Why we love it
This strawberry mousse tart is a combination of melt-in-the-mouth mousse, flavoured with real strawberries at their ripest, and the most gorgeous crisp and buttery tart shells.
- It’s loaded with real strawberries
- A perfectly crisp, buttery tart shell
- Creamy and soft strawberry mousse
- Cuts like a dream into perfect slices.
This mousse is made with NO raw eggs for those of you out there like me that don’t love the thought of eating them raw. It’s still lusciously light and airy and super creamy but with an unmistakable strawberry flavour from pure fresh, ripe strawberries.
This post was first published here on 25th of April, 2018. It has been updated in a round tart shell, with a slightly amended recipe and new images.
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Ingredients you’ll need
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Strawberries: You need just ripe, fresh strawberries for the strawberry mousse.
- Cream: Thickened cream, heavy cream, heavy whipping cream – whichever you know it as, you’re looking for a cream that whips up to stiff peaks.
- Sugar: There are two types of sugar in this recipe; Icing sugar (aka powdered sugar) in the tart crust and plain white granulated sugar in the mousse filling, though I often use caster sugar (superfine sugar) as it dissolves quicker.
- Powdered gelatine: You’re looking for gelatin powder here. I don’t use sheets as I find the powder works perfectly well.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter in the tart shell.
- Vanilla extract: Use vanilla extract rather than vanilla essence – the latter being a synthetic flavouring.
- Egg: Just one egg for the pastry dough.
- Flour: The pastry dough uses plain flour (aka all-purpose flour).
You can of course use store-bought shortcrust pastry but I encourage you to make this version yourself. It’s not hard at all and has much better flavour.
How to make strawberry mousse tart
Strawberry Mousse is amazing on its own and you could use this recipe here to make just a nice little strawberry mousse either in glasses or on a cake base like my mango mousse cake, but here it’s served in elegant tart style. The pâte sucrée tart crust is just divine – almost crisp-cookie-like and so buttery.
There are just two layers and both are pretty simple. If you’re new to making tarts, just focus on one at a time so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. You can make the pastry days in advance and have it sitting in the pan in the fridge ready to bake. You can bake it 1-2 days ahead but the fresher the better. The mousse should be made when you’re ready to put the tart together.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
Take care not to overbeat the dough after adding the flour or it will become tough. You just need to beat for a few seconds until it’s forming large clumps.
Shape the tart shell
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface (photo 4).
- Pull the dough over the top of the rolling pin and use that to transfer it to your tart pan (with removable bottom) (photo 5).
- Press the dough downwards at the sides, not stretching from the middle out, into the corners of the pan, then press it into the flutes all the way round, leaving the overhang standing straight up (photo (6).
- Chill the tart case in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days before.
Important! You must chill the tart dough for a minimum of two hours as this allows the dough to relax which reduces the amount it will shrink on baking. You can make it up to 3 days in advance though.
Bake the tart shell
- When you’re ready to bake, dock the base of the cold tart shell (this just means to prick it all over with a fork, then trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife (photo 7)
- Line the tart shell with some baking paper, then fill with rice or baking beans (photo 8).
- Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes before removing the paper and rice and baking for a further 20 minutes until golden brown.
Tip! If you crumple the baking paper up first, it’s much easier to fit into the tart shell.
How to make strawberry mousse
I particularly wanted an eggless mousse (aka free of raw eggs) for this strawberry mousse and this one is perfect. It’s soft yet sets firm enough for slicing and just melts in the mouth. It comes together pretty quickly and is then simply poured into the tart shell and chilled until set.
- Blend hulled strawberries to a puree then strain it to remove the seeds.
- Pour the strawberry puree into medium or large saucepan and sprinkle gelatine powder over the top (photo 9). Let it sit for a few minutes to soften a little.
- Turn the heat on low, and use a rubber spatula to dissolve the gelatine into the puree.
- Add the sugar and stir until that is dissolved too, then stir in the vanilla extract (photo 10).
- Whip the cream to stiff peaks (be careful not to overwhip as it can become grainy if you do.
- Fold the cooled strawberry puree into the cream (photo 11) just ¼ at a time.
- Pour the strawberry mousse into the tart shell (photo 12), then transfer to the fridge to chill until set.
Make sure to use a folding action when combining the puree and whipped cream so that you don’t knock the air out of the cream.
Tips & Tricks
- It’s vital that the tart shell chills for at least 2 hours. This will help it to keep it’s shape and minimise shrinkage as it bakes. You can make it 2-3 days in advance and just leave it chilling in the fridge. The longer it chills the better the result.
