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Lemon curd and mascarpone tartlets with strawberries recipe

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Adjust Servings:
For the Lemon Curd
100 ml Lemon Juice
85 g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Corn Flour
2 Egg
100 g Butter , at room temperature
For the Salted Butter Biscuit Base
150 Butter
140 g Icing Sugar
1 tsp Salt
3 Egg yolks
2 tsp Baking Powder
200 g plain Flour , plus extra for dusting
For the Mascarpone Cream
½ Vanilla Pod
300 g mascarpone Cheese , at room temperature
50 g Icing Sugar
150 ml whipping Cream
For the Topping
a large punnet of ripe Strawberries , hulled and sliced
Icing Sugar , for dusting

Lemon curd and mascarpone tartlets with strawberries recipe

  • Serves 8
  • Medium


  • For the Lemon Curd

  • For the Salted Butter Biscuit Base

  • For the Mascarpone Cream

  • For the Topping



These tarts are built on strong foundations: the buttery base is simple, quick, forgiving, and hard to get wrong, but still gives a professional-looking result. It’s a traditional recipe from Brittany, a region famed for both its butter and its sea salt, and here they combine to great effect. Salt always helps to make the sweet taste even sweeter. However, if you’d prefer to reduce the salt slightly, then your tarts won’t suffer for it.

Homemade lemon curd is infinitely superior to the shop-bought variety, so if you go to the trouble of making it, make plenty (you can easily double this recipe – it will keep for a week in the fridge). It’s delicious on toast or scones, for example. In this recipe, we play the sweet tartness of the curd off against creamy mascarpone to great effect. They love each other to bits. This recipe makes more pastry than you will need but you can keep it, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 2 weeks. The strawberries on top are a final flourish if you don’t have strawberries, try any other fresh fruit you have to hand.



The lemon curd should be made the day before you want to bake the tarts. Warm the lemon juice with half the sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining sugar with the cornflour. In yet another bowl, whisk the eggs together, then continue whisking as you add the cornflour and sugar. By this stage, the lemon juice should be coming to the boil. When it does, pour it slowly onto the eggs, whisking all the while, then return the whole thing to the saucepan and bring back to the boil. Once you see bubbles appear, cook for a minute more, then take straight off the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Cover with cling film, pressing it right down so that it touches the whole surface of the curd – this will prevent a skin from forming. When warm to the touch but not hot enough to melt the butter on first contact, whisk in the soft butter a lump at a time. Cover again with cling film and, when cold, chill in the fridge overnight to set.


Next, prepare the biscuit base. Tip the butter, icing sugar and salt into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth cream. Add the egg yolks and blitz a moment more. Alternatively beat thoroughly in a bowl with a wooden spoon or use a hand beater. Sift together the baking powder and the flour, add to the buttery cream, and mix just a little longer until well combined. The pastry will be very soft. Scrape the dough out of the food processor onto cling film, wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight, until quite firm.


Remove the dough from the fridge. Lightly flour the worktop and rolling pin, then roll the dough out thinly to a thickness of 2–3 mm. Take a 9 cm round cutter, dip it lightly in flour, and cut out 8 rounds of dough. Sit the rounds snugly into the base of 8 fluted 9 cm tartlet tins, but don’t push the dough up around the sides. Chill the tartlet bases in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.


Bake the chilled tartlet cases for 15–17 minutes until they turn a deep golden brown. Don’t be afraid to bake them slightly longer than you think they need – they’re so rich that they won’t dry out. You will start to smell the combination of well-baked butter and sugar, which, combined with the contrast of the salt, is so central to this recipe. Leave them to cool in their tins on a wire rack, then turn out.


While the tartlet bases cool, make the mascarpone cream. Split open the vanilla pod with a sharp knife and use the blade to scrape the seeds into a large mixing bowl. Add the mascarpone and the sugar, and beat with wooden spoon until smooth. Whip the cream separately with a balloon whisk until it falls in soft folds, holds gentle peaks, and has tripled in size. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone using a large, metal spoon.


Spread the mascarpone cream on top of the cooled tartlet bases, building up to a slight peak in which you can form a well. Drop a spoonful of lemon curd into this little hollow, then top with a generous tumble of sliced strawberries and dust with icing sugar. Once assembled, eat relatively quickly.


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