No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust

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No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust | One Tough Cookie

No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust | One Tough Cookie

No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust | One Tough Cookie

No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust | One Tough Cookie

No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust | One Tough Cookie

No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust | One Tough Cookie

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up in a distinctly different season. It was damp and cool, with wisps of fog trailing across the park. I tiptoed into the kitchen and put the kettle on boil, then curled under a blanket with my tea and a book. I can’t stand the winter or the cold, but the summer had been long and hot, with lazy golden days that finished in outdoor dinner parties and I felt … satisfied. If the weather was ready to shift into fall, then so was I.

And then the heat wave arrived.

It’s been nothing but sticky limbs, burst bike tires, and the kind of relentless humidity that forces you to stop walking and pop into a bank every couple of blocks just to catch your breath and enjoy the air conditioning. If I could have survived on popsicles alone, I probably wouldn’t have eaten anything else.

Not surprisingly, it’s the kind of weather that makes recipe testing, especially baking, a complete nightmare. I’d scored a ridiculous number of fragrant plums from the market and had originally planned to do something like a dessert I’d made the year before at Potentino when they were overrun with the little gems. It was a combination of the almond crust from this tart (which remains one of my favourite crusts of all time), plus some slightly sweetened mascarpone, and roughly a bazillion little plums, roasted until tender.

I took one look at the oven, and knew I’d have to make some serious changes.

I pulverized a package of gingersnap cookies with some butter, and pressed that into my tart pan. I whipped up some mascarpone with a little cream and honey (though you could probably use milk without the flavour suffering), and spread it across the crust. Then I topped the whole thing with plums cooked just for a minute or two in a stovetop quick caramel sauce, and voila! It was barely 15 minutes of hands-on work, and the results were heavenly: a tart that tastes like the best cheesecake you’ve ever eaten, but lighter and spicier and just a hint of savoury/floral notes from the thyme. I loved the plums here, but this would work equally well with peaches, nectarines, cherries — actually, with any summer fruit!

It’ll definitely tide you over until the ovens can be turned back on. 😉

No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Makes one 13.75 x 4.5 inch tart.


    For the crust:
  • 250g gingersnap biscuits
  • 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, cubed
  • pinch salt
  • For the plums
  • 300g small plums (about 7-10)
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (plus a few extra sprigs for garnishing later)
  • 2 Tbs muscovado (or dark brown) sugar
  • 1 Tbs water
  • For the filling
  • 1 cup (225g) mascarpone cheese
  • 2 Tbs cream
  • 1 Tbs honey


    For the crust:
  1. Pulse the gingersnaps in a food processor until finely ground into crumbs (you should have about 2 1/2 cups of crumbs). Add the softened butter and pulse a couple times until the dough begins to come together. If you squeeze a clump in your hand and it sticks together, it's ready. Press into a 13 x 4" tart plate and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until solid.
  2. For the plums:
  3. While the crust is refrigerating, halve and pit your plums. In a medium pan, melt the butter. Add the thyme sprigs and the muscovado sugar and stir. Throw in a tablespoon of water and stir for a minute until everything comes together and begins to bubble/caramelize. Add the plums and cook them just for a minute or two per side, until they've begun to soften. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. For the filling:
  5. Beat the mascarpone in a bowl until it softens up, then add the cream and honey and beat until incorporated and fluffy.
  6. Assembly:
  7. Just before you're ready to serve, remove the tart crust from the fridge and spread with the mascarpone filling. Top with the plums and their juices, and garnish with thyme sprigs.
  8. Best enjoyed the day it's made, but will keep, wrapped in the fridge, for about 3 days.

If you wanted to add a little more thyme flavour, you could always throw 1 tbs of finely-chopped fresh thyme in with the crust ingredients.



No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust | One Tough Cookie
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22 Responses to “No-bake plum tart with mascarpone, thyme, and gingersnap crust”

  1. Katarina August 19, 2018 at 6:23 AM #

    Hi, just a question regarding ‘cream’ – which cream do you mean? Double cream or?

  2. kathleencushmore July 1, 2016 at 9:47 AM #

    This is outstanding ! Thank you.

  3. Olivia @ livforcake September 17, 2015 at 11:38 AM #

    Omg Alana, this may be the most stunning thing I have EVER seen! You pictures are amazing!!

    • toughcookie September 23, 2015 at 1:31 PM #

      That coming from a master! Thank you so much, Liv 🙂

  4. Julia (@Imagelicious) September 14, 2015 at 9:48 AM #

    What a wonderful dessert – I can almost taste the combination of luscious cream, spicy cookie crust and juicy-sweet plums!!!

    • toughcookie September 23, 2015 at 1:29 PM #

      Thanks! It was truly a pleasure to cook and eat.

  5. Jennifer Andrews September 11, 2015 at 8:22 PM #

    I totally hear you about that heat wave! I’m secretly glad it’s chilly and rainy now. This recipe looks so fresh and gorgeous and satisfying, and the addition of thyme is just perfect.

    • toughcookie September 13, 2015 at 9:48 PM #

      I feel the same way about the weather, Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Renee September 11, 2015 at 4:55 PM #

    The photography here is beautiful! Not to mention the recipe! I love mascarpone in desserts. I will definitely be trying this one!

    • toughcookie September 13, 2015 at 9:48 PM #

      Thanks for the kind words, Renee!

  7. Melissa September 11, 2015 at 2:37 PM #

    Every year in late summer/early fall I go through a complete obsession with prune plums (i just bought a huge bag at the market on Wednesday). I would never have thought to use them in a dish like this but it looks gorgeous.

    • toughcookie September 13, 2015 at 9:47 PM #

      Thanks, Melissa! I usually tend to use the litte round ones (they hold up better when cooked), but couldn’t find any and the market was swamped with the prune plums, which I happen to also love.

  8. Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls September 11, 2015 at 1:45 PM #

    Sounds delicious, Alanna! I love the combination of plums, mascarpone, and gingersnap biscuits. 🙂

    • toughcookie September 13, 2015 at 9:47 PM #

      I wasn’t sure how they would pair together, but it was a winning combination!

  9. Justine September 11, 2015 at 1:25 PM #

    Alanna, this sounds absolutely incredible! I love the combination on ingredients and styling of this recipe. Beautiful photos! Pinning now to make later! Have a great weekend. 🙂

    • toughcookie September 13, 2015 at 9:46 PM #

      Thanks, Celina! I loved how quickly it came together.

  10. Christina September 11, 2015 at 1:20 PM #

    Gorgeous! I bought some mascarpone on a whim when I popped into the grocery store for a few items last week. I’ve been trying to think of something to make with it. Thanks for the idea. This is fantastic.

  11. Sofia | From the Land we Live on September 10, 2015 at 10:59 PM #

    I’m so intrigued by this gorgeous tart! Cheesecake in 15 minutes? Sold! Hoping to get some plums over the weekend and try this 🙂

    • toughcookie September 13, 2015 at 9:45 PM #

      And I’ve got to get a move on that gorgeous chocolate pear pie of yours! Thanks for stopping by, Sofia! 🙂

  12. Alanna @ One Tough Cookie September 9, 2015 at 10:16 PM #

    Thanks for the kind words, Mimi! And yes, I love that pan too 😉 A friend’s mother gave me two of them, and they make such dramatic backdrops!

  13. mimi September 9, 2015 at 6:11 PM #

    Wow. that looks amazing. I was wondering what it would look like once sliced, and it’s gorgeous! Love that pan.