How beautiful is this strawberry mascarpone tart? With a sweet shortbread cookie crust, a no-bake mascarpone filling and a bright starburst of juicy ripe strawberries on top, it is as easy to make as it is elegant to look at. And as the weather starts to really heat up, I am all for desserts that require a minimal amount of oven time. Perfect for your next barbecue, Memorial Day party, belated royal wedding celebration, or just a fancy weeknight treat, this strawberry mascarpone tart is bursting with summer flavor and summer ease.
Tarts are such a dream dessert. They have all the elegance and presentation of a pie, without most of the work (and thankfully for me, way less skill required). You can make a press-in crust, no rolling out and shaping required, from cookies or nuts or, in this cake, shortbread dough. You can play with all kinds of fillings, from cheesecake to grapefruit cream. And if you want to make them really pop, you can go crazy with decorations, whether it’s whipped cream or fresh fruit or piped buttercream.
In this case, I wanted to showcase the strawberries that are going to start showing up in farmers markets soon. And rather than go with my standard no-bake cheesecake filling (although that would still be delicious here), I decided to class it up a bit and use mascarpone cheese. If you’ve ever had tiramisu, you’ll recognize its rich, buttery, subtly sweet flavor. And if you haven’t, you can find it in the cheese/dairy sections of most supermarkets (I find that it’s usually by the ricotta). I sweetened it a touch with some powdered sugar and added a bright burst of lemon juice, but otherwise all you need to do is whip it for a minute or two to make it easier to spread, then scoop it into your baked crust and smooth the top. Then it’s a starburst of strawberries on top, and you’re done!
The end result tastes a little like strawberry shortcake, a little like strawberry cheesecake, and a lot like a fancy dessert you’d get at an Italian bakery. It’s terrific, it’s easy, it’s perfect for summer.
Recipe adapted from this one at Epicurious.
- ½ cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature or a little warmer
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (from about ¼ of a lemon)
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and butter the inside of a tart pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl and with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Start on low speed and work your way up to avoid a powdered sugar explosion. Beat until light and creamy, then add in the flour and mix until combined.
- Press the dough into the prepared tart pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Allow it to cool completely before filling.
- Place the marscapone cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl and use a hand mixer to beat it on medium-high speed for a few minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.
- Spoon it into the prepared tart crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
- Arrange the sliced strawberries on the top as desired. Serve immediately, or keep it chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.