(makes 1 x 25cm tart)

At many supermarkets now, usually in the speciality section, you will find sugar which has vanilla beans ground into it. It is wonderful folded into whipped cream and imparts a true vanilla flavour into baking. This tart, once the pastry case is cooked, is relatively quick to put together and the combination of mascarpone, vanilla, nectarine and strawberry is very special.


400g Sweet Short Crust Pastry
200g mascarpone
1 tbsp vanilla sugar (I like to use vanilla raw sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg (lightly beaten)
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Nectarine and Strawberry Compote


  • Preheat oven to 190°C.
  • Roll pastry to a 35cm round, 3mm-4mm in thickness.
  • Line a 25cm fluted-edged flan dish or tart tin with pastry, leaving a 2cm overhang. Place into refrigerator and rest for 20-30 minutes.
  • To blind bake: Cover pastry with a double layer of baking paper ensuring it comes well up the sides. Fill with baking beans (baking beans are dried beans, such as white haricot, kept in the pantry and reused to bake blind)
  • Place into preheated oven and cook for 12-15 minutes or till about three-quarters cooked.
  • Remove baking paper and beans and return pastry to oven for a further 5-7 minutes or till pastry is golden brown and crisp.
  • Remove from oven and cool.
  • To make Mascarpone Custard: In a small bowl place mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, egg and lemon zest and whisk till smooth and thick.
  • Pour Mascarpone Custard into cooled tart shell and spread to an even thickness. Return to oven for 5-7 minutes or till set.
  • Remove from oven and cool.
  • Spoon Nectarine and Strawberry Compote onto filled, cooked and cooled tart case and gently spread to cover surface.
  • Serve with whipped vanilla cream or vanilla ice cream.