This blueberry mascarpone tart, despite its sophisticated semblance, is really quite easy to toss together. Lemon gives the ethereally light mascarpone cheese filling a slight lilt and the crisp yet delicate shortbread crust lends the tart just the right amount of substance. Sorry but you’ve no longer got any excuses when someone asks you to bring dessert. Trust us, this recipe is going to make you a legend among loved ones.–Donna Hay

A rectangular blueberry mascarpone tart with one slice cut from the end and a bowl of blueberries on the side.

Blueberry Mascarpone Tart

4.60 / 5 votes
This blueberry mascarpone tart from Donna Hay screams sunshine. A sweet pastry crust is filled with sweetened lemony mascarpone cheese and topped with fresh blueberries.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Servings8 servings
Calories542 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time2 hours

Ingredients 

For the sweet shortcrust pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 9 tablespoons (4 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ice water

For the filling and topping

  • About 1 3/4 cups mascarpone*
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, preferably organic
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more dusting
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Instructions 

Make the sweet shortcrust pastry

  • Place the flour, butter, and sugar in a food processor and process in short bursts until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add the egg yolks and vanilla. Add the ice water and process until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, bring the dough together and flatten into a disc shape. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Roll the pastry out between a couple sheets of parchment paper until its 1/8-inch thick. Place the pastry into a  lightly buttered 13-by-3-inch (33-by-9-cm) loose-bottomed rectangular tart tin. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Line the pastry with parchment paper, fill with baking weights or uncooked rice, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and the weights and bake for 10 minutes more or until golden. Let cool to room temperature.

Make the filling for the tart

  • While the crust is baking, make the filling by placing the mascarpone, lemon zest, and sugar in a bowl and mix well.

Assemble the tart

  • Spread the filling onto the cooled tart shell, strew the blueberries over the top, and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Behold!

Notes

*What can I substitute for mascarpone?

Mascarpone is one of the creamiest cheeses in the world. With nearly twice the fat of American cream cheese, it’s a lush addition that makes this simple tart extraordinary. It’s made by adding citric acid (lemon juice) to whole milk, and then waiting for it to set.  If you don’t have any on hand and don’t have the time to wait for the homemade stuff, it’s possible to make a pretty close approximation. While clotted cream or creme fraiche are also close, they don’t have the fat content and aren’t as thick. Cream cheese is the closest, fat-wise, but you’ll need to add heavy cream and sour cream for the velvety texture of mascarpone. For this recipe, we’ve done the math for you—mix together 12 ounces of room temperature cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks) with 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup of sour cream until combined.

Adapted From

The New Classics

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 542 kcalCarbohydrates: 43 gProtein: 7 gFat: 38 gSaturated Fat: 23 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 154 mgSodium: 34 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 21 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Donna Hay. Photo © 2014 Con Poulos. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This blueberry mascarpone tart is beautiful. The filling whips up quite fluffy and not too sweet. It was light, fresh-tasting, and lemony. The zest adds a nice tang to the filling and the blueberries make the dessert. The pastry comes together quickly in the food processor. I chilled the dough overnight and made the tart the next day.

I actually made this recipe twice. I used 1 tub of mascarpone cheese and beat everything by hand for the filling. With a little muscle work, the cheese beats up nice and fluffy–no need to bring out the beaters for this.

I preferred to have the filling smoothly spread in the baked shell and then heap on the fresh blueberries. Delish! This is one dessert I plan to keep in my repertoire. I used 457 grams of mascarpone cheese (1 tub) that measured about 1 3/4 cups. I’d need a few tablespoonfuls from a second tub to reach the full 2 cups. ‘Tis is a dessert I look forward to making again.

I made this blueberry mascarpone tart as a birthday treat for my lovely soon-to-be sister-in-law. Even my extremely health-conscious, professional triathlete brother ate this dessert. Due to their athletic lifestyle, using less than a stick of butter in the crust was highly appealing and bonus points that the dessert contained fruit!

The filling was wonderfully lemony and creamy but still felt light and refreshing. I didn’t beat the mascarpone with a whisk/beater/mixer, instead, I just blended in the sugar and lemon zest with a wooden spoon. The creamy filling played well with the perfectly crumbly shortbread crust.

