These easy strawberry tarts are the perfect spring dessert, and are made with puff pastry, mascarpone whipped cream, and glazed fresh strawberries.
This post is sponsored by Wewalka.
Several years ago, my best friend and I hopped on a plane and flew to Paris.
We strolled down the Champs-Élysées, explored the underground catacombs, visited the Musée d'Orsay, got lost on the wrong Paris commuter train, ate French crêpes with friends, and gazed longingly through the windows of each and every pâtisserie (pastry shop) we passed.
In particular, I remember the strawberry tarts.
They glistened, pretty and pink, calling to me from the street. "Eat me!" they whispered.
Over the years, I've thought a lot about those strawberry tarts. But homemade French pâtisserie is slightly (majorly) outside my baking skill level, and the thought of making those tarts from scratch seemed overwhelming.
But recently, I had an idea. A delicious idea.
Traditionally, French strawberry tarts are made with pastry dough. Instead, I decided to make my tarts with delicious, buttery puff pastry.
I grabbed my favorite Wewalka puff pastry, and started dreaming up an easier version of my favorite French strawberry tart.
I used Dorie Greenspan's "Easy Fruit Tart," from her book Baking: From My Home To Yours, as inspiration for this simplified tart.
For one, it's delicious. It poofs well, is golden and flaky, and uses high-quality ingredients.
And second, it's so convenient! It comes refrigerated, not frozen, so you don't have to wait on the dough to thaw.
Guys, I never remember to thaw frozen dough. It's a real problem.
(As of 2022, Welwalka is now "Jus-Rol".)
Bake the Puff Pastry Shells
Start by cutting the sheet of puff pastry into eight rectangles, or use a circle biscuit cutter to cut out circular tarts. When I make round tarts, I use these biscuit cutters.
Use a butter knife to draw a border around the outside of each tart, and then poke the center of the tart with a fork.
Brush the border with an egg wash.
Next, bake the tarts until they're golden.
The middle of the tarts will probably poof up just like the rest of the tart, but the border and holes will make it easier to deflate the middle after baking.
When the tarts are done baking, press a spoon on the center of each tart to deflate the middle and create an indentation. That's where the creamy filling will go!
Set the tarts aside to cool.
You can make the tarts up to a day before serving.
Make the Whipped Filling
Next, you'll make the filling. Start by placing a glass bowl in the freezer until it's cold to the touch.
When the bowl is cold, add mascarpone cheese, heaving whipping cream, and a little powdered sugar to the bowl. Mix it with an electric mixer until it's creamy and smooth.
Can't find mascarpone? Swap it for ricotta (like this homemade ricotta!) or cream cheese.
Store the whipped mascarpone until you're ready to serve the pastries. You can make it the day before serving (just like the puff pastry).
Assemble Strawberry Tarts
When you're ready to serve, spoon the filling into the tarts.
If you want, add some chopped pistachios and fresh herbs to the whipped topping.
I use pistachios and thyme or mint, but feel free to play around with different nuts and herbs.
Add sliced strawberries to the tarts.
I like to fan them out so they look extra pretty.
Heat up a little strawberry jam, and brush it onto the berries.
If you're out of jam, or are in a hurry and don't want to glaze the berries, simply dust the tarts with a little powdered sugar.
Finally, stand back and look at your pretty tarts. Aren't they just the prettiest?
Serve the strawberry tarts right away, and bon appetit!
Puff Pastry Tart Shells:
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 egg (optional)
- 4 ounces mascarpone, room temperature Or substitute ricotta or cream cheese
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 quart strawberries, sliced
- 2 tablespoons strawberry or apricot jam
- fresh mint, torn into small pieces OR thyme, removed from stem (optional)
- pistachios, finely chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
Bake Puff Pastry:
- Roll out the puff pastry on the included sheet of parchment paper.Note: This recipe was written for refrigerated puff pastry. If using frozen puff pastry, thaw before using, rolled out to ¼″ thickness, and work on a floured surface instead of parchment paper.
- Cut pastry into 8 even rectangles. Alternatively, use round 4" biscuit or cookie cutters and cut out circles. You may get fewer pastries per sheet of dough when making round pastries.
- Move the parchment paper and pastry onto a baking sheet.
- Use a butter knife to make a shallow indentation on the pastries, creating a ½″ border along the edges. Do not cut all the way through the pastry!Tip: If you accidentally cut all the way through the pastry dough while making the border, use your finger to add a few drops of water to the cut area of the dough. Rub the dough to seal it back up.
- Use a fork to poke holes in the center of each pastry (inside the border). Whisk the egg in a small bowl, add a splash of water, and carefully brush the egg wash onto the top outer edge of the pastry (the ½″ border). Take care to only brush the TOP of the pastry– if the egg wash drips onto the side, it will seal the puff and prevent it from rising.Tip: An egg wash makes the pastry extra glossy when baking. It’s totally optional.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
- Remove pastries from the oven. Use the bottom of a soup spoon to press down on the center of the pastries, creating an indention in each pastry. Set the pastries aside to cool.
Make the Filling:
- Chill a glass (Pyrex) bowl in the freezer until it’s cold to the touch.
- Remove it from the freezer, and add the mascarpone, whipping cream, and sugar. Use an electric mixer on high to whip until it's creamy and smooth. Chill until you’re ready to use.
Assemble the Tarts:
- Make sure the tart shells are completely cool before assembling.
- Heat the jam in a small pot until it thins and swirls easily in the pot. Turn off the heat.
- Use a spoon to fill the tart indention with the whipped filling. If desired, sprinkle with fresh mint or thyme and/or pistachios.
- Top each tart with 1-2 sliced strawberries, and fan the strawberry slices out on the tart. Brush the jam onto the berries. Serve immediately.
- Prepare Ahead:The puff pastry tart shells and mascarpone whip can be made up to one day ahead of time. Wait until you're ready to serve the tarts before assembling. Tarts are best eaten right away, and should be eaten within an hour.