nectarine, mascarpone and gingersnap tart

So far, the summer in New York City has been relentless–hot, sticky, humid or rainy just about every single day, and often a combination of all four, so I wasn’t kidding when I said this heat is getting to me, and has all but sapped my desire to cook. But I didn’t mean “cook” per se–I don’t wish to eat take-out every night–I meant the kind of cooking that requires the oven to be on for more than 10 minutes.

ginger snaps, one snapped

Besides, why would you even need to cook for longer than that in the dead of summer? The farmers’ markets are teeming with the kind of produce that require no or minimal heat to make them tasty, like zucchini and tomatoes and perfect stone fruit that can be easily sliced on top of a tart with an eight minute spicy gingersnap crust and a mascarpone and sweet cheesy custard filling.

pressing the crust
sweet cheesy custard

I had a barely-baked tart like this on my mind since I spied one that the adorable Shutterbean made for Father’s Day with cherries and a graham cracker crust. It seemed so smart for summer–everything that everyone loves about cheesecake, minus the bad proportions (I’ve always preferred a thicker crust and thinner cheesecake than you normally get) and long baking time–i.e. perfectly suited for summer.

nectarine tart

And were you the type of person who could hang onto gorgeous fresh cherries long enough to make dessert out of them–as in, your name is not Deb–that might be the recipe you want to use. However, if you have nectarines or, heck, any stone fruit that might be less of a threat to your snacking resistance, this was a delight. In fact, you probably want to serve yourself first, because your friends are not going to save you any.

nectarine, mascarpone and gingersnap tart

Nectarine and Mascarpone Tart in a Gingernsap Crust
Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2002

I made one blaring change to this recipe; I left out the candied ginger because for lack of a more eloquent way to put it, I just can’t stand the stuff. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t add it, if it’s your thing, or that the tart lacks if you skip it. I also increased the amount of crust by a bit–the original amount spread so thinly over my tart pan, it made me sad.

I’m also already envisioning alternative versions of this with chocolate wafer cookie crusts and strawberries or even graham crackers and mixed berries, or whatever you have on hand. I don’t think you could make this taste anything less than abundantly delicious.

You’ll want to make this a few hours before you want to serve it, or the night before.

37 gingersnap cookies, coarsely broken (about 9 ounces; about 3 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of pieces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

4 to 5 small nectarines, halved, pitted, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup peach jam, warmed
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

For crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind gingersnaps in processor. Add butter and blend until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press mixture over bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. (I like to use a cold metal measuring cup to get a nice, clear demarcation between the base and sides.) Bake crust until color darkens, pressing sides with back of spoon if beginning to slide, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.

For filling: Beat first 6 ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in crystallized ginger if you’re using it. Spread filling in prepared crust. Cover loosely and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

For topping: Overlap nectarine slices atop filling in concentric circles. Brush with jam. Sprinkle with chopped crystallized ginger if you’re using it. (Mint makes an excellent garnish, if you’re skipping the ginger.) Serve, or refrigerate up to 6 hours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

204 comments on nectarine, mascarpone and gingersnap tart

  1. Rebecca

    Yum! Looks delish. I have to confess, I love candied ginger. I even snack on it.
    Other than that, anything with mascarpone sounds good to me!

  2. Bleh. I’m with you, Deb, candied ginger is…bleh. I love the idea of the gingersnap crust spiciness paired with the nectarines and creamy cool mascarpone filling…yum…visions of tarts are dancing in my head.

  3. I love candied ginger also. The last time we bought some we bought SIX POUNDS of it….that’s candied ginger love right there. Your tart looks wonderful, quite summery and refreshing and rich and happy. :)

  4. Beth

    Oh this tart makes me wish I wasn’t going away this weekend–I hate missing the farmer’s market. Oh well, it gives me something to look forward to making when I get back!

  5. Manda

    That looks gorgeous! How did you slice the nectarines so thinly? I usually end up destroying them trying to separate them from the pit.

  6. Allie

    I would think the ginger punch would be better in the crust – i.e., adding an extra pinch of ginger to the crust or the crystalized ginger there (it should be fully processed so it’s not big pieces). For those who like ginger – ginger nibs (very small pieces) are good. This is a great recipe. Thanks! I second the slicing question. I could see using berries. And how does it come out of the pan so neatly? Any tips?

  7. deb

    Oh, the nectarines were a total mess when I cut them. Basically, if you find a more firm one, you can get them off the pits cleanly, usually. But for this tart, where the fruit was raw and I wanted it to be soft and juicy, I went with very-very-ripe nectarines, and they were a mess to separate from the pit. I used a knife to cut it–as if you were slicing a mango, leaving the pit in, and then thinly sliced the big chunks.

  8. I don’t know about your home, but when I put the oven on during the hot summer, the house seems to get twenty degrees hotter. Have they created an oven yet with a built in air-conditioning uniti to cool the surrounding area?

    The tart looks absolutely beautiful. It’s one of those desserts that you feel bad about eating and messing up the presentation.

  9. I know this is a bit beside the point, but I am gobsmacked at the sight of the gingersnaps you used for the crust. They are gorgeous! What kind are they? (Sadly, I usually use the box-o-snaps when I make a crust, but the ones you have look like a sable. Mmmmm!)

