Strawberries are everywhere I go, and it was time to make this. If it's the middle of berry season, it has to be spring, right? And spring means lighter recipes and taking out your flip-flops.
Unless you live in Colorado, like some of my friends do. My poor friends in Colorado are still getting hit with snow. So is my family that lives in beautiful Aosta, Italy. I see they're supposed to get snow all the rest of the week. I oftentimes dream of living in Aosta, but I wonder how in the world I would survive the end of April with snowy days when I should be wearing shorts. It's ok to dream and visit and be thankful that I think when it's a breezy 70 degree evening, I need a light sweater. I guess it's all what you get used to. Our dear friend was visiting from Boston last week and we went for a walk around town and had a coffee (at 10AM)and she was getting overwhelmed from the heat. She had only moved up north less than a year ago, but her body was already rejecting what it seemed to be extreme temperatures. Sort of how my body rejects extreme cold!
So what is a sbriciolata? Sbriciola means crumbs, so a sbriciolata is like a crumble type cake, referring to the crumble topping. It is a dessert that originates from the part of Italy where my husband is from (Lombardy) and there it is called sbrisolòna (also called sbrisulòna, sbrisolìna, sbrisulùsa or sbrisulàda). You will find it also in Emilia-Romagna and Veronese. In Veneto they call the dessert "rosegotta" and "fregolotta". A traditional sbrisolòna is usually a drier cake and you have to wet it with grappa! Yes, they don't mess around in Italy finding ways to combine a dry cake with a strong drink...and it goes perfectly together!
some recipe notes:
I happened to have a container of mascarpone that was intended to be used for something actually savory. I love baking with mascarpone and you can find it now almost at every market. I haven't been baking as much as I would love to being busy with so many things and watching what we eat here. So this was the perfect special treat to make and have ready for an after school snack. The filling is so light and easy to put together. The crumble topping is a cinch to make. I used some Girl Scout cookies I had on hand that weren't as a big of a hit as the thin mints. I also had an Italian butter cookie that needed to be finished and added the rest of the pack to the mix. Just make sure you chill it long enough before trying to remove the little tarts. If you make one large one, slice it carefully and if you have some extra strawberries leftover, add them to the dish. The best part of this dessert (for me!)is that it is no-bake!! My kids were super excited about this dessert and were fighting over the last one the next day!
Here is some more no-bake inspiration:
Looking for some more no-bake inspiration? Look no further…here you go:
blueberry ice-box pie
no-bake limoncello cheesecake
strawberry marshmallow and cracker cake
strawberry no-bake cheesecake
No-Bake Strawberry and Mascarpone Cheesecake-Sbriciolata con Fragole e Mascarpone
Prep Time: approx 10 minutes
Cook Time: chill 3 hours or overnight
Ingredients (4 mini tarts)
- 4 cups sugar cookies
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick of butter)
- 1 cup mascarpone
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon Limoncello (or juice of one lemon)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup strawberries, cleaned, hulled and cut into small pieces
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cookies until it is finely ground. Add the butter; process until moist crumbs form. If it seems to dry, you could add a little water (or milk) a tablespoon at a time until you reach the right consistency.
Press this mixture into mini tart pans (4" x 3/4") or a 8-inch springform pan (or pie plate); press the crumbs up the sides of the pan. Place the tart pans in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Beat together the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and limoncello (or lemon juice) in a bowl until smooth; set aside.
Lightly whip the cream, and then fold it into the cream cheese mixture.
Gently fold in the strawberry pieces.
Spoon the cheesecake filling on top of the graham cracker crumb base and smooth with a spatula.
Sprinkle on each tart some more of the cookie crumb mixture.
Put the tarts (or one normal size tart) in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.