Raspberry Mascarpone Vatrushkas
These pastries from Ruby Tandoh caught my eye immediately. First of all, the contrasting textures of flaky pastry, soft, sweet creamy filling and bright fruit got me going. Then the fact that there is mascarpone in both pastry and filling and I was hooked. I have never made a pastry itself with mascarpone and I thought, why not? I use sour cream and cream cheese in all manner of flaky pastries, such as rugelach dough. Similarly here the mascarpone adds richness and flakiness. Pay heed when brushing with the egg wash, as described, so as not to disturb the filling. Be sure to see her other recipe for Tiramisu Cake; both are from her book, Crumb.
Reprinted with permission from Crumb by Ruby Tandoh, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography (c) 2015 by Nato Welton.
These Russian buns are fat disks with hollow centers heaped with sweetened mascarpone and topped with raspberries. The traditional versions use quark instead of the far richer mascarpone, but I find that this version better balances the brightness of the fruit. Use blackberries, blueberries, or black currants if you prefer.
There’s mascarpone in both the dough and the filling of these vatrushkas, ensuring that the buns are tender without any of the greasiness that butter can bring. A mixture of all-purpose and bread flours makes the texture of these pastries particularly soft.
- 125 grams (1c) white bread flour
- 125 grams (1c) all-purpose flour
- 11/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 100 grams (3lf2 ounces) mascarpone
- ½ cup whole milk
- 150 grams (5114 oz) mascarpone
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons+ 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 to 125 grams(% to 1c) raspberries
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for glazing
- Combine the flours and yeast, then add the salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the 100 grams (3lf2 oz) of mascarpone until smooth. Heat the milk in a pan over low heat until lukewarm, then whisk it, a little at a time, into the mascarpone. Once combined, add this to the flour mixture and mix with your hands.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until smoother and more elastic. Don't add extra flour to the dough or the work surface - just have a spatula on hand to scrape up any dough t hat sticks to your hands or t he surface, and knead with speed and conviction. This dough might not feel quite as robust as some others, due to the amount of lower-gluten all-purpose flour in it, but it will grow supple nonetheless. Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and let to rise at room temperature for 11/z to 2 hours, or until doubled in size. It may take less time than this if your kitchen is particularly warm.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the risen dough into 6 pieces and roll each into a ball. One by one, use a rolling pin to flatten the balls into disks about o/s inch thick, then use your hands to stretch them until they're around S inches in diameter. Stretch the centers quite a bit thinner than the edges to leave a rim of dough around the perimeter.
- Transfer to the lined baking sheet (you may need to use two baking sheets if yours aren't very big) and proof for about 45 minutes, until visibly puffy and risen. While they rise, preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the filling by beating the mascarpone until smooth, then stirring in the egg yolk, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.
- Once the rounds of dough have risen, neaten their shape by very gently pressing down the center to define the indentation and ensure that the rim is well above the level of the hollow. Fill each hollow with a spoonful of the mascarpone mixture, then press in a few raspberries.
- Brush all over the buns with the beaten egg. This will be easy on the dough rims, but you'll have to be very gentle when brushing the surface of the filling and raspberries. Bake for 20 minutes. Le t cool to room temperature, still on the baking sheet, before eating. The centers will only be softly set even when completely cooled, but this rich, quivering custard is precisely what makes these pastries special.