Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This cream cheese lemon tart is festive, unique and perfect for summer hosting. It’s made of a buttery golden crust filled with lemon cream, cream cheese mousse, pistachio streusel and cherries for decoration. If you like cherries – you’re gonna love it!

Cream Cheese Lemon Tart with Cherries

Photo: Natalie Levin

Cream Cheese Lemon Tart with Cherries

For short crust pastry:

  • 150 grams all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams cold butter (cut into cubes)
  • 50 grams icing sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tbsp. cold water (as needed)

For lemon cream:

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 400 grams sweetened condensed milk
  • 150 ml. lime or lemon juice

For pistachio streusel:

  • 25 grams all-purpose flour
  • 25 grams cold butter cut into cubes
  • 15 grams sugar
  • 15 grams chopped pistachios
  • Pinch of salt

For cream cheese mousse domes:

  • 125 grams cream cheese
  • 125 ml. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. cream stabilizer or instant vanilla pudding mix

For lemony cream cheese mousse:

  • 125 grams cream cheese
  • 125 ml. heavy cream
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. cream stabilizer or instant vanilla pudding mix
  • A little yellow food coloring (optional)

For candied lemon peel:

  • Lemon rind strips
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 50 ml. water


  • Fresh cherries
  • Mint leaves


  1. In a food processor with a steel blade put flour, butter, powdered sugar and salt and process until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Add egg yolk and continue to process just until large clumps of dough form. If the dough is not setting, gradually add a little water.
  3. Transfer the dough chunks on a lightly floured work surface and form a disc-shape with your hands.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface about 3-4 mm thick and line the pie pan. It is important to create a right angle between the sides and the base of the crust, which will ensure the edges remain high when baking.
  6. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork. Freeze the crust for about an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 175c degrees.

Blind baking:

  1. Put a sheet of heat-resistant plastic wrap or baking paper on the frozen crust and fill with dry beans or special weights for baking.
  2. Bake for about 10-12 minutes minutes.
  3. Remove the weights and the plastic wrap and continue to bake the crust for about 5-8 minutes or until it is lightly golden brown.
  4. Cool completely at room temperature.

Lemon cream:

  1. In a mixer bowl whip egg yolks, vanilla and lemon zest at high speed for about 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is very airy and bright.
  2. Reduce the mixer speed and gradually add in condensed milk. Continue to blend at medium speed for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add in the juice in a thin stream. Mix just until blended.
  4. Pour the batter onto the half-baked crust.
  5. Bake for about 10-14 minutes or until the filling is set on the edges but still slightly soft in the center.
  6. Cool completely before decoration.

Pistachio streusel:

  1. In a food processor with a steel blade blend flour, butter, sugar, pistachios and salt until crumbly.
  2. Transfer the crumbs onto a pan lined with baking paper and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Cool completely.

Cream cheese mousse domes:

  1. In a bowl of a mixer, whip cream cheese, heavy cream, and stabilizer until stable.
  2. Transfer the cream into a silicone mold with small domes shape and straighten the top with a spatula. Freeze for 1-2 hours, until completely frozen.

Lemony cream cheese mousse:

  1. In a mixer bowl whip cream cheese, heavy cream, lemon zest, stabilizer and a little food coloring until stable.
  2. Transfer the cream into a pastry bag with serrated piping tip and refrigerate until use.

Candied lemon peel:

  1. In a small saucepan put lemon peel, sugar and water and heat to a boil. Cook over very low for about 5-6 minutes until the syrup is reduced slightly.
  2. Strain the peels from the syrup and dry.

Assemble the tart:

  1. Extract the cheese mousse domes from the pan and place on top of the tart.
  2. Drizzle lemony cream cheese mousse in between.
  3. Decorate with fresh cherries, pistachio streusel, candied peel and mint leaves.
  • Keep the tart in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • You can use raspberries or strawberries instead of cherries.
  • Instead of pistachio you can use any other nut you like.

Cream Cheese Lemon Tart with Cherries

Photo: Natalie Levin