Do the words five ingredients and gourmet dessert go together? Throw in the word fast and you have this gorgeous strawberry tart.
Your guests will rave (in a good way).
You may be unfamiliar with mascarpone cheese, the main ingredient in this tart. Mascarpone is a mild-flavored soft double or triple cream cheese that originated in the Lombardy region of Italy. It is similar to cream cheese or a thick French creme fraiche. You may need to sit down before reading the next line, though. Mascarpone has a fat content that ranges from sixty to seventy-five percent. There are six grams of fat in a single tablespoon of the cheese. Fortunately a small slice of this tart is very satisfying!
Typically, mascarpone is a dessert ingredient. It is a chief ingredient in Italy’s decadent tiramisu dessert, for example, but it also is used in savory dishes like pastas. You can buy mascarpone in the dairy section of markets like Trader Joe’s.
There are links at the bottom of this post to the original recipe from the How Sweet Eats blog, to a tutorial for carving the roses (it’s a cinch!), and to a do-it-yourself recipe for making mascarpone at home if you want to give that a try.
1 hrPrep Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 1 1/2 C. cookie or graham cracker crumbs
- 5 T. unsalted butter (melted)
- 12 ounces mascarpone cheese (at room temperature)
- 1/4 C. powdered sugar
- 2 pints fresh strawberries
- Optional ingredients/garnishes
- juice of 1/2 lemon (or vanilla extract)
- fresh mint for garnish
- honey for drizzling
- Pulverize cookie crumbs in a food processor. (I used graham cracker crumbs.)
- Melt butter and add it to the cookie crumbs. (Add more butter if necessary to get the crust to hold together. I did.) Press the crumb/butter mixture firmly into a 4 x 14 inch tart pan (or an 8 inch round pan) with your fingers. (Your pan should have a removable bottom. The crust is tender, so a pan with a removable bottom will make it easier to remove the tart from the pan at the time of serving.)
- Mix mascarpone and powdered sugar in a bowl. Add the optional lemon juice or vanilla extract. (I used fresh lemon juice.) You will want to mix the cheese filling until it loosens up a bit. Gently spread the mixture with a spatula onto your tart shell. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. (The butter in the crumb crust will harden and firm up the crumbly crust. It is still a tender crust, though. Be careful handling it. If it does break, just sprinkle the crumbs over the tart slice and enjoy. It will still look beautiful.)
- Meanwhile, prepare your strawberry roses. When you are ready to serve the tart, place the strawberry roses decoratively on top of the tart. The original recipe covered the tart with roses. It was beautiful. I used a single line of roses because I thought it was attractive to expose some of the filling.
- A link to a tutorial that shows you how to carve the roses appears at the end of this post. It was easy!
When I first made this, I was worried that the small amount of powdered sugar the recipe called for would be enough to adequately sweeten the tart. Once I tasted the finished product, though, the subtle sweetness was just perfect for me. Depending upon your sweet tooth, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar in the mascarpone filling.
Here is a link to a tutorial on carving the strawberry roses: Carving Strawberry Roses
Here is the link to the original recipe on the How Sweet Eats blog: Five Ingredient Strawberry Tart
Here is a link to a recipe to make your own mascarpone that appears on the Epicurious site: Do-it-yourself mascarpone from Epicurious