Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream

With a sweet pastry crust and smooth cream filling, homemade fresh fruit tart is simply elegant. Always impressive, this classic dessert is surprisingly easy to prepare– you can save time and even make the crust and cream ahead of time! See my make ahead instructions below the recipe. 

overhead image of fruit tart

We’ve got fresh fruit tart on the dessert menu!

The wonderful thing about this classic dessert is that there’s minimal bake time. The crust only bakes for about 15 minutes, then you let it cool and fill it with the good stuff. And it’s the kind of dessert that looks like you poured your heart and soul into it, when in reality you made the pastry crust yesterday (it’s make ahead!) and spent most of the time sampling all the fruit you were cutting.

I include a lot of step-by-step pictures today. While this recipe is very manageable, I want you to have full confidence before beginning. Let’s dive into this beauty!

fresh fruit on a white cutting board

3 Parts to Fresh Fruit Tart

  1. Make Ahead Crust
  2. Cream Filling
  3. Sparkly Fruit Topping

overhead image of fresh fruit tart

Fresh Fruit Tart Crust

The base of our tart is a sweetened pastry crust. It’s kind of like pie dough, kind of like a cookie– but very much its own unique masterpiece. Crust like this lends the perfect sweet crunch under the blanket of vanilla cream and mountain of fresh fruit. It can be made ahead and refrigerated, or stick it in the freezer for later.

  1. Whisk the wet ingredients together. This includes an egg, cream, and vanilla for flavor. Some recipes call for just an egg yolk, but the entire egg adds tenderness from the fat (yolk) and structure from the protein (egg white).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients. We use flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. The first time I tested this recipe, I used granulated sugar to sweeten the dough. This did not turn out well– the granulated sugar cuts up all the butter, which causes the crust to melt into a buttery mass. Powdery confectioners’ sugar is the way to go!
  3. Cut in the butter. Like you do with pie dough, use a pastry cutter to cut butter into the dry ingredients. Make sure your butter is cold– you don’t want it to melt before baking.
  4. Add the wet ingredients. After a little mixing, the dough comes together into a ball. Chill it for at least 1 hour. Remember, cold dough is the best dough. It will hold its shape and structure better while baking.
  5. Roll out the dough. Roll the dough into a circle and transfer it to a tart pan. Press it down into the pan so it’s really snug.
  6. Blind bake the pie crust. The crust will lose some shape when exposed to direct heat, so we blind bake the crust using pie weights. (If you’re interested, here’s a post all about how to blind bake pie crust.) If you do not have pie weights, freeze the crust before baking. This prevents the dough from shrinking and losing shape– I learned this from Smitten Kitchen.
  7. Let the crust cool completely.

The crust in photos:

2 images of fruit tart dough mixture before and after adding butter in glass bowls

2 images of fruit tart dough mixture before and after adding heavy cream in glass bowls

fruit tart dough in a ball

fruit tart dough in a tart pan

Fruit Tart Filling

Many fruit tarts call for a detailed pastry cream or custard– while undeniably delicious, we’re keeping it simple. Just 4 ingredients needed for our zero effort cream filling: mascarpone, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. It tastes like cheesecake!

For flavor, use a mix of vanilla bean and pure vanilla extract. Vanilla pairs wonderfully with subtly sweet and buttery mascarpone– the key flavor in tiramisu so YOU KNOW it’s going to be good in this tart. To make it extra dreamy, try adding a little lemon juice and zest to the cream filling.

vanilla mascarpone cream in a glass bowl

Fresh Fruit Topping

Here’s where you have full creative control. When selecting fruit for a fruit tart, I look for variation in color, texture, and size– as well as what flavors pair nicely together. Decorate the tart with circles or rows of fruit, or pile it all randomly on top. Either way it will taste good!

For the sparkly shimmer, brush some jam on top. Choose a light color variety like orange or apricot, water it down, and brush it on top of the fruit. While totally optional, sparkles are always a good idea.

brushing fruit glaze onto fresh fruit tart

fresh fruit tart with a slice cut out

More Baking Recipes Using Fresh Fruit

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brushing fruit glaze onto fresh fruit tart

Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 1 9-inch tart
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


How to make homemade fresh fruit tart with buttery pastry crust and mascarpone cream filling. Save time and prepare the crust and cream ahead of time! See my make ahead tips below the written recipe.



  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) cold heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (167g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Vanilla Mascarpone Cream

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) cold heavy cream
  • 8 ounces mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (30g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean (or use an extra 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)

Fruit & Glaze

  • assorted fresh sliced fruit
  • optional glaze: 2 Tablespoons orange or apricot preserves mixed with 1 Tablespoon water


