These triple cheese tarts are such a delight to eat. You can eat this hot, straight out of the oven while the filling is still gooey, or cold, after being stored in the fridge. Either way, it tastes delicious and scrumptious. What I like about this is that it’s a dessert, but not too sweet. It does take some work to do, but definitely worth it.
While thinking on making this recipe, I initially planned on just making cheesecake tarts using regular cheesecake batter recipe. But then, I wanted to add more creaminess to it, so I added mascarpone cheese. And since I have ricotta cheese available at that same time, I figured why not add another cheese, to make this a triple cheese treat? The three cheeses (cream cheese, mascarpone and ricotta) are great for baking, and just ultimately best when combined.
Tart Crust Recipe
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 egg yolks (room temperature)
- about 2 tbsp milk
Cheese Custard Recipe
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar (can be adjusted depending upon preference)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- about 2 tbsp cold water
Start the recipe by making the tart crust.
Whisk 1/2 cup of a very soft butter until creamy.
Whisk in 2 egg yolks which will give the tart a good smooth texture, not to mention added flavor and depth.
Then add all the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs, or when you squeeze a handful of the mixture, it should form a ball nicely.
If it’s too dry, add few tablespoons of milk until they come together.
Shape the tart crust dough into a square or a disc, then cover with plastic wrap. Let it cool in the fridge for about 45 minutes or so before rolling them out.
Few minutes before taking out the dough from the fridge, butter the sides of a mini-muffin pan or single-size tart pan, if you have one. I tried this with a regular muffin pan, and it also worked out very well.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Roll out the chilled dough into a floured surface until it reach probably about 1/4 inch thickness (I didn’t really measure it, no need to be precise, really) . Using a round dough cutter probably about 4-5 inches in diameter, cut the dough and place them into the mini-muffin pan. If using a regular-sized muffin pan, you’ll have to “guesstimate” on how big you want to cut. This does take a lot of patience, I know.
I had a hard time on how big should I cut the dough in order for them to fit into the regular muffin pans. Most of the tart dough that I cut are tad short and didn’t quite reach the rim. When that happens, just use the tart dough scraps to cover the empty spaces.
We have to blind bake the tarts to make it sturdier before adding the cheese mousse. I don’t have baking weights, but I have rice as a substitute. Put cupcake liners on top of the tart dough, then pour rice over it.
Bake the tart dough in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for about 7-10 minutes.
Let the baked tart crust rest for about 10-15 minutes while still in the pan. Then very gently take them out. Let cool completely in the wire rack.
Once cooled, place them back into the muffin pans, so that they’ll be ready to go back into the oven once the cheese filling is done.
Now it’s time for the cheese mousse!
Using a double boiler or a heatproof bowl on top of a simmering water, stir cream cheese, ricotta cheese and mascarpone until melted.
Into the mixture, add in 3/4 cup sugar and 1 cup of milk. Stir.
Then followed by 2 whisked eggs and cornstarch. You can certainly reduce the amount of cornstarch if you prefer a more gooey or runny custard tart.
Whisk everything together until it reaches a thick consistency, just like a pudding, then remove from the heat.
Whisk in the vanilla bean paste/extract.
Let it chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes or so.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Transfer the custard mixture into a piping bag and fill them into the prepared tart crusts.
As you can see here, I used muffin pans and mini-muffin pans to make these tarts, so the baking times were different for each.
Before baking them in the oven, gently brush the top of each tarts with an egg yolk wash, which is just basically 1 egg yolk and about 2 tbsp of water. This give the custard tarts its wonderful brown color.
Bake the mini-muffin tarts for about 6-7 minutes, and the regular-sized muffin pans for about 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them very closely though, as they may brown very quickly.
You can enjoy them hot, fresh from the oven. Or, you can let it cool and even store in the fridge for whenever you want them.