Make Ahead

Heirloom Tomato and Lemon Mascarpone Tart

June 28, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Inspired by the fresh fruit tart, this is a great way to showcase the beautiful colors and shapes of your heirloom tomatoes. Here I used a basic pie crust taught to me by my mother (with shortening), but you can use your favorite or ready made. - nannydeb —nannydeb

Test Kitchen Notes

What we love most about this summer tart is the fact that nannydeb doesn't cook the tomatoes, but rather leaves them to shine in all their juicy glory -- that, and the addictive combination of the tomatoes, creamy mascarpone, savory crust, and grassy, garlicky basil oil. What's more, we learned a nifty new technique: you can use a paste of flour and water instead of plain ice water to bring the dough together. This tart would make a very elegant first course, or, paired with a green salad, a perfect lunch al fresco. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup organic shortening
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, give or take
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, different colors, sliced thin
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Remove 1/4 cup flour to a small bowl and add the water, making a paste.
  3. With a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour in the large bowl. Add the paste and mix well.
  4. On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust to fit an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  5. Prick the pie crust all over with a fork or use pie weights so that the crust doesn't bubble up while cooking.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden, removing the pie weights after 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. In a food processor, puree the basil, olive oil, garlic and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  8. In a small bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese with the lemon juice. Once the pie crust has cooled, spread the cheese on the bottom.
  9. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheese, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle the basil oil on top. Cut into wedges and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • aargersi
  • cheese1227
  • aliyaleekong
  • Lizthechef

Recipe by: nannydeb

Former restaurant manager (and waitress, bartender, etc). I love food: eating, trying new recipes, shopping for it, talking/emailing about it, etc. My foodie friend and pen pal got me interested in recipe contests and also turned me on to food52 and now I'm obsessed!

44 Reviews

Christie May 11, 2021
I made this, and it is excellent! Side note though: Why are so many folks commenting on how the photo looks and not providing recipe feedback? This isn't instagram!!
caarin August 8, 2016
My garden is currently producing a quart of cherry tomatoes a day - so I am constantly on the lookout for tomato recipes! I saw this and decided to work with a recipe for crust I know (Julia Child's flaky pate brise) and ingredients I had on hand. Instead of marscapone I used a mixture of 1/2 creme fraiche and 1/2 Greek yogurt with lemon juice. Gorgeous. Could have used a bit more (10 oz?) to spread across the bottom. Make sure your crust is fully baked and cooled before adding filling. Lovely recipe.
vivavo February 8, 2013
So pretty. I mixed the basil/garlic/lemon into the mascarpone instead of drizzling it on top and really enjoyed it that way. I made it in the middle of winter just because I really wanted it! I'm sure in the summer when the tomatoes are nice and fresh it would be even better.

My version here:
pamelag August 21, 2012
Easy, delicious, and a gorgeous presentation for a summer party. Thank you for this fabulous recipe!
pamelag August 21, 2012
Easy, delicious, and a gorgeous presentation for a summer party. Thank you for this fabulous recipe!
jstew52 August 1, 2012
I made this last year and it was terrific. We couldn't finish it in one meal, and loved the way the crust held it's "crispiness" even after sitting on the counter overnight.
Sara M. October 21, 2011
I thought I knew all the variations of tarte crust but using a paste is a new one to me. Can't wait to try it.
Sara M. October 21, 2011
I thought I knew all the variations of tarte crust but using a paste is a new one to me. Can't wait to try it.
Kerryloves2travel August 14, 2011
What a perfect way to serve my hard earned treasure of heirloom tomatoes...and wait til i make homemade marscapone.
This sounds Yummy AND impressive. Can't wait to try :)

aargersi June 5, 2011
I finally made this and it is absolutely delicious! Now that we are up to our ears in tomatoes I will be making it again and again
DAVILCHICK September 30, 2010
I've made this twice now. First time I didn't put enough of the basil oil on. Second time, I went for it and it was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!

This weekend I'm going to try it with goat cheese instead of marscapone. Thanks Nannydeb. Another fab dish.

uenotaylor August 25, 2010
Everyone loves a tart! Especially a dressed up one that you can take to a party. This is
a superb and fresh variation on the tomato cheese thing. LOverly!
shelovestocook August 12, 2010
Oh, this sounds lovely. Heirlooms are prolific now so I will definitely try it this weekend. Mascarpone and lemon--what a treat. Congratulations to the winner!
cheese1227 August 12, 2010
Congrats! I am so pleased this recipe won this week as I was off-line during the voting period and couldn't manage to get my own vote for it in.
CaliforniaGreekGirl August 11, 2010
What a beautiful tart! A great way to use up all my tomatoes!Thanks a bunch.
veronique August 11, 2010
Made this recipe last using Julia Child's Pate Brisee recipe. It is one of the best things I've ever eaten! I make a tart with a thin layer of goat cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, and shredded basil that is very good, but this surpassed that classic recipe. The 2 TB of lemon juice in the marscapone makes it. Perfect for a hot night
thirschfeld August 11, 2010
add a glass of perfectly chilled chenin blanc and that hot night becomes nirvana. LOL
RobertCIA August 11, 2010
I made this with a pint of cherry tomatoes I picked from my garden. Sliced them in half and spread them over the top. I did not have tart pan, so I hand crimped the edges and it gave it a beautiful rustic look with the basil pistou on top. Thank you.
aliyaleekong August 9, 2010
Congrats! This is such a lovely tart!
Shaya August 8, 2010
this looks glorious, am about to attempt it now but have never used organic shortening; could I sub butter?
nannydeb August 9, 2010
I've never tried this particular recipe with butter, but many basic pie crusts use butter.
Lizthechef August 7, 2010
I just now made this for supper and it was lovely. Because San Diego is enjoying its coolest August (so far) since FDR in 1933, I have the urge to (next time) to quickly grill my tomato slices and drape them over the cheese, which will ooze under the heat. I will post my photo but feel free to delete it. Thank you for a wonderful summer recipe!
nannydeb August 9, 2010
I'm so glad you made it and liked it and photographed it!