Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

This Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream is supermodel gorgeous, rich and creamy, balanced by the bright citrusy flavor of lemon curd. And super-duper easy to make!

Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

[We’ve been running around this week literally spinning plates and juggling knives, so here’s a repost from a few years back. It’s one of our absolute favorites from the blog, and is an absolute crowd-pleaser whenever we make it. It’s super-easy, and, other than the crust, doesn’t need baking. We just planted our own redcurrant bushes this year, so we’re hopeful that within a couple of seasons, we’ll have enough gorgeous berries to decorate a tart entirely from our garden.]

Besides being nerdy about movies, television and all things culinary, Matt and I both share a dorky fascination with etymology (the history of words). I’ve written about my most hated words in a previous post (which had to be titled Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad because Matt despises the word ‘slaw’). Now I thought we’d list some of our favorites (join us and write yours in the comments!).

Emily: Luminescent, gloaming, nixed, defenestration

Matt: Ramble, button, spandrel, pickle

“Great,” you mumble. “But can I have the recipe for that tart now?”

“Tart! Now there’s a good word.” I reply, causing you to sigh and glance at your watch. “Earliest usage: noun, 14th century, from Old French tarte ‘flat, open-topped pastry’, possibly an alteration of torte, from Latin torta.”

“Interesting,” you say, barely able to mask your exasperation. “Do I pre-bake the crust or–”

“Second usage: adjective, 15th century, meaning “having a sharp taste.”

“Does it use eggs? How many lemons should I get?”

“Third usage!” A waggle of my eyebrows at which you purse your lips and begin googling other recipes. “1887, ‘prostitute, immoral woman’. To ‘tart-up’ (slang) to adorn or decorate, especially in a flamboyant manner.”

Pause for dramatic effect.

“So what you have here,” I conclude, “is a tart, tarted-up tart.”

Ba-dum-tish (cue crickets).

Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

Besides being super-model gorgeous, this summer berry tart is also incredibly delicious. It’s rich and creamy but not overwhelming so, balanced by the bright citrusy flavor of lemon curd. The best part about it though is that it’s super-duper easy to make. Seriously, I mean it.

You don’t even have to bake it (other than browning the crust for a few minutes). Mix some stuff together, pour it into the cooled shell and chill it. You can do that, right? Of course you can.

Speaking of the crust, I was all set to make a standard pastry dough but it was hot in the kitchen and I had just spent 3 hours photographing fruit and tomatoes so I was beat. I decided to go with my favorite graham cracker crust and I’m SO glad I did. It’s perfect, it’s easy and it tastes divine.

Btw, Matt is MUCH better at anything pastry related so I always leave the crust to him, if he’s around.

Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone CreamOnce the tart is chilled, you can decorate it with summer berries as I did, or spread on a thin layer of lemon curd or jam and swirl it, or just sprinkle a little lemon zest over it and call it a day.

I just couldn’t resist these strawberries, raspberries and red currants which were flaunting themselves shamelessly, practically begging to be photographed in a Dionysian display. If this fruit were any more flamboyant, it would be headlining its own show in Vegas.

Summer Berries

Summer Berries

Nerd Tips:
  • You can make your own lemon curd or use a good store-bought variety. The sweetness can vary dramatically so taste the whipped cream mixture before you add the extra lemon juice.
  • If you can’t find graham crackers, digestive biscuits are a great substitute.
  • The crust can be made up to a day ahead and stored at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, until you’re ready to assemble the rest of the berry tart.
  • You can use a round, square or rectangular tart pan, as long as it has a removable bottom.
  • If you want the fruit to have that fancy, shiny look you see on French pastry, brush the fruit with a little strawberry jam that you’ve thinned with a teaspoon or two of warm water.

Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

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5 from 5 votes

Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

This Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream is supermodel gorgeous, rich and creamy, balanced by the bright citrusy flavor of lemon curd. And super-duper easy to make!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: berries, colorful, Summer
Servings: 6 -8
Calories: 721kcal
Author: Emily Clifton - Nerds with Knives


  • 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom


For the Crust

  • 7 oz whole graham crackers (12 crackers)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Mascarpone Filling

  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 8 ounce mascarpone cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd home-made or store bought (120ml)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest from half a lemon
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice optional, to taste

For the Berry Topping

  • 1 pint strawberries hulled and sliced or halved
  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • Mint leaves for garnish


For the crust:

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F
  • Place the crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Add the salt, sugar and melted butter and process again until well combined.
  • Place the crumbs into the tart pan and evenly spread the crumbs so that they cover the bottom of the pan and sides. Press down on the bottom firmly to make a compact layer. Use your fingers to pinch and press some of the crumbs around the inside edge of the pan to cover the sides evenly and create a rim about a 1/4 inch thick. Bake the crust until it’s golden brown and smells nutty, about 10 minutes. Set the baked crust on a rack and let cool. Note: The crust can be made up to a day ahead and stored at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic.

