Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart

Winter has its beauty—snow draped boughs, crisp landscapes. But over time even the loveliest winter can challenge a positive attitude. As winter drags on, doesn’t life call for a touch of spring?  Perhaps in the form of a Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart? 

Pear Lavender Mascarpone Tart

Pear Lavender Mascarpone Tart

This winter-into-spring dessert is really a light pear cheesecake, adorned with a touch of lavender and resting on a shortbread crust.  With its sweet flavor and sprinkles of purple blossoms, it gently whispers that spring is on the way. While I am still on a post-holiday diet, the white whole wheat crust plus fruit makes a dessert that’s at least somewhat healthier.  

Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart, cut

Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart, cut

This winter I have been trying to cook more out of my freezer and pantry and that is how this dessert came to be.  The original, from blog Wilde Flavors, came baked in a standard pie crust and topped with candied ginger.  It looked delicious but I was too lazy to roll out a crust—and out of candied ginger.  So I looked for alternatives and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Lavender pear mascarpone tart in window

Lavender pear mascarpone tart in window

Made in three steps (crust, poached pears, filling), the tart looks fussy to prepare, but each step is simple so it comes together easily.  Mix a few crust ingredients with your fingers, pat into a tart pan and bake briefly. Done. 

Pat in crust

Pat in crust

Heat sugar in water and simmer pears for 15 minutes.  Done. Use a handheld mixer to blend up the filling, then assemble. 

spread filling

Spread filling

Ready to bake.   

Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart, ready to bake

Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart, ready to bake

Just one final piece of advice from the original baker—if you have enough pears, poach some extra for snacking; they are delicious!

With it’s floral overtones, I decided that this Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart would be perfect for a spring celebration like Easter or Mother’s Day (where I debuted my wildly popular Lemon Lavender cupcakes a couple years ago).  

Lavender pear mascarpone tart, ready to serve

Lavender pear mascarpone tart, ready to serve

Of course, I can’t complain too much about winter with some of the fun we’ve been having. We got away for a Winterfest weekend in beautiful Fish Creek, WI and it reminded me that I love all the seasons. 

The last bite of lavender pear mascarpone tart

The last bite of lavender pear mascarpone tart

Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart
Serves 12
A light pear cheesecake, adorned with a hint of lavender & resting on a shortbread crust, this Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart is a perfect spring dessert.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
360 calories
40 g
77 g
21 g
4 g
12 g
170 g
131 g
27 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
170g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 360
Calories from Fat 186
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
33%
Saturated Fat 12g
61%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 77mg
26%
Sodium 131mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 40g
13%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 27g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
16%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
5%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Shortbread crust
  1. • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  2. • ¼ cup corn starch
  3. • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  4. • 4 ounces butter (one stick) at room temperature
Poached Pears
  1. • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  2. • 2 cups water
  3. • 3 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
Filling
  1. • 8 oz cream cheese
  2. • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  3. • 1/3 c sugar
  4. • 1 T dried lavender (see note)
  5. • 1 egg
  6. • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Instructions
  1. To make crust, mix ingredients together with fingers. Pat into 11 inch tart pan on the bottom only. Bake at 325F until just turning color on edges, about 10 minutes. Remove to cool.
  2. To poach pears, dissolve sugar in water in a small saucepan on medium heat. When mixture has come to a boil, add quartered cored pears and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Remove pears from liquid. Liquid may be reserved for other uses.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix filling ingredients using a handheld mixer. Spoon onto crust, then arrange poached pears in a circle on top of filling.
  4. Bake at 325F until fulling is set, about 55-60 minutes.
  5. Cool then serve.
Notes
  1. (Optional) To best infuse the lavender flavor in the filling, mix the tablespoon of lavender with the 1/3 cup of sugar a few hours or a day ahead of time and store in an airtight container. The lavender will flavor the sugar and spread more evenly through the filling.
  2. Calorie count is too high since most of the poaching sugar isn't absorbed. The poaching liquid absorbs pear flavor and is delicious mixed with fizzy water.
beta
calories
360
fat
21g
protein
4g
carbs
40g
more
Art of Natural Living http://artofnaturalliving.com/
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12 thoughts on “Lavender Pear Mascarpone Tart

  1. Thao @ In Good Flavor

    This is a lovely tart, Inger. The combination of the fruity pear and floral lavender sounds amazing! Using the shortbread crust instead of a regular crust is a great idea…I too like how it cuts down on the work! 🙂

    1. Inger

      This winter I decided to try to simplify more, Thao–at least in those cases where it doesn’t seriously impact the flavor. While I find many (though not all) of the 5 ingredient type recipes lacking in interest, sometimes the harder ones don’t benefit enough from the extra steps. All about balance I guess!

    1. Inger

      I still want to get good at regular pie crusts (I envy those people for whom they are second nature), but I have come to the conclusion that this isn’t going to happen overnight! In this case, I figured that cheesecakes often have sweet crusts like graham cracker or chocolate cookie so why not shortbread?

  2. Louise

    What a lovely Tart Inger. It makes me want to sing, la la la la, lol…Easy to make and such an elegant presentation what’s not to sing about!

    I’m appreciating Winter more this year than I have in many years. I guesss it being a mild one has helped. I am, however, looking forward to Spring!

    Thanks for sharing, Inger…

    1. Inger

      Thank you Louise. I don’t think anyone has every told me my food makes them want to sing. A high compliment indeed! Enjoy the current warm spell!

  3. David

    Inger – when I saw this pop up on my scree while I was at work, it took all my strength NOT to open it right then and there! This is just my kind of tart and, of course with lavender in my blog title, you can be sure I will be making this! Beautiful presentation, too!

    1. Inger

      If you get a chance to infuse the lavender in the sugar first, that will give you the best flavor. It seems to spread the flavor more evenly through the dish–though I wouldn’t want someone to skip it entirely for lack of doing that.

      On the subject of getting more lavender, you might also consider adding some lavender to the poaching syrup after you remove the pears. If you let it sit hot (but not boiling which will make it bitter) for about 15 minutes, then strain, you get a lavender pear syrup that I like with fizzy water.

  4. grace

    i LOVE the color of lavender and i like the way it looks in baked goods, but i just can’t say that i like its flavor. that said, your tart is gorgeous, and i would still eat a huge piece of it. 🙂

    1. Inger

      You could always leave out the lavender Grace! I went through a big “tastes like flowers” phase before developing a taste for edible flowers, so I know what you mean!

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