Forever dreaming about this Lemon and Mascarpone Cream Tart - filled with bright lemon curd layered on top of a rich, whipped mascarpone cream and topped with fresh berries and thyme.
Lemon curd is incredibly creamy and rich - it's buttery, sweet, perfectly acidic and the texture is phenomenal. This recipe requires only a few simple ingredients, and after mere minutes you have lemon curd!
Make sure to use a non-metal bowl and whisk so that the acid from the lemons does not react to the bowl. This can result in a metallic taste to the curd. Avoid this by using a stainless steel, porcelain, or glass bowl instead.
The closest ingredient that we can compare mascarpone to is cream cheese. Mascarpone has less acidity than cream cheese, which makes it perfect for pairing with a higher acidity ingredient like lemon curd. The process of creating each is essentially the same, yet while cream cheese is made with whole milk, mascarpone is made with heavy cream.
The heavy cream is heated, acid is added and the cream starts to thicken. After pouring into a strainer lined with cheesecloth and letting it set overnight - the next morning, you have mascarpone!
Buttery, sweet, and incredibly tender, this simple recipe for a sweet tart shell will complement the filling of your choice. It's a classic recipe that I always use as the perfect base when dreaming up another sweet creation!
Mixing Sweet Tart Dough
To make your tart shell, you'll start by mixing sugar, butter, vanilla paste, salt, almond, and all-purpose flour until combined. Take a moment to scrape the mixing bowl.
Add room temperature eggs one at a time, mixing between additions, then add bread flour, making sure to not overmix.
Wrap the mixed dough tightly in plastic wrap. Then, place in the fridge to chill before using for at least one hour.
I tend to make my tart dough ahead of time so I throw it in the fridge until the next day. If using this method, remove your dough from the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to roll it out - you’ll find that it will be MUCH easier to work with!
Forming Tart Shell
Lightly dust the table you'll be working on, and using a rolling pin, gently roll out your dough. As you roll, make sure it does not start sticking to the surface you are working on.
Once your dough is rolled to the desired thickness (I prefer ¼ inch), press gently into the bottom of your buttered tart pan. Poke the bottom of the tart LIBERALLY with a fork, and place in the freezer to chill for 20-30 minutes.
This is essential - your tart shells are less likely to shrink while baking if you take the time to freeze your shells.
Depending on your fillings recipe, you may fully bake your tart shell before adding the filling. In this case, we are fully baking this tart shell. It tends to take 25-30 minutes to fully bake. Make sure to let it fully cool before adding your layers of cream and curd. Another option is to bake the tart shell, freeze it and assemble whenever you would like!
Assembling and Storing Lemon & Mascarpone Cream Tart
Once you've formed your tart shells, or fully baked them, wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and throw them in the freezer! They will last up to two months in the freezer, allowing you to pull them out and fill or bake at your leisure.
Due to the creamy nature of the filling, I would recommend assembling this tart a maximum of 3 hours before serving. This will prevent your tart's crust from softening - it's best with a crisp, sharp division between the creamy layers and the crust.
Lemon & Mascarpone Cream Tart
- Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
- Rolling Pin
- Tart Pan
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Weights or Beans/Rice
- Immersion Blender
- 145 g (½ cup & 2 Tbsp ) Lemon Juice
- 3 Eggs, large
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 150 g (¾ Cup ) Granulated Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 225 g (1 Cup ) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
Whipped Mascarpone Cream
- 100 g (½ Cup ) Mascarpone , room temperature
- 100 ml (½ Cup ) Heavy Whipping Cream , room temperature
- Fresh Raspberries
- Fresh Blackberries
- In a saucepan, heat a few inches of water on medium bringing to a simmer
- With a non-metal whisk, whisk together all ingredients other than the butter in a non-metal heatproof bowl, and place on top of the saucepan allowing the hot steam of the water to slowly heat the mixture
- Take care to continuously mix while the temperature raises and the mixture thickens
- Remove bowl from heat once a thermometer reads 180 degrees Fahrenheit
- Continue whisking mixture continuously in order to help it cool down
- Once the temperature has lowered to 135 degrees, add ½ inch pieces of butter to mixture
- Using an immersion blender, continue to blend until butter is fully incorporated
- Add mascarpone and whipping cream to kitchen aid bowl fitted with a whisk attachment
- Whisk until stiff peaks form - this should not take long!