  1. For the crust: Whisk the heavy cream, egg, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. There are two options for this step: by hand using a pastry cutter or using a food processor. You can do it either way. To use a pastry cutter: Whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Place the cubed butter on top and cut in using the pastry cutter until the entire mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs– a few larger crumbs is OK. Pour the heavy cream mixture on top and stir to combine. You can use your hands to really get it all combined if needed. To use a food processor: Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs– a few larger crumbs is OK. Add the heavy cream mixture, then pulse until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
  3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days. (See make ahead tips.)
  4. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a 9-inch circle. Place into a greased 9-inch tart pan and press it down into the pan and up the sides until it is even all around. Refrigerate as the oven preheats or for at least 10 minutes. Cold dough is important.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Remove crust from the refrigerator, line the inside with foil, and fill with pie weights. The pie weights prevent the crust from puffing up, shrinking, and/or losing shape. (Alternatively, you can freeze the dough and bake from frozen without using pie weights. It will take about 20 minutes to bake if frozen.)
  6. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, remove crust from the oven, reduce oven heat to 350°F (177°C), and carefully remove the foil and weights. Use a fork to prick a few holes into the bottom of the crust and bake, without weights, for 5-6 more minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely before filling.
  7. For the cream filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Set aside. In the same mixing bowl (no need to wipe completely clean), beat the mascarpone for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread into cooled crust. Refrigerate until ready to garnish with fruit or garnish right away.
  8. Garnish the tart with fresh fruit. Whisk the optional glaze ingredients together, warm for about 15 seconds in the microwave, then brush on top of the fruit. Slice and enjoy! Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare the crust through step 3 and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then let sit at room temperature until easily rollable. You can also prepare and bake the crust, then let the crust cool in the pan to room temperature. Put the tart in the freezer for about 1 hour to let it firm up, then wrap it in plastic and freeze it for up to a month. When ready to serve, unwrap the crust and let it thaw before filling and decorating. The mascarpone cream can also be prepared ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days before using.
  2. Special Tools: 9-inch tart pan with removable sides, pastry cutter, and pie weights.
  3. 2019 Update: The filling ingredients remain the same, but I made a small update as many readers had trouble with the mascarpone curdling with the heavy cream. As now directed in the recipe, beat the heavy cream into stiff peaks then fold into the other ingredients. The filling is much smoother that way.
  4. Crust adapted from Baking Illustrated.

Keywords: fresh fruit tart, fruit tart, fruit mascarpone tart

Because I think you’ll love the cuteness… mini fruit tarts!

You can use this exact recipe, just fit and blind bake the crust in mini tart pans. This crust fits nicely into about six 4-inch mini tart pans (I own this set of 6 tart pans and these mini 4-inch tart pans). You can use larger tart pans for less tarts or smaller tart pans for more tarts. Blind bake the mini crusts until lightly browned on the sides. The 4-inch size took about 12 minutes in the oven. Wait for them to cool, then fill and decorate. 🙂

overhead image of mini fruit tarts


  1. I only have a 10 inch tart pan, but dying to try this recipe! How can I adjust the recipe? Thanks!

    1. You can definitely use your 10 inch tart pan, the crust will just be a little thinner. Another option is to use a 9-inch springform pan! Happy baking 🙂

  2. I made this yesterday as a treat for my coworkers. I love fruit tarts and this is the first time I’ve made one but it won’t be my last! This is so so delicious! Not too sweet and so fresh and yummy! Perfect for summer! And so simple to make! I have a 10 inch tart pan and it was perfect. The hardest part is placing the fruit which I got my boyfriend to do!

  3. Donna Jarvie says:

    Can these be made in standard muffin/tart pans? I don’t have small tart pans with the removable bottoms…

    1. Definitely! Use liners so you can easily remove and serve them.

  4. Mine curdled, too, and I did the whipped cream separately. Still tastes good! But I’m thinking it may be the vanilla extract that did it? Will try adding that to the cream instead.

    1. Kristin N. says:

      You can fix curdled/grainy marscapone (even if it’s already been mixed with the whipped cream) by gently heating it over a double boiler, whisking continuously, for about 2 minutes. It may separate a little more before it starts to come back together, but just be persistent with the gentle heat and whisking. Once it is completely smooth again, let it cool back to room temp on the counter and then move on with the recipe. The separation can be caused by over-whipping the marscapone or having warm/room temp marscapone and cold whipped cream… either way this method will make it smooth and creamy again. 🙂

  5. A great recipe – thank you Sally! I used a crème pâtissière filling but otherwise I followed this to the letter – despite a hot day it was ok in the end.

  6. A perfect tart recipe and the cream filling was delicious. Made this for Christmas. Followed the directions exactly and used fresh berries!

  7. Hi Sally, absolutely delicious homemade tart. I used canned mandarin oranges, grapes, kiwi, and fresh strawberry slices. Everyone loved it and I’m excited to try it with more fruits in the warm months this year!

  8. Loved this recipe. Used citrus and raspberries and added some lemon zest to the vanilla cream. Was a big hit at my daughter’s baby shower. Thanks Sally!

  9. Vilma Silva says:

    Haven’t tasted this yet but the crust is a bit of a disaster. It is so butter heavy that melted butter dripped on to the oven floor. I double checked the recipe and measurements. Any ideas as to what happened? Thanks!

  10. Michelle Shefter says:

    Great recipe! The mascarpone part of the filling got very thin/liquified when I mixed it in my stand mixer so I wound up combining it with the whipped cream and whipping it all until stiff peaks formed. Came out great!

