Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Lavender

Cornmeal crust is optional, but as delicious as it sounds!

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Lavender

Strangely, I have made this tart (or variations on this tart) several times and have never recorded the recipe - it is just that easy and forgiving! In the interest of posterity and the sharing of deliciousness, I decided to finally post the recipe to the blog.

As mentioned, this recipe is very forgiving so variations are accepted and encouraged, though the combo of cornmeal-strawberry-mascarpone-lavender should not be treated lightly. The cornmeal crust is a variation on a classic pâte sucrée that I use for almost every tart shell. I have also subbed the cornmeal for buckwheat, which is just as delightful, but a little darker/nuttier. Other variations include brown sugar in place of white, addition of different herbs and spices such as rosemary, cinnamon, or saffron, different fruit, etc. Again however, you might want to just stick to this very delicious combination! Makes one tart, about 6-8 servings.

Mascarpone tart awaiting strawberry slices.

Mascarpone tart awaiting strawberry slices.

  • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the tart pan, diced
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (medium-grind)
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus one pinch salt (medium-grind), divided
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt, cold milk, or cold water (I prefer yogurt for its tangy quality)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod scrapings
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1/4 cup lavender flowers (other edible flowers can be used, but lavender is very easy to find as it often grows wildly or is feral on roadsides)
  • Honey, for drizzling
Strawberries laid out in concentric circles - now just awaiting the lavender and honey!

Strawberries laid out in concentric circles - now just awaiting the lavender and honey!

  1. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch tart pan. Set aside.
  2. Mix flour, cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup sugar and cut in butter. Using pastry blender, fork, or hands mix butter into flour mixture until the dough resembles small peas. Add yogurt, milk, or water and blend until dough sticks together when pressed, but is still crumbly. 
  3. Press dough into and up sides of pan, chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes, until golden-brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. While tart shell is cooling, remove the tops from the strawberries and thinly slice. set aside.
  5. Whisk mascarpone with remaining 1/3 cup sugar, egg, vanilla bean pod scrapings, vanilla extract, and pinch salt until combined. Once tart shell is completely cool, spread mascarpone evenly over shell and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set. Tart will turn golden and may have some areas of browning and start to rise some - don't worry, that's what is supposed to happen!
  6. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes. Top mascarpone with strawberries in overlapping concentric circles, starting with the largest strawberry slices around the outer edge and working your way in until the entire tart is covered with strawberries. 
  7. Top with lavender flowers and drizzle with honey. Serve at room temperature or cold.
There won't be leftovers.

There won't be leftovers.