Lemony Cheese Tart with Sour Cream Glaze {ModBak}

The next recipe I made from the Sweet Tarts & Pies section of the Modern Baker Challenge was one of Kayte’s picks for her official blog post. This was another simple and delicious tart, made with sweet tart dough and ingredients I already had in the kitchen — sour cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and cream cheese.

After making the crust and preheating the oven, I mixed up the filling. I beat the cream cheese and sugar, then added the other ingredients one at a time, beating the mixture smooth after each addition. I scraped the mixture into the shell and smoothed the top.

I baked the tart at 325°F for 30 minutes, until the crust was baked through and the filling set. While the tart was baking I mixed the topping, which consisted of sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. I took the tart out of the oven, spread it with the sour cream glaze, and returned it to the oven for about 10 minutes, until the glaze was set.

When the tart had cooled and it was time to serve it, I recalled something I learned from Nick Malgieri in a cooking class. This was a huge tart, 11-inches, and I knew the slices would be long and thin if I cut them from edge to middle. Nick was slicing a large tart, and he began by cutting a circle in the center of the tart. One of the class participants asked him why he did this, and he explained that it makes the slices come out nicer looking, not overly long and thin.

This was the first time I had tried Nick’s method, and I have to say the slices came out looking really nice.

This tart was a big hit around here. It reminded everyone of cheesecake, and the sour cream gave it a distinctive flavor. Based on the reviews of some of the other Modern Bakers, I upped the lemon a bit by adding extra zest and the juice of the two lemons I zested. It had a great lemon flavor. Not as strong as lemon icebox pie, although that’s what it reminded me of.

This is definitely a recipe that will be making repeated appearances on my table.



  1. sara said,

    May 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Oooooh, this looks super delicious! Love the idea of the tartness of lemon plus sour cream – so tasty! 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      May 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      It was really good. I’d like to play with it a bit — more sour cream, maybe some lime. It seems like you could make a lot of variations on the basic recipe.

  2. Renee said,

    May 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    We liked it here but I must say a good cheesecake trumps it for me. Great tip of the cutting!!

    • gaaarp said,

      May 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      I agree. Cheesecake is hard to beat.

  3. Kayte said,

    May 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Oh, this looks wonderful, you did a really great job on this one, maybe you should switch out the official post and have it be yours as your photos are much better than mine…your layers are so distinct, etc. Love the tip on cutting out the circle…who got to eat the circle cut out? That would be my favorite piece, I think as I like not too much crust. Thanks for sharing the tip.

    • gaaarp said,

      May 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      Mom ate the circle. She really loved it. With the tiny pies and tarts you make, you don’t need this trick. I’m going to make a few 6-inch pies soon. It will be my first time using my 6″ pans. I’m still looking for a 6″ tart pan.

  4. Margaret said,

    May 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Glad the increased lemon worked, but still not enuff huhn! Looks tasty, tho, Phyl. Layers were nice and distinct.

    • gaaarp said,

      May 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      It was pretty lemony. I might add a few drops of lemon oil, but I wouldn’t want the lemon flavor much stronger, or you’d lose the other flavors.

  5. May 14, 2011 at 11:40 am

    That looks great. Any excuse to use my tart pan and lemons is a plus in my book!

    • gaaarp said,

      May 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks! If you want an excuse to use your tart pans, you should pick up this book. There are dozend of tart recipes — sweet and savory — to choose from. And every one I’ve made has been great.

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