  10. Ann

    Every now and then I run across freestone nectarines that slice beautifully! (the fruit doesn’t cling to the pit) Unfortunately, the fruit sellers don’t always know if they are freestone or the cling variety.
    I have been wanting to use mascarpone and this recipe looks like a great jumping off spot! It’s been hot in Wisconsin too! Thanks Deb!

  11. That tart looks so refreshing. I think I’ll need to make the berry version of it for the hubby. He’ll LOVE it. Actually, I’ll be lucky if he doesn’t say “But you made it for me, so it’s MY TART!”

  12. Kelly

    I live in like…nowheresville and wal-mart is my grocery store (i miss Murrays), what could i use instead of marscapone for this to get the right consistancy…greek yogurt?

  13. Marit

    It reminds me of how we make cheesecake in Norway. But usually we don’t bake the crust, only crush crackers and mix with melted butter or margarine, then let it stand with the filling for some hours. The crust may fall apart a little when eaten, but it doesn’t matter that much. Maybe something to try if it’s to hot to turn on the oven altogether?

  14. SAS

    I cannot wait to make this! It looks to be splendid with any seasonal fruit if perhaps the nectarines are out of range. I’m just about to post my “raspberries” on my blog with an idea of how to make a summer drink … and I am itching to make some other delicious thing with them! As always thanks for this idea.

  15. deb

    Leah — We used the Nabisco brand. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, but they have a surprisingly sharp kick! Even Alex–for whom no food is too spicy or sharp–was impressed.

    Anybody else have suggestions of what to do if you can’t get mascarpone? I’m tempted to say just use the same amount in cream cheese instead (more of a classic cheesecake flavor) but want to get other opinions. I do think that yogurt would be too thin. Also–the Shutterbean tart uses only cream cheese and heavy cream.

  16. What an exquisite recipe! I love the simplicity, the colors, the mildness of the mascarpone and the spice of the giner…
    You’ve produced another winner, and as always, the evidence is photographed beautifully!

  17. deb

    Jessica — That gave me an idea–I bet this would be wonderful with mango slices (yeah, I’m a little obsessed) with a little lime instead of lemon zest in the cheese layer. And then whoever makes that should invite me over.

  18. Ilissa

    This is the first time I’ve commented on your site, but I’ve tried a number of recipes and each one has turned out beautifully. Several have been placed in the regular rotation at my house. The tart sounds fantastic, and I think I’m going to bring it to a bbq at my boss’s house. I was wondering, could plain yogurt, which I always have on hand, replace the sour cream?

  19. Deb, in lieu of mascarpone – what about blending ricotta with sour cream instead? I feel like you could almost get to the approximate consistency? Now, how do you slice the nectarines so prettily?

  20. What a great tip on pressing the crust! I’ll be doing that from now on with my cheesecake crusts, I’ve always hated how they get all thick right where the base meets the sides. Thank you!

  21. deb

    Radish — I bet that would work too! Also, they weren’t sliced prettily, I just covered up their inner cuts, which were a mess. ;)

    Ilissa — I think plain yogurt could easily be swapped, but strained, greek or full-fat would be best to approximate the creaminess of sour cream. Good luck!

  22. I heart marscapone! And this tart, with just about any fruit is going to be lovely. Thanks for a great idea!

    Now about that oven – even for 8 minutes, it’d warm up the entire house. I wonder if you could throw that on the grill to bake it? Don’t know if I’m adventurous enough to try that! I’ll wait for a teeny bit cooler weather to try this one. Official oven boycott begins!

  23. deb

    Court — That’s adorable. I vow to make “unseemly” (does anyone else hear that word and think of a very certain episode of The Wire? Oh, you all leave your apartments more often than I do? Carry on, then.) and “teeming” the biggest words on that page.

  24. AngAK

    I thought I was the only one who didn’t like candied ginger—it’s so “in” right now. It tastes like soap to me. Maybe it’s a genetic thing like those who can’t stand cilantro. Beautiful tart. I never think to use other kinds of crispy cookies to make crumb crusts. This crust would be so good with a cool pumpkin mousse too. Off to buy gingersnaps!

  25. Jan

    I think a yogurt cheese would work well as a substitute for the mascarpone. I would whip the cheese a bit before using to smooth out any grainy-ness.

  26. Susan

    I vote for using ricotta cheese in place of the mascarpone if you must. I LOVE mascarpone cheese. John..blueberries and nectarines are a wonderful combo..use both. I bet a crust made with those Walkers Shortbread cookies would be good with strawberries or cherries. I am not a fan of candied ginger either. it tastes soapy to me too.

  27. This looks really yummy! And when you say that mint makes a great garnish, do you mean the leafy kind or those Tic-Tacs I spy lying just at the edge of the frame of the last picture? ;)

  28. I’ve been a lurker on your blog for a while now, and I love everything you do! But I must make a special comment today to express my awe at how beautifully you laid out the nectarines for this tart – truly stunning!

  29. Carla

    I discovered your blog a week ago. .and I’m in love with you. Avid cook myself.. (I actually went to full time chefs school for 18 months) you inspire me! Thank you!

  30. Well, I should have visited your website yesterday, because I had to bake three cakes (for my husband’s birthday and my son’s after-school care club) and I had no idea what cakes to bake. If I had seen your recipe yesterday I would have tried it. But there will always be a next time…. :-))

  31. kalle

    deb, are the amounts shown in the recipie for the crust the amounts you used, to make a little more, or do i need to add a little more to that? thanks!

