Lemon Mascarpone Tart. Sweet lemon infused pastry crust is filled with mix featuring mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, fresh lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice. The lemon cheesecake tart is baked in a hot oven until the filling is firm. The tart is cooled and then chilled to set. Once cooled the dish is finished with whipped cream and candied lemon peel.
The weather here in San Diego has been abnormally hot. Like 100 degrees F. hot. With threats of rolling blackouts from the electric company, you can only run the A/C so much. Enter lemonade. So I made strawberry lemonade to help quell the discomfort.
I love making tarts, obviously with a business named Tartistry, but I especially love crafting new dough or crust recipes or tweaking old recipes to make them compliment what sits on top. For this lemon cheesecake style tart, I decided to house the filling in an almond sweet pastry crust infused with lemon.
This sweet pastry dough comes together in a couple minutes. I usually make this in my stand mixer, but I’ve done it many times in my food processor. The dough making task can also be accomplished by hand, or in a bowl using a hand mixer. The same can be said for the lemon cheesecake filling. It can be made by hand, with a hand mixer, in a food processor, or in a stand mixer.
The pastry dough does require chilling to meld flavors and hydrate the flour properly. It’s a soft dough. I make a shape out of the dough similar to that of my tart pan, and wrap that in plastic. It chills faster and ensures it chills thoroughly. It also aids in fitting it in to the tart pan when I’m ready to use it. Well worth the few seconds to press it into the shape of your pan before chilling. Once I remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, I roll it out a bit more so its large enough and thin enough to cover the bottom and sides of my tart pan. I unwrap the dough and place it over my pan. I let it start to come up to room temperature for a few minutes. The dough becomes pliable pretty quick and I work it up the sides and across the bottom of the pan as evenly as I can, as quickly as I can.
No worries if it tears or is soft and you have to work it a bit to achieve the desired result of an even layer along the sides and bottom. The dough is forgiving and the pastry will still bake up perfectly. Just do your best.
The filling couldn’t be easier to prepare. You will want to bring mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, two eggs and two additional egg yolks up to room temperature. The cheeses are combined until smooth and creamy. I accomplished this in my food processor. Sugar, eggs, egg yolks, fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice are added to the creamy cheese mixture and processed until smooth.
The cheesecake filling requires about 30 minutes to set up in the oven. It should be firm along the edges, and firm in the middle or with the slightest jiggle. It will set completely as it comes to room temperature and is chilled in the refrigerator.
On hot days this tart tastes amazing served cold. Normally I allow tarts with sweet pastry crust and/or cheesecake tarts to warm up a bit before serving.
Why You Should Make This Tart
- recipe works for 14 x 4-inch tart pan or 9-inch round tart pan.
- the sweet lemon infused dough and lemon mascarpone filling are easy to prepare.
- lemon crust + lemon filling + candied lemon garnish.
- perfect for brunch or elegant enough for dinner party dessert.
- stores well.
How To Make This Lemon Mascarpone Tart
The pastry dough needs to be prepared and baked off. Unsalted butter is added to a stand mixer and creamed with powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
An egg is lightly beaten and added to the sugar mixture along with vanilla paste and fresh lemon zest. The mix is beaten on low for a few seconds to incorporate fully.
The stand mixer bowl is removed from the stand mixer. The all-purpose flour and almond flour are added to the bowl and folded in with a large spatula just until combined.
The dough is shaped to fit our tart pan (rectangle or round), wrapped in plastic and chilled for an hour.
The oven is preheated to 325 degrees F. The dough is removed from the refrigerator and
The dough is rolled into a long rectangle or circle to fit the tart pan. The dough is pressed into the sides and bottom of the tart pan as evenly as possible. The dough is docked (pricked with a fork on the bottom in about a dozen places).
The dough is topped with parchment paper, filled with pie weights or dried rice, and baked for 20 minutes in a preheated oven. Make sure you get the weights or rice to fit as tightly as possible against the sides of the dough. The dough will expand when baked, and we want firm sharp sides.
