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No-Bake Strawberry Tart

Aliya LeeKong
Prep Time:
25 mins

Chef notes

As the weather turns warm, turning on the oven can be a chore. This is an impressive dessert that sets up in the fridge and doesn't require any cooking. The simple crust and cream filling really allow the fruit to shine through, so using peak season fruit is key here. Strawberries work beautifully for spring, and the slightly salty-sweet crust and vanilla cream make a gorgeous combination. The glaze punches up the flavor a bit, but it would be just as good with a touch of powdered sugar instead.

Technique tip: The filling is inspired by the classic crème légère, in which pastry cream is lightened up with whipped cream. In this case, I use mascarpone loosened up in a mixer with a touch of vanilla and fold in whipped cream to create a no-bake version of the classic.

Swap option: This is a solid tart to hold most seasonal fruit for spring and summer. Go with berries towards the end of spring and early summer, and feel free to play with stone fruit as summer goes on.

Special equipment: A 10-inch fluted tart pan, food processor and a stand or hand mixer.


  • 18 graham cracker sheets (2 sleeves)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced


For the crust:

To the bowl of a food processor, add the graham crackers, sugar and salt. Process until fine crumbs and then stream in the melted butter.

Transfer crumbs to the tart pan and use the bottom of a dry measuring cup to push the mixture down and spread it out. Make sure to push the crumbs together tightly to make them dense and hold together. Use your thumbs and the dry measuring cup to create a proper lip around the edge to make sure the filling stays inside. Transfer to the fridge for the next step.

For the filling:

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer and separate bowl, add the cold heavy cream (the cream will whip up even better if the bowl is cold, too). Whisk until light and frothy. Add the powdered sugar and keep beating until soft peaks form. Transfer to another bowl.

In the same stand mixer bowl, add the mascarpone and vanilla, and beat using the paddle attachment to loosen up and make uniform. Carefully fold the whipped cream into this mixture, making sure not to deflate.

For the topping:

Whisk together the strawberry jam, balsamic and honey in a small bowl. Using a brush, carefully paint the strawberries with this glaze.

To assemble:

Transfer the cream filling into the tart and smooth out the top. Shingle the strawberries as you desire all over the top of the tart.

Let set up in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.