Strawberry Mascarpone Tart

Pastry hates a hot kitchen. I decided not to make a pie crust base for this strawberry tart, but to make one from cookie crumbs, like the base of a cheesecake. Except that I wanted it to be more crumbly than the average cheesecake bottom, which can vary from the rock hard to the downright impenetrable. This was to be a crust that collapses at the merest pressure from your fork, then sticks to the cream filling in fat, pebbly crumbs. Graham crackers will work, but something softer and with a more open texture tend to yield the consistency I hanker after, especially if you put in less butter than usual. Posh cookies, the sort that come in boxes rather than bags, are probably the best. It’s hard to think of a more easily made tart than this.–Nigel Slater

LC Delicate Diversity Note

A crumbly cookie crust. A gently sweetened mascarpone filling. And a crown of bling in the form of sliced strawberries from late spring. Although you can still savor this beyond the end of June, whenever the moment and the mood demands, by drawing on another delicate delicacy, whether raspberries, blueberries, quartered fresh figs, sweetened and poached rhubarb, even homemade preserves of virtually any sort.

Special Equipment: a 14-by-5-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 2 H, 20 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • For the crumb base
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 9 ounces cookies, such as almond, orange or sweet oat
  • For the filling
  • 1 large egg
  • Generous tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1/3 pound strawberries

Directions

  • Make the crumb base
  • 1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat.
  • 2. Crush the cookies to a coarse powder. A food processor will do this in seconds or you can put the cookies in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin. (Do this gently or the bag will split.) Add the crumbs to the butter and thoroughly mix.
  • 3. Spoon the crumbs into the tart pan and smooth them into the corners and up the sides. Press firmly, but not so hard that they become compacted. The cookie base is better when short and crumbly.
  • 4. Refrigerate until the base has set, at least a couple of hours.
  • Make the filling
  • 5. Separate the egg, put the yolk in a bowl with the sugar and beat for a few seconds until thoroughly mixed.
  • 6. Beat in the mascarpone till you have a custard-colored cream.
  • 7. Stir in a little vanilla extract. A couple of drops should be enough.
  • 8. With a clean whisk, beat the egg white till it stands stiff, then fold it into the creamed mascarpone.
  • Assemble the tart
  • 9. Spoon the mascarpone into the cookie crust, spreading it smoothly right out to the edges.
  • 10. Hull the strawberries, slice them thinly, then arrange them on top of the mascarpone. Serve immediately or cover loosely and refrigerate. Remove the tart from the refrigerator a good 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note:

  • This recipe contains raw egg. Be mindful if cooking for anyone for whom this is a potential no-no.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Melissa Maedgen

Jul 07, 2010

This tart is a great way to highlight fresh, ripe strawberries. Being a no-bake recipe, it comes together quickly and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. The mascarpone filling is not too sweet, and not at all heavy. Instead, it lets the strawberries be the stars of the show, complementing them beautifully. Even though the tart is easy to make, it’s a classy dessert suitable for company. I know I’ll be pulling this recipe out again whenever I have visitors during strawberry season.

Testers Choice
Julie Dreyfoos

Jul 07, 2010

Yummy! A great summertime dessert. The no-baking makes it even better. For the base of the tart, I used Trader Joe’s Swiss Almond Crunch cookies—lightly flavored cookies that didn’t overpower the strawberries. The recipe calls for 9 ounces of cookies, but I might cut this, and the butter, back a bit next time to make a thinner base, while adding more strawberries on top. I sliced the strawberries with an egg slicer so they were very thin and uniformed, but they might have been a bit too thin.


Comments
Comments
  1. This tart is perfect for summer! I love how it showcases the beautiful strawberries. I might try using raspberries or even peaches since both are in season and are all over the farmer’s markets right now. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Julie Dreyfoos, LC Production Manager says:

    Try this recipe with any fresh fruit of the season, I made this last night with an Italian Amaretti cookie that were Gluten Free, sliced fresh peaches with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Delicious! The combinations are endless that you can make with this no-bake dessert.

  3. John Delahnty says:

    For those who prefer not to use unpasteurized eggs some stores–such as TRADER JOE’s–sell pasteurized eggs.

  4. Olivia McCourt says:

    My favorites strawberries and marscarpone cheese! It almost makes my heart pound!

  5. I’ve been making a very similar pie for years. It’s been modified over the years from a strawberry pie to a strawberry mascarpone pie because on the RARE occasions there is any leftover the crust doesn’t get soggy.

    But a cookie base…even a graham cracker one; I have not done that and now thinking. Why not? Will be next up; always love a new version of an old favorite!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      I’m a convert to the cookie crust for pies such as this, Barbara. Sometimes I use crushed granola, other times whatever cookie I have on hand or happen to be craving, sometimes I even make said cookie just for the crust. Eminently versatile!

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