There are some recipes that make you stop and say, ooohhh! This lemon curd mascarpone tart is one of those recipes. From the delicate crust to the creamy mascarpone and bright lemon curd, this tart has it all in terms of flavor and texture. Read below for the recipe.
A Note About This Recipe
I always spend a lot of time working on flavors and coming up with combinations that really work well for my desserts. This particular combination of lemon, mascarpone, and cream is so delightful and really fun to eat. It feels like summer in your mouth!
This tart didn’t start out as a lemon curd mascarpone tart either. Sometimes I’m midway through creating another recipe and then I change it completely if it isn’t flowing and doesn’t feel right.
That’s what happened with this recipe. And while my other version would have been good, it was not nearly as great as this recipe.
So as you eat a slice of this tart, really enjoy the flavors and textures and how they meld together. It’s a really fun experience to slow down and savor the flavors. In fact, it creates a completely different experience than we we rush through eating something so delicious.
What is Mascarpone Cheese?
Mascarpone is an Italian “cheese” that is more full bodied that cream cheese. It has anywhere from 45-65% fat content versus cream cheese which only has 30-35%.
Mascarpone is not even technically cheese, as I learned from a bit of research. Instead, it’s made from heavy cream. Because the base is heavy cream instead of milk (as in cream cheese), it’s richer and creamier.
This sweet and tangy cream is use for desserts like cannoli, tiramisu, tarts, and more.
It’s the perfect cheese for this tart too as it doesn’t require a lot of extra ingredients to make it taste great. And it pairs really well with the tartness of the lemon curd.
3 Tips for Making the Best Lemon Curd Mascarpone Tart
First, freeze the crust before baking it. This helps to reduce shrinkage, and it helps the crust to bake up evenly. When baking, put the tart on the top rack of the oven to ensure that the top and bottom of the tart bake evenly.
Second, use an offset spatula to smooth out the mascarpone filling. If the filling is not smooth, then the lemon curd will not go on evenly. You may instead see lumps of the filling showing through.
If you aren’t worried about making this look completely gorgeous, then it’s not as big of a deal. But taking just a few extra seconds to smooth out the top really makes a difference.
Lastly, pour the lemon curd on top when it’s closer to room temperature. The base filling needs to stay cold and firm, so we don’t want to add hot curd on top. This could melt some of the beautiful filling and create a mess!
- Freeze the crust before baking
- Use an offset spatula to smooth the lemon mascarpone filling
- Pour the lemon curd on when it’s room temperature
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Lemon Curd Mascarpone Tart
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Chill Time: 90 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
- Yield: 8–10 1x
- Category: tarts
For the Pate Sucre (French Sweet Pastry Crust)
- 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 40 g (1/3 cup) powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
- 150 g (1 1/4 cups) all purpose flour
- 32 (1/4 cup) cake flour (substitute ap flour if you can’t find cake flour)
For the Lemon Curd
- 2 large whole eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 158 ml (2/3 cup) fresh lemon juice, strained and pulp removed
- 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 g (1 tsp) cornstarch
- 28 g (2 Tbs) unsalted butter, divided in two
For the Lemon Mascarpone Filling
- 230 g (1 cup) heavy cream, chilled
- 195 g (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
- 170 g (6 oz) mascarpone cheese
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
To Make the Pate Sucree (Sweet Shortcrust Pastry)
- Cream the butter and sugar on low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Add the egg and mix. It will look curdled, but that is okay.
- Add all dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a flat round disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- If the dough chills for more than an hour, let the dough sit out for 20-30 minutes so that it is easier to work with. The dough gets really firm when it chills for a long time.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and begin making the tart.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a circle that is 1/8 inch thick.
- Place a 9 inch tart pan upside down on the dough and cut out a circle that is 2 inches bigger than the tart pan.
- Next, press the dough into the tart pans and remove the excess dough along the edges with the palm of your hand or with a knife.
- Prick the tarts with a fork so no air pockets form, and place in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Line with parchment and pie weights (or rice) so that the tart keep its shape while baking.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pie weights and liner for the last 5 minutes of baking. The tart is done when the edges are lightly golden.
- Allow the tart to cool completely before filling.
To Make the Lemon Curd
- Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium glass or metal bowl and whisk. Add the egg yolk, whole eggs, fresh lemon juice, and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine.
- Next, fill a medium pot with 1-2 inches of water, and place the bowl over the water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t actually touch the water.
- Turn the stove onto medium high heat to get the water to a simmer quickly, and then turn the heat down so it stays at a simmer. While the water is coming to a simmer, begin stirring the lemon mixture so that it doesn’t scramble.
- Whisk the lemon curd until it is pale and thickens. This takes 5 – 10 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the pats of butter one at a time until they are melted and combined with the curd. Whisk the curd for 1-2 minutes after removing from the heat to get the right consistency.
- Place a piece of plastic directly on top of the curd so that the plastic is touching it. Cover the bowl with another layer of plastic wrap to make sure it’s sealed well, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
For the Lemon Mascarpone Filling
- Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, cream the mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, and salt. Add to the heavy cream and whip until smooth and creamy.
- Pour about 2/3 of the lemon mascarpone filling into the cooled tart shell (or as much as will fit), leaving a little gap at the top for the lemon curd. Smooth the filling with an offset spatula until completely even.
- Next, pour the lemon curd on top and smooth with the offset spatula. You may not need all of the curd, but most of it should fit on top.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a piping bag fitted with a French star tip with the remaining mascarpone. Pipe a border around the edge if the tart if desired. For additional texture, add crushed almonds along the border (completely optional).
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store covered in the fridge for up to a week.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.
Keywords: lemon mascarpone filling, lemon curd, lemon curd mascarpone tart