These easy tartlets are filled with creamy whipped mascarpone and topped with deliciously fresh fruit! Our fruit tartlets make wonderful individual desserts and are perfect for feeding a crowd!
Viktor refers to these little fruit baskets (фруктовые корзинки) as the dessert of his childhood. They were sold at the most prominent pastry shop in his hometown and stopping by for a fruit tartlet was always a luxurious treat! Now that some of our favorite fruits are in season, we decided to make the delicate little pastries at home. They came together much quicker than I thought and the resulting combination of delicious textures and flavors makes it incredibly difficult to eat just one!
making the tartlet crust
I love using this crust for tartlets because it’s almost more like cookie dough. This means that it’s super easy to whip up (no need to cut in the butter!) and also much more forgiving than the types of dough often used for tarts. And the best part? You’ll need only four ingredients: sugar, softened butter, one egg and flour.
Start by beating together the sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy, mix in the egg and then add in the flour until just incorporated (we don’t want to overmix here). It’s that easy! Now you’ll need to let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (and up to overnight) so that it’ll be easier to work with.
rolling out and shaping the tartlets
If your dough rested for longer than 30 minutes make sure to let it come back up to room temperature before trying to work with it. Then just roll out the dough in a thin layer (⅛ inch or 3 mm) and cut out circles that will be enough to fill your tartlet pans with a slight overhang. I used 2.5-inch (6 cm) tartlet pans for this recipe, but you can really use any size you’d like — just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Once you’ve cut out your circles, press the dough into the tartlet pans and use a knife to gently scrape off any excess dough.
Before you can bake your crusts, it’s best to let them firm up in the freezer for about 10 minutes (or the refrigerator for 30 minutes). Then they’re ready for the oven — they only need about 15 minutes, but keep a close eye on them as these dainty little crusts can go from golden to dark brown rather quickly!
While I experimented with blind baking the dough, I didn’t think it was necessary in the end. I found that just poking holes in the bottom of the crusts was enough to keep them from puffing up while baking. I’d still recommend checking on your tartlet shells halfway through the bake time — if any have puffed up a bit you can just use the back of a spoon to press them back down.
mascarpone cream and all of the fruits!
These tartlets are filled with a delicious whipped mascarpone filling that’s wonderfully creamy and not too sweet — the perfect complement to the fruit topping! To make it, start by whipping together cold heavy cream with a bit of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. For me this generally takes about five minutes on high speed with an electric mixer. Then use your mixer to whip the mascarpone with vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Fold the mascarpone into the whipped cream and your filling is ready!
Now all that remains is to top your tartlets with your favorite chopped fruits! I like to choose fruits with a variety of different colors. For this batch I used strawberries, kiwi, wild blueberries, raspberries and cape gooseberries. I love cape gooseberries (I found mine at Trader Joe’s) for their tart flavor and bright orange color, but a great substitute would be mango or even orange slices! Other great fruit additions could be raspberries, cherries or even papaya and pineapple for a tropical version.
For more fruit filled sweets, check out these recipes:
- blueberry crumble
- chocolate chip strawberry cookies
- cherry hand pies
- vanilla bean coconut panna cotta + raspberry coulis
- chia berry compote
makes 16 tartlets using 2.5-inch (6 cm) forms
- sugar ¼ c (50 g)
- softened butter ½ c (110 g)
- egg 1 large
- flour 1 ⅓ c (160 g)
- (spooned and leveled*)
- heavy cream (cold) ¾ c (180 ml)
- powdered sugar ⅓ c (40 g)
- mascarpone 4 oz (100 g)
- vanilla extract 1 tsp
fruit topping ideas
- - strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, blackberries, mango
- Cream together the sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and continue beating until smooth.
- Pour in the flour and beat on low until just combined (make sure not to overmix).
- Wrap with plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to ⅛ inch (3 mm) thickness and cut out rounds big enough to cover your tartlet forms with a slight overhang.
- Gently press the dough into the forms and use a knife to trim the excess dough.
- Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the tart shells. Place the tartlet forms in the refrigerator or freezer until firm (10-30 minutes).
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
- Bake the tartlet crusts for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. If the tartlets puff up while baking, use the back of a spoon to gently press back down.
- Allow the crusts to cool completely before removing from the forms.
- Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form (about 5-7 minutes).
- In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone with the vanilla until light and fluffy. Gently fold the mascarpone into the whipped cream mixture until combined. Store in the refrigerator.
- Once the tartlet crusts have cooled completely, fill each with a heaping spoonful of mascarpone cream.
- Top each tartlet with a variety of chopped fruits and store in the refrigerator.
- Spooned and leveled: Scooping a measuring cup into a flour container can result in much more flour than intended, which can affect the success of your tartlet crusts. To get a more accurate measurement, use a spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup until it's completely full. Then run the back of a knife over the cup to gently scrape off any excess.
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