- Don’t overwhip the cream: It’s so important to whip the cream just until it can hold a firm peak. Once you see it begin to hold the lines from the beater for longer, turn it down to low and check regularly until you can see it holding peaks. If you whip it too long, it will become grainy and you can’t get rid of that.
- Folding the strawberry puree into the whipped cream is equally as important. Simply mixing it will knock all the air out of your cream, making the mousse less light and airy.
You can use a food processor to make the dough, though the texture will differ slightly and be more of a flaky pastry crust. Make sure to use cold butter and cold egg. Blend the flour and sugar first then process the butter in until you have pieces the size of lentils. Finally, add the egg and process until it starts to form large clumps.
Classic French mousse is made with eggs, sugar, chocolate and sometimes butter. The eggs are whipped to get the mixture very aerated and fluffy. This strawberry mousse tart uses cream for richness and that airy texture removing the need to use raw eggs.
Mousse will turn grainy if you overwhip the cream so be very careful just to get it to a point that it holds a peak, no further or you’re on the way to making butter.
Yes, this strawberry mousse is lovely served on it’s own in small glasses – you’ll get around 8-10 serves, depending on the size of your glasses.
Keep the finished strawberry mousse tart in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The crust may soften, the longer it sits in the fridge.
The pastry shell can be made ahead and chilled until ready to bake for up to 3 days. You can bake the tart shell and store it in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Did you try this strawberry mousse tart recipe?
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TART SHELL (SHORTCRUST PASTRY)
- 100 g unsalted butter, softened (7 tablespoons / 3.5oz)
- 40 g icing sugar (powdered sugar) (⅓ cup / 1.4oz)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 225 g plain flour (all purpose flour) (8oz)
FOR THE FILLING
- 750 g fresh strawberries, hulled (or frozen, thawed)
- 3 teaspoons powdered gelatine
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 300 ml thickened cream (heavy cream) (1 ¼ cups)
- Extra strawberries and meringues for topping
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- 9 inch fluted tart pan with removable base
- Fine mesh sieve
- Medium or large saucepan.
- FOR THE TART SHELL:In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add the butter and icing sugar. Beat on medium until fully combined and smooth (1 – 2 minutes). Add the egg and beat on low until smooth. Add the flour and beat just until large clumps are forming.
- Turn the dough out and pull it together into a smooth ball with your hands (making sure not to handle it too much) then press it out into a 1 inch thick disk.
- Place it onto a lightly floured work surface and dust the top with just a little flour too. Gently and gradually roll the pastry out, turning it often, to about 4-5mm thick or about 11 inches in diameter.
- Place the rolling pin in the middle of the dough and fold one side of the pastry over the top. Lift the rolling pin so the pastry is hanging over it, and lightly dust off any excess flour from underneath. Carefully lay it into a 9 inch round tart pan with removeable base.
- Press the dough down in to the corners all the way round, then press it into the scalloped sides. Leave the overhang standing upright and place the tart pan into the fridge to chill for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. If your freezer has space you can place it in there.
- BAKE THE TART SHELL: Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F.
- Use a fork to prick the pastry base all over. Use a small sharp knife to trim off the excess pastry.
- Line the tart shell with a sheet of baking paper and fill with pie weights or rice. Fill it quite full and making sure it’s pressed up tight against the edges.
- Bake for 20 minutes. You can proceed with making the filling while it bakes.
- After 20 minutes. Carefully remove the baking paper and rice (or weights) and bake a further 15-20 minutes or until golden then set the tart shell aside still in the tin.
- MAKE THE STRAWBERRY MOUSSE FILLING: Purée the strawberries then strain into a saucepan and discard the seeds. You can strain it a couple of times if needed but some seeds are fine.
- Sprinkle the gelatine over the strawberry puree and let it sit for 5 minutes to soften. Stir over low heat until the gelatine has completely dissolved. Press any larger lumps against the sides of the pan to help them along. Make sure there are no lumps of gelatine undissolved but DO NOT let it come to a boil.
- Still over low heat, add the sugar and stir for another 30 seconds or so until it’s dissolved.
- Strain again, to make sure you dissolved all the gelatine. If there are large pieces you need to keep going, heating and pressing them against the pan to dissolve.
- Stir in the vanilla. Place in the fridge, stirring every so often, for 30 minutes just until it’s no longer warm. Careful not to leave it so long that it sets.
- In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks with a hand mixer.
- Fold quarter of the cooled strawberry mixture into the whipped cream until just a few streaks remain. Repeat folding the strawberry puree into the cream until it’s just folded together. Try not to knock the air out of cream.
- Pour the mixture over the tart base (you may have more than your tart shell can take, so just pour any extra into a glass and chill to set – bakers treat). Give it a gentle shake to level it out. Place in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight until set.
- Top with fresh strawberries and meringues prior to serving.
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