  32. This is perfect as it’s gluten-free to begin with if you use Pamela’s GF ginger snaps for the crust. What a great dessert for those of us who don’t eat wheat. I’m definitely saving this one as the fruit filling can also be varied. Yum! Lovely photos, by the way.

  33. Lisa

    I have made something very similar to this, but with a graham cracker crust, strawberry cream cheese filling, topped with raspberries & kiwi. It was just wonderful. This recipe looks great–especially with the mascarpone cheese!

  34. deb

    Katie — The amounts I show are adjusted. I used 1 1/2 times the original crust recipe and found it to be just right.

    Glutenfreeforgood — Thanks! I am sure a lot of people will appreciate that.

  35. Looks beautiful!

    I got 9 peaches from the CSA yesterday, so I too made a tart, with a pecan crust. But it didn’t turn out nearly as beautiful. I love the addition of ginger.

  36. That looks delicous…and the gingersnap crust sounds fabulous. I did some mini-blackberry cheesecakes with shortbread crust the other day that are similar, but these look incredibly interesting. Our farmers markets are just starting to get a trickle of stone fruits…I’ll have to keep my eye out!

  37. Jesse

    Deb, I’m curious to know if you think it would make a difference to use all mascarpone and cut out the cream cheese?

    Awesome looking tarte, I can’t wait to try it!

  38. deb

    Jesse — You can try it but I think it would be missing both some tang and firmness. I think the cream cheese goes a long way to keeping it firm when it is cold. (And not, say, when it is warm as it was in that last picture, just to note.) Mascarpone does a bit of the work, but I think the cc does the heavy lifting.

  39. I ate the whole thing….

    I made this yesterday with some slight modifications-chocolate wafer crust, filling minus the ginger-strawberries and peaches on top. What’s left to say other than YUM!! I tried to wait 2 hours but I don’t have that kind of will power. Thanks for the inspiration.

  40. nbm

    It must be in the air: did you see Mark Bittman’s no-cook blueberry cheesecake in yesterday’s NYT? Article here. He uses a mix of ricotta and cream cheese for the filling.

  41. This is my husband’s dream food. I’m going to the farmer’s market today to pick some nectarines and try to make it. I have a silly question but instead of the using mascarpone cheese do you think I can jst use cream cheese. I guess it would be more like a chees cake but I don’t know.

  42. Deb – since you posted this recipe only a few days ago, I must have looked at it no less than 50 times…mostly while cursing my ordinary rotation of snacks and lunch at work and tossing them aside. Yesterday afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore and made a special trip to the store because I don’t keep mascarpone on hand (and am now questioning why I don’t!). This was the perfect summer dessert! Seconds were had by all and I’m polishing off the rest for breakfast as I type. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  43. Jane

    Great dessert and a big hit at my dinner party last night. I used a mandoline to cut the nectarines and then cut the circles in half to get the right look. I loved the ginger on top.

  44. Maddie

    It is my first time commenting but defenitely not my first time drooling at the pictures and thinking about actually going through with making one of the recipes (too many mouth watering options ). My questions are:

    Where can I purchase a mandoline?
    What camera do you use for the faboulous pictures?

  45. deb

    Maddie — I don’t know if you’re in NYC or not, so I can’t suggest a store for you but any cooking store, Crate and Barrel or Williams-Sonoma will likely carry a mandoline. However, if you have any restaurant supply stores by you, you’ll find it much cheaper. Their prices range from $10 for a dinky one to $500 for one that (I would hope) cooks for you.

    All of our photography info and equipment is in this post.

  46. I did it! I made a variation of this recipe making it into a cheese cake. I also used peaches instead of nectarines but only because the flee market was selling the most delicious ripe peaches for 50 cents a pound. I’ll have to try with nectarines next time. I also used golden plum jam instead of peach jam.

  47. That’s Gorgeous! no joke, my mouth started watering. That might have something to do with walking all the way to the Library in the heat to read this….

  48. taash


    It looks gorgeous, and I’m thinking of something similar with apricots — I got some at the farmers’ market today, all blushing and beautiful.

    May I make a suggestion re: crystallised ginger? Personally, I love the stuff, but I live with folks who are less than enthusiastic about it. Rather than stirring it into the mascarpone, which IMHO destroys the texture of the ginger, chop it up very fine (you could even use a coffee grinder if you want it really finely cut) and combine it with the crumbs for the crust. I do this with graham cracker crust for cheesecake, and it is absolutely great. You get the faintest, subtle hint of the ginger, instead of a great big walloping bite.

    You’ve really inspired me: this a.m., after the farmers’, I came home and made sour cherry syrup, blueberry pie and cornbread, in that order. Tomorrow is looking like brownies and hyperchip cookies (choc chip cookies on steroids). Thank you, again, for your amazing pix and commentaries, they are wonderful. I sneak looks at them during the day at work, they’re the perfect mental coffee break.

  49. Rifka

    Deb, I currently don´t own a tart pan but after reading this post I just have to add it to my bakeware collection… what is a brand or specific pan you´d recommend?

  50. deb

    Hi Rifka — I have no brand loyalty about tart pans. I bought a very cheap one from a restaurant supply store–I think they are best on things like this. A 9-inch round is pretty standard to start. Non-stick isn’t necessary, but make sure you get one with a removable bottom. Enjoy!