The parchment holding the weights is carefully removed and the tart is returned to the oven for 5 more minutes to crisp the bottom of the dough.
Room temperature mascarpone cheese and cream cheese are combined in a food processor and processed until creamy and well combined. Sugar, eggs, egg yolks, fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice are added to the food processor and pulsed until well combined. The mix is transferred to the prepared tart crust. The filling can be smoothed with an offset spatula if it doesn’t find its way into the corners and tight against the edges.
The lemon mascarpone tart is baked in a hot oven for 30 minutes. The filling should be set. The tart is cooled on a wire rack to room temperature and chilled in the refrigerator to finish firming the filling.
Heavy cream or whipping cream is added to a stand mixer and beaten on medium high using the whip attachment to stiff peaks. The whipped cream should hold its shape. I added 3 tablespoons room temperature mascarpone to my whipped cream to stabilize it and ensure it keeps its shape at warmer temperatures. Its optional.
A lemon is peeled with a vegetable peeler into long strips. The idea is to get long strips of lemon peel leaving much of the white pith on the lemon. The long strips of lemon peel are julienned into very thin match sticks. The prepared lemon pieces are added to a small saucepan with about 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. The water is brought to a boil over medium high heat. The temperature is reduced and the mix is simmered for 30 minutes. The lemon strips are drained and set aside.
The whipped cream is dolloped over the chilled tart and spread using the back of a spoon over the top of the tart, leaving the edges of the filling uncovered. The tart is garnished with candied lemon peel.
The tart can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for several days. Best served slightly chilled.
Other Tart Recipes You Might Enjoy
Lemon Mascarpone Tart
- (1) 14 x 4-inch tart pan with removable bottom OR (1) 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom
Sweet Pie Dough:
- 113 grams unsalted butter (1 stick OR 8 tablespoons), cubed and chilled
- 25 grams powdered sugar (3-1/2 tablespoons)
- 40 grams egg (1 medium), beaten
- 3 grams vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)
- 2 grams fresh lemon zest (1 teaspoon)
- 128 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup)
- 25 grams almond flour (1/4 cup)
Lemon Mascarpone Filling:
- 250 grams mascarpone cheese (1 cup), room temperature
- 250 grams cream cheese (1 cup), room temperature
- 167 grams granulated sugar (2/3 cup)
- 100 grams egg (2 large), room temperature
- 40 grams egg yolk (2 large), room temperature
- 6 grams fresh lemon zest (1 tablespoon)
- 80 grams fresh lemon juice (1/3 cup)
Sweet Pie Dough:
- Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add beaten egg, vanilla bean paste, and fresh lemon zest to stand mixer. Beat on low for about 15 seconds to incorporate.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer. Add all-purpose flour and almond flour to dough mixture. Fold in with large spatula until no streaks of flour remain.
- Flatten dough into long rectangle or circle. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour to overnight.
- Bring dough to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Roll dough into large rectangle or circle. Fit dough into sides and bottom of 14 x 4-inch rectangle tart pan or 9-inch round tart pan.
- Using a fork, prick the dough about a dozen times across the bottom of the pan.
- Line dough with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until golden, 20 minutes. Immediately, and carefully remove pie weights and parchment paper. Return to oven for 5 minutes.
- Cool lemon almond sweet pie crust completely on wire rack before filling.
Lemon Mascarpone Filling:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add mascarpone cheese and cream cheese to food processor. Process until well combined, about 30 seconds.
- Add sugar, eggs, egg yolks, fresh lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice to food processor bowl. Process until smooth and well combined.
- Transfer lemon mascarpone filling to prebaked pie crust.
- Bake 30 minutes in preheated oven, or until filling is set, with little or no jiggle in the very center.
- Cool tart on wire rack to room temperature. Chill 2 hour or overnight in refrigerator to set completely.
- Serve tart at room temperature with whipped cream and candied lemon peel.