If you're looking for a refreshing spring or summer dessert then look no further than this homemade lemon mascarpone tart!
The smooth dairy-free "mascarpone" filling is flavored with zingy and sweet homemade egg-free lemon curd, making this tart the perfect combination of creamy and fresh. The crust of the tart is a shortbread pastry that gives the perfect crunch in contrast to that creamy filling!
This vegan lemon tart is
- Fresh and light
- Zingy and citrussy
- Bursting with flavor
- Creamy and smooth
- Easy to make
- Perfect for spring and summer
All-purpose flour: If you want to keep this tart gluten-free, use a GF all-purpose flour, but also check the labels of the remaining ingredients to make sure they are suitable.
Ground almonds: almonds will add flavor to the shortbread crust. Feel free to substitute them with more all-purpose flour.
Vegan butter: this gives the base a lovely "buttery" flavor, but you can also substitute it with coconut oil if you'd prefer.
Sea salt: always add some salt to enhance the flavors and balance the sweetness of desserts.
Pure maple syrup: if you've been a long-term reader here on the blog, you've probably seen me use this ingredient a lot. I love using pure maple syrup as it gives a beautiful flavor and natural sweetness to desserts.
Lemon juice and lemon zest: It's important to use freshly squeezed lemon juice here, the bottled stuff will not do the recipe any justice.
Caster sugar: if you're living in the US, make sure you opt for organic sugar as it's possible that conventional white sugar is not vegan due to the processing method.
Plant-based milk: I used oat milk for this particular recipe, but coconut milk, almond milk, or soya milk would also work perfectly.
Cornflour: otherwise known as cornstarch. In non-vegan recipes, one of the functions of eggs is to thicken the curd. In this vegan lemon curd, cornflour/cornstarch is used as the thickening agent.
Vegan white chocolate: the best vegan white chocolate in my opinion is iChoc White Vanilla
Vegan cream cheese: I use violife, but you can use any vegan-friendly cream cheese that’s available to you.
Vegan Greek-style yogurt: If you can't find vegan Greek-style yogurt, you can substitute it with 110g regular soy yogurt and increase the amount of vegan cream cheese to 300g.
How to make vegan lemon mascarpone tart
Start by making the lemon curd which will flavor the filling. Add the fresh lemon juice and zest, plant-based milk, and organic caster sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow it to reduce for 10 minutes. This will intensify the flavor and create a lemony syrup base for the curd. Sieve to remove any pieces of lemon zest and transfer the lemon mixture to a heat-proof jug.
Next, make a roux by adding four tablespoons of the liquid mixture back to the saucepan with the cornflour and whisking to form a paste. Add the lemon mixture back to the pan in small increments, continuously whisking well to incorporate the mixture. Once all of the liquid has been combined, continue to cook out the mixture for 2 minutes or so, while whisking until you have a thick glossy curd. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature while you prepare the crust.
Get your oven preheated to 175°C (350°F) before you make the tart crust. Then it’s as simple as adding all of the crust ingredients (apart from the water) to your food processor and blitzing them into a dough. If needed, add the tablespoon of water and blend again to bring the mixture together.
Once you have your dough, you’ll want to press half of the mixture into the sides of the pan first, and then press the remaining half into the base of the pan (pictured below). Lastly use a fork to prick several holes into the crust to ensure air does not build up underneath it whilst baking. Next bake the crust for 10-12 minutes until slightly browned, then allow to cool (do not remove the tart from the tin). Once at room temperature, place the tart in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler (au bain-marie), stir well, and set aside for a few minutes until it cools to room temperature.
To a large bowl, add the cream cheese and use an electric whisk or stand mixer to whip it on low speed until smooth - don't over-mix. Add the lemon curd in one tablespoon increments, and whisk to combine. Add the melted white chocolate and whisk again to combine. Lastly, add in the greek style yogurt and whisk for another 30 seconds or so until evenly incorporated, again be careful not to over-mix!
Pour the filling into the cooled tart base and place it in the fridge to set for 4 hours (or overnight if preferred). Garnish with coconut cream and fresh lemon slices before serving.
More vegan lemon desserts
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- 1 cup (125 g) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (56 g) ground almonds
- 3 tbsp (44.36 g) vegan butter
- ¼ tsp (1.23 g) sea salt
- 2 tbsp (29.57 ml) maple syrup
- 1 tbsp (14.79 ml) water
- ½ cup (118.29 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp (29.57 g) lemon zest
- ½ cup (100 g) caster sugar
- ¼ cup (59.15 ml) plant-based milk of choice
- 3 tbsp (44.36 g) cornflour, (cornstarch)
- 4.5 oz (130 g) vegan white chocolate
- 7 oz (200 g) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (120 g) vegan greek style yogurt, *see notes
- ½ cup coconut cream, whipped, optional
- fresh lemon slices
- Start by making the lemon curd which will flavor the filling. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, caster sugar, and plant-based milk to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a bowl to remove the lemon zest.
- Add about 4 tablespoons of the liquid mixture back to the saucepan with the cornflour and whisk to form a paste. Bring the heat up to medium and add the remaining liquid back to the pan in increments of about 4 tablespoons, whisking continuously to avoid the mixture from sticking to the pan. Once all of the liquid has been combined, continue to cook out the mixture for 2 minutes or so, while whisking until you have a thick glossy curd. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature while you prepare the crust.
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a 9.5" tart tin with some oil or vegan butter.
- In your food processor, combine the gluten-free flour, ground almonds, vegan butter, maple syrup, and salt until the ingredients stick together to form a dough. If needed, add the tablespoon of water and blend again to bring the mixture together.
- Evenly press the dough half of the dough into the sides of the tart tin first, then press the remaining dough into the base of the tin. With a fork, gently prick the dough several times.
- Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes until slightly browned, then allow to cool to room temperature (do not remove the tart from the tin). Once at room temperature, place the tart in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
- Melt the white chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler) and set aside until it cools to room temperature.
- Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and use an electric whisk (or stand mixer) to whip it on low speed until smooth. Add the lemon curd in one tablespoon increments, and whisk to combine. Add the melted white chocolate and whisk again to combine. Lastly, add the greek-style yogurt and whisk for another 30 seconds or so until evenly incorporated, be careful not to over-mix!
- Pour the filling into the cooled tart base and place it in the fridge to set for 4 hours (or overnight if preferred). Garnish with coconut cream and fresh lemon slices before serving.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 2-3 days.
- If you can't find vegan greek-style yogurt, you can substitute it with 110g regular soy yogurt and increase the amount of vegan cream cheese to 300g.
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