  51. gretchen

    awesome….I made up a batch of homemade ginger snaps (a girl needs extras you see, with milk, at about 11:00 p.m.!!!!), made the pie and it’s cooling. It’s beautiful….like something you’d see in a European pastry shop. Thanks Deb for the inspiration.

  52. Bridget

    Wow! I saw this when it posted and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I finally made this last night and brought it to work to share with my colleagues today. This was SO good. And beautiful. And overall incredibly impressive for something that was really easy. Though I’m going to let everyone think I’m just a genius cook. :-)

  53. I made this tonight for my friend and it was SOOOOOOOOOOO good! I used Triple Ginger Snaps from Trader Joe’s that already have candied ginger in them for the crust and it was delicious. I did use the crystalized ginger in the filling and on the top and loved the combination of flavors. I thought the filling was a tad on the plain side and added a teaspoon or so of fresh lemon juice and that did the trick. I bought nectarines at the Farmer’s market last Satuday to make this, but woke up sunday morning to find my teenaged daughters had eaten all but one of them up. these nectarines pulled away from the pit and sliced beautifully. The ones I bought today stuck to the pit and weren’t as pretty. I’m not sure how you can tell which is which before you cut into them. Any suggestions? Thanks!!! :)

  54. mmmmarie

    thanks for the tip about the measuring cup to define the crust edge. made an adaptation of this yesterday and the crust looked spectacular as a result

  55. Mhiran

    I made this last night for a dinner and it was so amazing. I used the crystalized ginger in the crust only and used raspberries as well as nicely ripened nectarines… so delicious! Thank you.

  56. Jess

    I know this is about two weeks later, but I’m going to be making this in a rectangle tart pan. Do you think I should make more crust? I know you said you 1 1/2’d it to get more crust on the 9 inch round. I just want to make sure I have all the stuff! haha!

  57. Kelle

    To Jess: My tart pan is 11″ and I needed to add another 1.5 cups of crust, so you might need to for the rectangle. Man oh man, is this tart delicious! But definitely best eaten the same day, as the crust got soggy after sitting in the refrigerator overnight.

  58. Jeri Lynn

    OM NOM NOM! I just tried this and it is sooooooo good. The tangy filling is oh so perfect with the gingerbread crust! I can’t wait until my friends come over tomorrow so I can knock their socks off!

  59. Amber

    Made this to take to a friend’s housewarming party. Great success! I subbed Fage Total yogurt for the sour cream, and it worked perfectly, for those of you who were wondering about the substitutions. I also added a 1/4 tsp extra powdered ginger because my snaps weren’t snappy enough for me, and I also do not care for the crystallized stuff. Such a great recipe, thanks!

  60. Drobo

    I made this last night for my sister’s 33rd birthday! Instead of nectarines I used peaches and instead of apricot jam I used blackberry jam. The flavor combination was perfect, but the jam covered the beautiful red pit lines on the peach so i put an extra layer of fresh peaches on top.

    The best part? When my family saw the cake there were a few snickers and comments about going to Ralph’s to get “real birthday cake” – but once they tasted it they were eating their words! My sister said it’s her new favorite thing I can make.

    PLUS – I just figured it was an “adult cake” and that my young nieces wouldn’t eat it, but the DID and they LOVED it! Even kids will love it. But I did leave out the crystalized ginger. Thanks!

  61. kitty stockings

    I made this tart in the summer using peaches, and it was a HUGE success at a dinner party we hosted! I am toying with the idea of using it as a thanksgiving dessert next weekend, by adding pureed cooked pumpkin to the filling (cutting back on some of the other ingredients to control volume) and adding “pie spices” like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (and making it a bit sweeter maybe). I’m thinking it would sort of be like a pumpkin cheesecake. Do you think this would work? The crust just seems like it would be so good with pumpkin! But then, i don’t know what i’d top it with … maybe whipped cream on individual slices.

  62. How cool! I discovered this recipe last year. Though I don’t make sweets very much, this is my one go-to recipe when I need an easy yet tasty summer dessert. I agree about the crust…I had to increase the recipe. And I leave the candied ginger from the filling, but do sprinkle a little bit on top for garnish. I’m also not a huge fan of candied ginger, which is why I cut back. Have you ever made Barefoot Contessa’s Ginger Cookies? I’m not a huge fan of ginger, but those are some of the best cookies I’ve ever made/eaten.

  63. Kathleen

    This is SO good…I bet I will make this 20 times this summer. I planned it with blackberries, but someone ate half of them, so I used cherries and blackberries, with raspberry jam. It was a huge hit! The crust was perfect, and the fruit combo was fabulous. So for tomorrow’s dinner party, I’m trying ripe peaches for one, and a chocolate wafer crust with blueberries for the other. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

  64. Suzanne

    I have made this several times now and just can’t say enough good things about it. I also cook and bake for an Espresso house and made it as a special treat. Everyone loved it. When I brought it to a family picnic on the 4th of July to see what people thought of it and to find out what one might be willing to pay for a slice, my Aunt said $4 for the first slice but she’d pay $20 for a second slice! Thanks for a great recipe. I am curious as to how one might make it with chocolate and pears.

  65. UpMcNJ

    Deb, In place of mascarpone you might try using creme fraiche or fromage blanc–both have somewhat similar consistencies to the mascarpone. I fear ricotta, if not well drained, would be too wet.

  66. Julia

    I just made this for a picnic last night with peaches instead of nectarines, and it got RAVE reviews. We literally could not wait to start eating it and ended up sticking our forks straight into the pie pan. I loved the spicy kick in the crust in comparison to the sweet, juicy peaches. Awesome and I will be making it again!

