Mascarpone Pretzel Strawberry Tart

Mascarpone Pretzel Strawberry Tart

By swapping the traditional cream cheese filling with vanilla bean-scented Mascarpone Cream and replacing the congealed topping with fresh strawberries, we’ve given this classic pastry a modern salty-sweet makeover.

Mascarpone Pretzel Strawberry Tart
Makes 1 (9-inch) tart
  • 1½ cups (160 grams) crushed pretzels
  • ⅓ cup (73 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • Mascarpone Cream (recipe follows)
  • 4 cups (680 grams) fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9x1-inch removeable-bottom round tart pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together crushed pretzels, brown sugar, and melted butter. Transfer mixture to prepared pan, pressing into bottom and up sides.
  3. Bake until set, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon Mascarpone Cream into prepared crust, and spread to edges. Top with strawberries before serving.

Mascarpone Cream
Makes about 1¾ cups
  • 1 cup (240 grams) half-and-half
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 large egg yolk (18.6 grams)
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) cornstarch
  • ¾ cup (169 grams) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring half-and-half and vanilla bean and reserved seeds to a boil over medium heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Gradually add milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to pan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened.
  3. Place mascarpone in a large bowl. Strain pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve over mascarpone, using a spoon to push cream through. Let stand for 30 seconds; stir to combine. Cover surface of cream directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
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    • Hey Cheryl,

      Thanks for reaching out! After speaking with our test kitchen professional, she noted that she used Rold Gold Tiny Twist pretzels for the base crust. However, she also wants to let you know that any pretzel brand will work for this recipe–so buy the brand you wish! We hope this has been helpful and that you’ll have a chance to make this in the future. Happy Baking!

      • Wondering if I could use fat free half and half because that is what I keep on hand. I also have some whipping cream – maybe I’ll use 1/2 cup of that and 1/2 cup half and half?? I’ll let you know how it works out!

  1. This is so yummy! Next time I’m going to grind the pretzels more finely because I had some issues with structural integrity when I removed it from the tin. Nobody had any complaints while eating it though. This salty-sweet crust is a winner.

    • Hi Kiran,

      Thanks for reaching out! You can substitute vanilla bean paste for the same amount of vanilla extract in any recipe. Happy baking!

        • To answer the original question:

          You can substitute 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste for every whole vanilla bean called for in a recipe.

          Hope this helps, and happy baking!


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