I used blueberries picked that morning in a local field—plump, juicy, and ripe for the picking and eating. Yum! There wasn’t much tart left over to save in the fridge, but one small piece managed to remain in my fridge for a day and a half and it was just as delicious then as the day it was made. I purchased a 14-ounce container of mascarpone (the largest single container I could find at my grocery store) It was just under 2 cups and weighed 396 grams.

This blueberry mascarpone tart was a pretty easy dessert to prepare on a hot summer day! The result was a refreshing, chilled, fruity dessert. Next time I’d add more fruits to it, perhaps mixing things up with some raspberries and figs, or strawberries.

This dessert really has it all—it’s tasty, beautiful, and simple. The recipe was uncomplicated and while the total time was 2 hours 40 minutes, most of this was chilling the dough twice. Overall, it was easy and straightforward.

The shortbread cookie crust was just right, not too crumbly or overly sweet. The filling was nice, again not too sweet with just the right touch of lemon. I was a bit concerned as the filling appeared a little bumpy from the zest even though it was quite finely grated but once the blueberries were placed on top you couldn’t see this. I scattered the blueberries in a single layer and sprinkled them with powdered sugar. The finished product looked appealing and would make a nice dessert for many occasions.

The recipe doesn’t say to keep this refrigerated but, because of the mascarpone cheese, I did. I took it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

This blueberry mascarpone tart is a lovely, bright ending to any meal. It’s showy enough to serve for a special occasion, yet easy enough to have for a weeknight splurge. The pastry tastes like a delicate butter cookie, with rich, but seemingly light mascarpone filling with copious amounts of lemon zest. Using a fluted tart pan makes this dessert so pretty you’ll feel as though you stepped into an English tea house. One note when rolling the dough, it may be useful to do so on a tea towel to prevent the parchment from slipping around the counter.

The next day the pastry was still sturdy, and less of the delicate crumb. It seemed to benefit from the moisture of the mascarpone. The mascarpone itself wasn’t as light on day 2, more like how whipped cream frosting deflates with time.

I noticed the mascarpone mixture lost its light and glossy texture while it sat for a bit. For maximum wow factor, I’d mix just before assembly/serving the tart.

I made a tart! Baking doesn’t come to me naturally so the fact that I made this (successfully) on my first attempt should tell you that this recipe works! I made it exactly as written with three minor changes—I added extra lemon zest, I used a 14″ x 4.5″ tart pan, and I dusted with confectioners’ sugar only when serving.

The sweet shortcrust pastry couldn’t have been easier to make. I didn’t need to put the dough on a floured surface. I placed it right onto my plastic wrap and used the plastic to help shape it into a disc. I initially found it a bit difficult to roll out my dough between the two sheets of parchment. I think this was because the dough was really cold when it came out of the refrigerator. As the dough warmed up, it became much easier. At one point, I was afraid my dough had become a bit too warm so I put it on a cookie sheet and popped it back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes. I then took it out, put it in the tart pan, docked it, and trimmed it. I didn’t measure the thickness of the dough as I rolled it out. I did, gently, place my tart pan on the rolled-out dough to make sure I had the dough long enough and wide enough for my pan. Be patient when placing the dough into your tart pan. Somewhere along the way, I learned to gently lift the dough and drape it into the pan. Don’t stretch the dough and force it to fit. Take a few extra seconds and gently lift the outer parts of the dough and help them into the pan along the sides. This will keep your dough at an even thickness and reduce the likelihood of shrinkage when baking.

The tart filling is even easier to make than the crust and it’s no-bake! You literally just mix three ingredients together et voila. I will note, when first mixed it seemed a bit thin but it firmed up quickly and even more so after being placed into the tart shell and refrigerated. I added extra lemon zest because I love lemon. The filling is delicious.

I topped the tart with the blueberries but held off on the confectioners’ sugar until serving. I stored the tart in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic and foil. I’ll definitely make this again. It tastes amazing. This tart looks difficult to make but it isn’t. Trust me, if I can make, you can too!




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this dessert for a birthday last week and it was sooooo good and very well received (the mascarpone filling held birthday candles perfectly). I prepared the pastry the day before and it baked up nicely the next day. It was so easy yet so delicious and a lovely presentation. The lemon zest added such a nice zing to the filling. The birthday girl requested the recipe and we all agreed, we will be making this again. Thanks for a great recipe.