  67. I made this over the weekend for a country picnic and it was a smash hit. I used plums and nectarines and it was just delicious. Thanks for the inspiration. The unfortunate part is that now I want to make the filling — alone — and eat it with a spoon.

  68. I made this for a bbq with our family this weekend and it was gobbled up in no time flat! The ginger snappy crust was such a refreshing change from plain ole graham crumbs — so much so that I’m trying to think of how I could adapt this recipe for a Christmas dessert. (yes, sadly, I think that far ahead!). Any thoughts? I was thinking maybe poached pears?

  69. Jen

    Had this scrumptious tart care of Julia (post 118, hi julia!) and it was unreal. We definitely did dig in before we even made it into our event! I decided to make it for my family today and it came out amazingly. Nothing as beautiful as smitten kitchen’s or even Julia’s but tastes just as wonderful. I love gingersnaps.

  70. Ashley

    I’m making this for the third time this month…it’s such a hit!! So far I’ve been making it true to the recipe. Next time i’m going to try a chocolate crust with other fruits like you recommended. thank you so much!!

  71. Lobster In A Red Dress

    This looked so amazing-I made it tonight for friends…have to say-just a dreamboat of a dessert! I added lots of lemon zest to the filling-yummy, and used raspberries and white peaches for the top. Next time (oh, and there will be a next time!) I would probably just go with a whole mess o’berries for the topping. I also plopped a blob of lemon curd on the side of the plate for gobbing up with the forkful of tart. Yummy!!!!

  72. Emily

    One possibly weird question…. would broiling the nectarines on top do anything strange to the marscapone/c.cheese filling? I am planning on making this tomorrow and am having the strange urge to broil the top….? Or should I just leave the nectarines well alone… since everyone else who’s tried it seems to like it as is?

  73. Rebecca

    I use this mascarpone filling (also minus the ginger) in a regular tart shell that you have to bake all the time and top it with a variety of fruit. It tastes great!

  74. Our friends brought this over to our house last night. Oh. My. God. It was the best dessert I’ve had all summer…all year! I can’t wait to make it so my husband and I can eat the whole thing ourselves.

  75. bridget

    I made this recently for my family and everyone loved it… I want to make it again as individual tartlettes for a Christmas lunch but have a lot of cooking to do in the lead up and wondered whether you think the tart shells would freeze/thaw well once baked? Thanks

  76. Ferda

    I made this recipe last night… It was amazing, I loved the creaminess of the filling and the gingersnap crust… For topping I used raspberries and blueberries, glazed with raspberry jam, and topped with chopped pistachios… Great result, everyone loved it…

  77. Courtney C

    I made this over the weekend for a summer party! I absolutely love your website and it’s now my go-to for desserts. It was nice that this could mostly be made the night before. This is definitely something a little different and tarts are always impressive in my opinion. I have to say though, I really just think it was okay. The crust ended up being pretty hard, which gave a nice texture. I did add the crystalized ginger to both the mascarpone and on top. Not sure what I would change about this but it just didn’t have that wow i was hoping for!

  78. Sophie

    I made this over the weekend as well and it was a show-stopper. Thanks again Deb for making me look good! And so effortlessly. I did the crust a week earlier — a dinner party was cancelled, so I threw the finished crust in the freezer til a time I could use it. I let it thaw a little before I did the rest and it turned out perfectly. It was beautiful and absolutely delicious! I made a 9 x 11 rectangle tart and everyone kept eating seconds until it was gone! It was fantastic. Thanks again!

  79. Melissa

    Made this following your recipe exactly except for swapping apricot jam for peach jam because that was what I had. Everyone loved it and couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. Thanks!!

  80. Marcia

    Looks wonderful! I’d like to make it the day before, though, and refrigerate. I see the recipe says “refrigerate up to 6 hours.” Has anyone tried refrigerating overnight?

    1. deb

      Hi Marcia — It should be fine overnight. The only risk with keeping it in the fridge more than a day is that the crust might start to get soft. But it will still be delicious.

  81. Dianne

    I haven’t tried this yet – it is the wrong time of year for nectarines, but I’m trying to imagine some kind of stewed apple topping, instead – but if you made this with gluten-free gingersnaps (one of the few good gf sweets that are widely available), this is a quick and yummy gf dessert. Most gf desserts require 4 or more weird flours and a lot of experimenting and, well, this looks possible for gf people with a more casual approach to food. I’m really excited about this!

  82. Erin

    I tried this in the summer with nectarines, which was awesome. However, given my recent obsession with blood oranges and the fact that nectarines are very out of season, I recently tried the recipe with a blood orange topping and a few substitutions. First, I was too lazy to go through the process of making the apricot jam topping (not to mention that my apricot jam is of a questionable vintage), so I just drizzled the top with honey, which was delicous. Second, having no lemons on hand, I also substituted the grated lemon peel with blood orange zest. It was such a hit that I made it two weekends in a row!
    Note: you need roughly 4 blood oranges to cover the tart.

  83. CM

    I made this topped with kiwi and raspberries, no jam, Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, and Carr’s Ginger Lemon Creme cookies in the crust. The filling worked well with the yogurt, and it was fine without the jam. I would stick with regular gingersnaps next time, though. The cookies (which I love on their own) were a little too hard and crunchy in the crust.