    1. I’m so glad you made it work and enjoyed it, Michelle!

  11. Eve Alconcher says:

    Perfect tart recipe so delicious,I made it today and I’m going to make it again. Amazing

  12. Hi! How many people will this feed?

    1. Hi Laura, I use a 9 inch tart pan – the number of servings really depends on how large/small you slice it!

  13. I used the glass stones for flower vases instead of pie weights as a substitute once out of necessity. Never bought those weights!

    1. You can use dry beans too. Might be safer incase something breaks.

  14. Super simple and super fresh!! I made this for a small gathering and it was loved by everyone!! It’s a keeper.

  15. Would cream cheese work in place of mascarpone? I’m not sure I will be able to find any in the small town I live in.

    1. Absolutely!

  16. Really like this recipe overall. I especially love the crust – it was easy and delicious, and something I will incorporate into other things needing a sweet crust. I had a little leftover after I cut the edges and rolled it back out and cut it into little triangles and baked them into cookies, basically. It’s also impressively not brittle. I made it in a 10″ ceramic tart dish with parchment on the bottom, and was able to carefully turn it out without issue to make it prettier and easier to serve. Filled it and
    The filling seemed like it lacked a little something to me, but I also didn’t have any vanilla bean, so just added more extract. After taste testing, I added a tiny bit of almond extract to give it a little more depth. I did double the filling just to be safe, with the slightly larger pan, and have plenty left over to go with all the fruit I have leftover 🙂 Topped it with black and blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and honey mango, and glazed with apricot preserves. Looked beautiful, and tastes delicious!

  17. I’d like to make this recipe for the 4th of July. I’m also planning on making your mini cheesecakes. Since they already use graham crackers, would it be possible to make a graham cracker crust for this? Thanks!

    1. Hi Amy, Yes, you can use a graham cracker crust .

      1. Thank you for the second recipe, Sally!

  18. Loved it! For some reason the crust wouldn’t stick together so I had to add more heavy cream. It must be the climate where I live or my measuring cups. It’s the same with your pie crust. I have to add more ice water to it. Added lemon zest and juice and as I said before loved it.

  19. Hi Sally! If you don’t answer, I understand!
    I just got a rectangular tart pan (14×4) and was wondering how to increase the recipe to get the crust to fit without too much leftover.
    Wishing you and your family all the best

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Debbie, We haven’t tested that size pan but you can do some math using the post Cake Pan Sizes & Conversions to calculate the capacity fo the pan and how much filling you would need. I hope you love it!

  20. Can you make the pie crust using a stand mixer? I just got one and want a reason to use it

  21. Do I remove the tart crust from the pan before or after filling it?

  22. Can I use any of the pre-made frozen pie crust, or the Pillsbury like Homemade pie crusts to make this? I have one in my fridge, I would like use it.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      I don’t see why not! It won’t be quite the same (this crust is more of a mix between pie dough and a cookie) but it should work.

  23. If I don’t have any fresh fruit, can I used thawed frozen fruit to garnish the tart? Thank you Sally!

    1. Definitely!

  24. The mascarpone curdled immediately after I started beating right after I added in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. I did the heavy whipping cream separately so that wasn’t the problem. I had to fix it by microwaving for 15 seconds, beating, then microwaving again for 30 seconds, then beating and that smoothened it out. Had to put it in the freezer for 15 minutes, leave it out for 30 minutes before whipping again. After laying the fruit and refrigerating, while cutting all the mascarpone cream was too soft and didn’t hold up. The fruit collapsed in the slice and didn’t look nice anymore on the plate. I’ve used cream cheese before in a fruit tart with great results and think that would be better than trying with mascarpone again.

  25. I love your recipes! Been following you for years. Never had an issue until today. I frozen my tart dough to see how the technique would work as you outline without weights. Total disaster. I do not recommend this method. Completely shriveled

  26. Hi, Sally, I made this several times. Once I used a different brand of mascarpone, and I did not bring it up to room temperature. When I whipped the cheese, it became “liquid”. Does this have to do with the temperature, or is it the brand of mascarpone?


    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Promod, The mixture can curdle and separate if using cold mascarpone so it’s important to bring it to room temperature first.

      1. Thanks, Stephanie. Not sure what cheese looks like when it curdles, but curdled milk looks like bits separate, and I assume that curdled cheese looks the same. What got was a uniform liquid. Maybe I’ll just experiment.

  27. We made this today and loved it. Only small thing, I have a glass pan for the crust
    How do I adjust the baking?

  28. Hey sally! I want to use this crust in a chocolate cherry based filling. It’s my favourite! How could I add cocoa to the crust? Change other measurements? Thanks!

    1. Hi Asma! We really can’t say without testing it ourselves. However, you could start by replacing 1/4 cup of flour with unsweetened cocoa powder to see how that turns out. We also have a chocolate pie crust if you are interested. See our chocolate hand pies.

  29. Wait, like an actual vanilla bean? I don’t think I’ve seen one of those in my life. No results for them on my local grocery store’s website.

  30. Can you replace the mascarpone cheese with cream cheese for the filling?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:


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