swimming suit! haha!

  18. Hey! stop blowing raspberries!!
    This looks absolutley divine - I love raspberries.
    Great to see you back, Lola
    ~ Eddie

  19. I just printed this one out to do a luncheon for all my besties! Yum-O!

  20. Oh, Lola. The combination of your outstanding food and fab writing is going to make your book a best seller. Bash the hell out of the biscuits. Of course! Because we need therapy in all forms in the kitchen, don't we? I loved it!

  21. oh my goodness ~ yum!
    I completely enjoy your humor.


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