  84. Kristy

    I am testing a bunch of recipes for an upcoming shower (made your bake wells last week-yum!) and just finished this one…wow, this is incredible. I used Anna’s almond cinnamon thin cookies for the crust rather than ginger snaps and strawberries for the topping, since I was able to get some delicious local ones. This one will be making a permanent home in my dessert rotation. Love it!!

  85. Four years late, but I brought this to a potluck last night. It got raves and disappeared almost instantly. The Trader Joe’s triple gingersnaps were brilliant for the crust! (I do like crystallized ginger, though, so I imagine that’s why.) Since I was cooking in someone else’s kitchen that had neither electric mixer nor food processor, it took some scrambling around (and a last-minute run to Target for a $6 hand mixer), but the rest of it was incredibly easy. I threw it in the freezer for a bit, fearing it wouldn’t firm up fast enough…turns out it did, and it also makes a lovely frozen dessert if you’re in such a mood. :) Thank you!

  86. Better late than never right? My mom has always made a cheesecake that has never been beaten (I have yet to try this one though) She mixes cream cheese with cool whip. Same consistency as what you’re looking for up there without the sourness of sour cream or yogurt – and it’s cheaper than mascarpone. Mum’s lazy and has always topped her cheesecakes with cherry pie filling and it’s TO DIE FOR.

  87. Bill Braskey

    You don’t like ginger but you put sour cream in what is basically a pie? Call it what you want, tart, pie, pastry, whatever — sour cream is disgusting and totally ruined this recipe for me.

  88. Kathleen from Cali

    Hey Deb! I just stumbled onto your site and made this recipe as my first (to use up two crates of Trader Joe’s nectarenes) and it was delicious. As you suggested, I left out the ginger, and since I forgot to get the lemon zest, I used a dash of lemon extract and it was fine. I also used extra cookies in the crust, but I should have compensated with more butter, because the crust was a tiny bit crumbly, but the gingersnaps were a great complement to the marscapone-cream cheese- sour cream filling! delightful and I will make it again with strawberries or even raspberries/blackberries. I don’t have a mandoline to cut the fruit, but I made very thin slices – it was just harder to cut when I got down to the last 1/4 of the nectarene. Keep up the great job with your blog. I have printed several recipes for mushroom dishes and soups. I am also going to try some asian noodle dishes- could you try doing some more of them this Fall/Winter? Best, K

  89. Achei sua receita simplesmente divina, pela simplicidade e combinação de sabores, de crocante da massa de biscoitos e as frutas frescas. Vou utilizar sua receita para apresentar em eventos que faço aqui no Brasil! parabéns!

  90. Lisa

    I made this tart, and then I made a cousin of this tart. I thought I would describe the cousin, since my friends loved it even more than the first one, which was already proclaimed best cake of the last year by one person. I live in Germany, so gingersnaps are hard to come by, so I used these fullgrain sweet crumbly cookies instead, and they worked beautifully (called Hobbits). For the cream filling, I whipped up 250 mL of heavy cream until soft peaks, then whipped in 250 mL of mascarpone, and then finally added 1 container of 10% fat strained plain greek yogurt (it was made with cream, not milk). Sugar and vanilla were also used , same amounts as the above tart. While it was softer than the first tart, the second version had a delicious lightness that went great with a hot summer day. I skipped the glaze and topped with sliced white nectarines and some cherry halves. Anyway, I found that the first version delicious but too heavy to eat comfortably, and this version was something that didn’t sit to heavily in the stomach or leave to much fat coating your tongue, but still delicious, and nto exactly skimping either on the good stuff (heavy cream, mascarpone, 10% fat yogurt?))

  91. Dro

    I have made this tart several times over the years and it’s always a big hit. I have topped it with peaches, mixed berries, kiwi/blueberry (for my son’s first birthday, to match the color scheme), and most recently Tiger figs and blackberries. The fig tart was a huge hit. I glazed it with fig spread diluted with red wine. Definitely an adult version! I double it and use a 12 inch glass tart pan. (The crust doesn’t need to be doubled. I just use a bit more gingersnaps.). And like others mentioned, I have used lime, orange or lemon zest depending on the fruit combo. This recipe is tried and true. Love it!

  92. RuthH

    I have made this tart since it first appeared in Bon Appetit. People ask for it again and again, and this year, yet again, for a very special 70th birthday. I use Franz Ginger Snaps (red bag, not the blue bag!) and definitely the crystallized ginger.

  93. Masha

    I’ve been waiting to make this for years! Finally did a few weeks ago, in the form of mini tarts. Unfortunately the crust did not stay together at all and all of them ended up falling apart — what did I do wrong? The cream filling was amazing with the nectarines, though. I ended up layering the broken crust with the other ingredients in a glass with some ginger syrup and calling it a parfait.

  94. Nancy Hudson

    Amazing! I followed Deb’s recipe, and although I do like candied ginger, at her suggestion I left it out. I took it on a camping trip where it sat for 36 hours before consumption and it was a hit regardless of the soggy crust. Keeper, for certain.

  95. Nancy Hudson

    Hello again! I received two boxes of beautiful pears as a Christmas gift. I wracked my brain after I made this in September as to what type of fruit would work in winter. Nothing came to me because I kept thinking citrus, but I think the pears would be awesome! What flavor of jam would you suggest? Maybe apricot?

