Lemony Cheese Tart with Sour-Cream Glaze

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Preparation info

  • Makes one 11 inch 28 cm ) tart, about


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

I remember a pineapple cheese pie recipe that circulated in the 1950s, and it had a filling and glaze similar to this one. Somehow I don’t miss the canned pineapple from the old recipe, but it would be fun to serve some lightly sugared mixed berries with this.



  • 16 ounces (450 grams) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • One 11-inch (28-cm) tart crust, unbaked, made from Sweet Tart Dough

Sour-Cream Glaze

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Set a rack on the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 325° (160°C).
  2. Beat the cream cheese and sugar in the howl of an electric mixer set on low speed, using the paddle attachment. Beat for 1 minute, or until the mixture is smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the howl and paddle.
  3. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and one of the eggs. Beat on low speed until smooth. Scrape down again and add the second egg. Beat and scrape again. Follow the same procedure for adding the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat in the sour cream until smooth.
  4. Use a large rubber spatula to give a final mixing to the filling and scrape it into the prepared pastry crust, smoothing the top.
  5. Bake the tart until the crust is baked through and the filling is set and no longer wobbly in the center, about 30 minutes.
  6. While the tart is baking, prepare the glaze. Whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until just combined. Remove the tart from the oven and immediately scrape the sour-cream mixture over the top. Use a small offset metal spatula to spread the glaze evenly all over the tart.
  7. Return the tart to the oven and bake 10 minutes longer, just to set the glaze—it will firm as it cools. Cool the tart on a rack.


Unmold the tart and slide it from the metal tart pan base onto a platter. Serve wedges of the tart alone or with some lightly sugared berries.


Keep the tart at a cool room temperature on the day it is baked. Wrap loosely in plastic and refrigerate leftovers. Bring to room temperature before serving again.


Chocolate Cheese Tart: Omit the lemon zest. Add 5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, melted and cooled, to t he cream-cheese mixture along with the first egg. Bake and finish as instructed here.