For the Lemon Mascarpone filling:

  • Beat the cream and cream cheese together on high speed with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the softened mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar and beat on medium speed until mixed well (don’t over-beat, mascarpone can separate). Add the lemon curd and lemon zest and mix on low until just combined. Taste and if you want more tartness, add the lemon juice.
  • Pour the cream mixture into the cooled tart crust and level it with an offset spatula or butter knife. Chill for at least 3 hours (overnight is fine too). Top the tart with the berries and garnish with mint leaves if desired. Serve chilled (I like to take it out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving).


Calories: 721kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 1593IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @NerdsWithKnives or tag #nerdswithknives!


43 thoughts on “Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream”

  1. i made this today and it was so delicious, so smooth and flavorful!!! everyone who had a slice was very impressed and would not believe me when i said how easy it was c: thank you for sharing!!

  2. This tart looks delicious! I’ll make it tomorrow. I’m from Europe therefore I’m little bit confused how many Mascarpone I have to use in grams? Please could you convert it for me? Thank you.

  3. This is one of the best desserts I’ve made. Everyone raved about it. Kids want to know when I’m making the next one. Definitely a recipe we will use again and again!

  4. Just made this. It’s fantastic. I put in some extra lemon curd and some rum just for fun. Delicious! Even without the rum. Will be making this again for sure.

  5. Yum! We have a dearth of good berries in my locale. The weather hasn’t been right. Imma have to try this with blueberries.

    I know it’s late but here’s some words:

    Schadenfreude, bunny, needle, shy & goddamn

  6. Concatenation pleases me. But etymology is the roots of a word; HOW they developed. Having a Latin (as in classics) education means I revel in tracing wirds backwards.
    Derivative? Nice too.
    Words are wonderful.

  7. For the filling, if I’m using a stand mixer — do I use the paddle beater or the whip? Am I trying to make some kind of whipped cream here, or not really?

    • Hi Arthur, the paddle attachment is preferable because you’re not trying to whip a lot of air into it. Either attachment works but I usually use the paddle.

  8. 5 stars
    This was a delightful dessert to make, it was shared at a Mothers Day dinner and was very showy indeed. The taste was wonderful, we really enjoyed it.
    I jazzed it up a bit by making a coconut crust and I did add the juice of one more lemon, I like my lemon desserts tangy.
    The fruit I used was Black berries, Strawberries and Kiwi for color.
    I used my rectangular pan, I shall definitely make this again… With a different fruit perhaps, it was a show stopper!
    Pam V Home Chef

  9. Beautiful dessert — I plan to make it for my ladies’ group next week. I’ve used my fluted tart pan with regular crust without a problem but was wondering if the graham cracker crust might have a tendency to crumble on the sides when you remove the sides of the pan. Do you remove the sides of the tart pan after the crust cools or after you pour the filling in? If I’m making it for the next day, should I remove the sides of the tart pan on the day I bake the crust then fill it the next morning? I want to avoid having the sides of the crust stick to the pan or cave in. Thank you.

    • I haven’t had any issue with the graham cracker crust crumbling. Make sure you really press it into the sides so it has structure. I leave the sides on almost until I’m ready to serve it. That way I don’t have to worry about things knocking into it in the fridge. The best way to remove it is to place it on top of a bowl or wide stable glass and pull the side of the pan straight down. It’s always come out clean for me. Good luck!

  10. 5 stars
    I made this for dessert last night – it was a real treat! I made the homemade lemon curd (using the food processor for all mixing steps). Before serving, I smeared some more lemon curd on top and served with macerated strawberries and blueberries. Will repeat!

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe was delicious! Added the lemon juice. Used a larger pan because thats all I had.
    I made two for a party and I have one left over. Have you ever tried to freeze it? I took one piece from the first pie and have it in the freezer. I will definitely make again. Only difference is I
    would beat cream cheese until fluffy then add whipping cream.

5 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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