  96. Megan T.

    I just made the crust with homemade gingersnaps and it seems very buttery/moist (butter pooling out of the bottom of the tart shell). Should I just bake it longer?

  97. In your notes you mention making changes like doing a chocolate crust with strawberries; would you just follow the same measurements? How would you know how much of the substitute ingrediants to use?

    The pictures are absolutely gorgeous! All the desserts I’ve made from SK have been amazing!

    1. deb

      For chocolate, you could use chocolate cookies, wafers or grahams or try adding a few tablespoons dark cocoa powder to this crust. Strawberries, you can use them the same way. How much will require some eyeballing, though, but can’t go wrong starting with 1 pound. Will probably not need it all.

  98. Do you think I could substitute whole-milk ricotta for either the cream cheese or sour cream?

    No offense to cream cheese or sour cream, which I will happily use.

    Thanks so much!

  99. I made this last week, and it was a hit. Great flavors. Perfect for a summer night. I was surprised we had any left (4 adults & 4 kids). It was great the next day.

  100. pigs4me

    Do you think it would be weird to leave out the lemon zest? Should I replace it with anything, or can I just completely omit? For some reason, I loathe lemony desserts unless it’s sorbet or similar. I know, I know…that’s really weird. I’m just grateful there is one thing I don’t like compared to allllll I do like.

    1. Chelsea

      I’ve made it multiple times without the lemon zest and I find people love it equally with or without. (I personally am not a fan of lemon in my sweeties so I frequently skip it, however, I do always brush the fruit with the lemon juice or the jam just to keep them from turning.)

  101. Jenn

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve made this twice with blueberries+green grapes and strawberries. It was absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    I found that my crust was too hard, even after sitting overnight.
    Gingersnaps that I used is very crunchy and contained both butter and lard. Would you suggest to use less butter or shorten the bake time? I’m just nervous that the crust might fall apart.

    1. deb

      Maybe give it a full day. Gingersnaps can of course range in crunch so I can see how it can happen, but I still feel like all crumb crusts are in a race against time — they’ll all soften soon enough, just hopefully after we want to eat them.

  102. Chelsea

    I make this tart at least once a year since it’s original post and I can state that the there are never any leftovers (usually within about 20 minutes of it being put out) every, single time. It’s my fool-proof go-to recipe when I need a quick something to take to a party and I always get multiple compliments. It’s wonderful for summer.

  103. Cy

    Deb, I was on vacation in Portugal! Cruised The Douro river with the folks, couple days each for Lisbon and Porto. Loved it, can’t wait to go back. Anyway, catching up on posts ( my favorite fruit is cherries, they are so good in Portugal !) this tart looks great. Having stayed with my sister in Brooklyn many a summer, I can see why the oven would be a no no. Not quite so hot here in SF, but I love my Breville smart oven as it doesn’t hear up the kitchen. I can’t say enough about how much I love it. It doesn’t take up much more room than my toaster did. Looking forward to making this tart!

  104. Judy

    Beautiful! Made this when I needed a little pick-me-up and it really did the trick — a feast for heart, mind, and eyes! I had just one problem — though I followed the recipe to the letter (except no candied ginger), the crust was very/too hard on the bottom. Maybe the ginger snaps had been sitting too long on the store shelf?

  105. Laura G

    Hi Deb,
    I made this over the weekend because I thought it would be a delightful summer treat that wouldn’t require to have my oven on full blast for 2 hours. It was absolutely delicious! I was nervous about the flavor combination (I did use peaches vs. nectarines as they were more ripe), but it was phenomenal. The tart was light and not too sweet, the perfect refreshing end to our summer dinner party.

    Thanks again for making recipes that are easy to follow but oh so impressive at the end.

  106. Hayley M

    I can’t recommend this enough. We did not use the optional crystallized ginger, and there was plenty of good ginger flavor. We had enough crust for a 10″ tart pan.
    Light, refreshing, not too sweet, excellent flavors. I ate it with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Outstanding.

  107. Lyn

    “Food porn of the highest order” is the comment I got when I finished slathering on the warmed peach jam! Beautiful dessert, Deb! I put finely chopped crystallized ginger in the crust and it was delicious. But I adore the stuff. And instead of straight nectarines I started in the center with an apricot then surrounded that with sliced nectarines and finished the final edging with Rainier cherry halves. Wow! Thanks for the wonderful, easy, perfect for hot days when you can’t bear to turn the oven on recipe!

  108. Samantha

    Do you think you would make an extra 1/2 batch of everything for an 11 inch pan? I just got a tart pan and most recipes I realized post purchase are for a 9 inch pan. **tear**

  109. That reminds me of the biscuit, sherry and cream pudding that my grandmother used to make: dunking the biscuits (which could be gingersnaps) in the sherry and alternating them with whipped cream in a deep dish.
    You could use this delicious cream filling instead of plain cream and then serve the nectarines as a compote on the side, to avoid any oven time at all in really hot weather.

  110. Andrea

    I made this nearly as written, but with peaches. We all loved it! I also included the 1 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger in the filling since we’re big fans. This was easy to do, even with the ‘help’ of my 9 yo daughter and efforts of my 11 yo Jacob to make something “extra & easy” at the same time. Great flavor combination!

  111. I made this for a party this weekend. It was a hit, for sure. Used peaches instead of nectarines, for no reason other than peaches were on sale at WF.

