How to Make Tart Dough

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite summertime desserts,  a tart shell filled with whipped mascarpone cream and topped with fresh fruit. Simple, oh so tasty and perfect for all those warm summer nights filled with BBQs and entertaining.  

Couple notes on the recipe:

The biggest complaint with tart dough is that it shrinks when it bakes. A great way to prevent that is to make sure the dough is really cold when you put it in the oven as well as pressed into the pan rather than stretch to fit. 

Also make sure to fill it with pie weights or dried beans before baking. 

Lastly, this is one of my favorite ways to serve a tart but if you don’t want to use the whipped mascarpone cream filling you could fill it with regular whipped cream, ricotta, or even Greek Yogurt and of course any summertime fruit.

Tart Dough (plus an easy summertime dessert)

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbs. cold water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 Tbs./1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup cold mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • ripe seasonal fruit such as berries or stone fruit

In a small bowl combine the egg yolk, water and vanilla. Set aside. 

In the bow of a food processor, pulse to combine the flour, 2 Tbs. of sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of peas, about 10 seconds. Add the egg yolk mixture and pulse until the dough comes away from the sides and sticks together when pinched. 

Gather the dough into a ball and dusting with flour as needed, roll the dough out 12" in diameter, about 1/8" thick. Using the rolling pin, place the dough into a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the pan, being careful not to stretch it, but rather press it. 

Prick the dough with a fork then freeze the dough for at least 30 minutes. 

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. 

Place a piece of parchment paper over the tart dough then fill the dough with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the tart dough for about 15 minutes then remove the beans and bake until golden brown, about 5 more minutes. Remove and let tart shell cool completely. 

While the tart shell is cooling make the filling (if using). Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the mascarpone cheese with the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar. Add the heavy cream and beat on high until just barely stiff peaks form. Fill the cooled tart shell with the mascarpone filling and top with fruit.