    The mistakes I made were thus: I didn’t weigh the gingersnaps before processing and the crust was slightly too thick. Not totally a bad thing. I used the Triple Ginger Snaps from Trader Joe’s. They are so gingery that it was almost like the candied ginger that I skipped was in there. Not a bad thing.

    I also mistakenly used almond extract instead of vanilla. It really worked!

    The peach jam I bought was too chunky, so when I went to glaze the top, it left too many chunky bits, so I sort of gave up on that. I don’t think it hurt the final product by not having the glaze.

    This recipe was incredibly easy. I can’t wait to make it again with different fruit variations.

  112. becca

    I just want to say that I’ve been making this for 9 years and it is maybe my favorite thing from your site that I make . . . certainly in the desert category. Bring on peach season.

  113. We had friends over for brunch today so I made this yesterday to serve after our main meal. It was a hit! It even got oohs and aahs. Everyone absolutely loved it. I added the ginger only to the mascarpone part and not on top. Oh and nectarines at the market were hard as rocks so I subbed with fresh juicy peaches — delish. Highly recommend it. One of the guests asked for the recipe so I sent the link.
    I’ll try and remember to post about it too at

  114. We had friends over for brunch today so I made this yesterday to serve after our main meal. It was a hit! It even got oohs and aahs. Everyone absolutely loved it. I added the ginger only to the mascarpone part and not on top. Oh and nectarines at the market were hard as rocks so I subbed with fresh juicy peaches — delish. Highly recommend it. One of the guests asked for the recipe so I sent the link.

  115. Alicia Grefenson

    This is my favorite summer dessert. Sometimes I add toasted pecans to the ginger snaps for the crust. I’ve topped it with whatever I have – strawberries, stone fruit, raspberries, etc.

  116. Lisa

    Do you think Greek yogurt would be an ok substitute for the sour cream? I tend not to keep sour cream in the fridge but always have a tub of yogurt.

    1. Virginia

      I just did this because what I thought was a sealed container of mascarpone turned out to be an opened, moldy container of mascarpone. 😢 It tasted great coming out of the food processor, and the tart is in the fridge now– will let you know how it worked after we try the finished tart!

    2. Virginia

      Ok, the short answer is YES, you can use all cream cheese and it’s delicious. Mine came out a little soft, but that’s because I added extra sour cream for a tangier flavor. I used Mi-Del gluten free gingersnaps for the crust (that’s all we could find in the supermarket) and that worked fine too — I notice a texture difference, but the flavor is great. I used the crystallized ginger because we all like it, and topped the tart with perfectly ripe peaches and peach preserves that I pureed in the food processor. Fantastic!

  117. Mireille Delisle-Oldham

    Love this recipe – I am dessert-challenged, and I managed to make it no problem, and it tastes DIVINE!

  118. Kevin

    Delicious and beautiful! I also left out the candied ginger and was glad I did. It would’ve been distracting from the delicious nectarines. This is going into my regular rotation, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with mangoes, cherries, peaches, strawberries, etc.

  119. Vicki Franch

    So, can you share what kind of gingersnaps? The Mi-del ones I’ve got are I think are too hard to bust up very easily?

  120. Liz Gossard

    Fabulous. Refreshing, light, not too sweet. I made a few changes but nothing significant.

    Crust: I did not want to buy gingersnaps when I had graham crackers to use up. So I took used 2 sleeves of Graham crackers ( 3 to a box), 1 T. Ginger powder, 1/4 C. Dark brown sugar, about a T. Chopped candied ginger, and somewhere between 6 And 8 T. Unsalted butter, melted. I used my Cuisinart to process dry ingredients and eye-balled the melted butter until it looked like to correct consistency. I think you could increase the ginger and maybe add a bit of molasses for a darker, more gingery result.

    I pressed this into 24 paper muffin cups and baked at 350 for about 8 minutes.

    No changes to filling or fruit . My peach jam had amaretto. I used more than
    1/4 cup. The proportions of filling to crust were perfect. I think the crust and mascarpone filling could be frozen ahead of time and fruit added before serving.

  121. We have just made this tonight and thought I had to come on and share how nice it was! it was amazing! if you are reading this then, please go and try it!

  122. Monica

    Hi Deb! I made this for a party that’s been postponed by a week. I’m going to try freezing the cheesecake. I haven’t put the fruit topping on yet and am wondering if you have any recommendations for freezing? Better without fruit topping?

    1. Monica

      I ended up freezing fruit and cheesecake separately. Recommend using fresh fruit to top because defrosted fruit goes mushy. Cheesecake was fantastic!

      As another reviewer mentioned, this cake is *excellent* as a frozen dessert, like the best ice cream in cake form!

  123. ILENE

    Easy. Elegant. Versatile. Recently made it as a Christmas dessert using a rosemary-infused cranberry sauce (cooked down to be thick when chilled) as the fruit, with a few candied walnuts on top for crunch. Looked gorgeous and festive and was a huge hit. I’m a ginger fan, but even when making this with fresh fruit, I don’t use the candied ginger. Plenty of ginger in the gingersnap crust already. This dessert is a winner all year round.

  124. Nancy

    This was my very first attempt at making a tart. As with every recipe I have made from Deb Perlman’s Smitten Kitchen, this one did not disappoint!! In fact, our adult son had two pieces and declared “Mom!! This is definitely the very best homemade dessert I’ve ever had!” High praise indeed. My husband decided this is his new favorite dessert too. Thank you Deb for another great recipe!!