My dad’s old favorite — Le dessert favori de mon père

lemon poppyseed yogurt tart

Lemon, Poppyseed Yogurt Tart, the French Way

My dad is not much of a dessert person. He really isn’t. There is one dessert, however, that he would rave about, even asking me to make it for him on occasions — something quite extraordinary for him in fact.

My dad likes la tarte au fromage blanc.

I had almost forgotten about it. Until a few days ago, when I had a sudden urge to bake a tart, and of all, precisely une tarte au fromage blanc.

I would describe une tarte au fromage blanc as the French version of an American cheesecake. Except that, since in France cream cheese isn’t a staple product — I doubt my parents or brother ever tasted it — we use fromage blanc instead. On the other hand, fromage blanc isn’t easy to find in the US, something I quite miss in fact — most of the fromage blanc I’ve tasted here lacks flavor and texture, because they are often made fat free.

Are you wondering about this dairy product?

Fromage blanc [froh-MAHZH BLAHN] is a soft, fresh cheese originating from Belgium and the northern part of France. As its name suggests, it follows the same process used to make cheese without lactic acid fermentation. It has the consistency of plain yogurt and can be found with different percentages of fat — 0, 20 or 40%. Of course, the higher the number, the silkier the texture. In France, we enjoy this delicious dairy product like yogurt, eaten plain with sugar and fresh fruit, and mostly in the preparation of desserts (and sometimes in savory dishes too, like les pommes de terre en robe des champs, an old favorite of mine).

And then, it is widely used in the traditional French tarte au fromage blanc.

sheep
sheep

I didn’t use fromage blanc in my recipe because I did not have any. Instead I used sheep plain yogurt combined to mascarpone cheese, and obtained a really lovely result — quite similar, in fact. The lemon zest and poppyseeds added provided the tart with a subtle flavor, and despite the fact that not much lemon was used, it still tasted lemony, probably because of the acidity present in the yogurt.

A dessert difficult to make?

Not at all.

Quite on the contrary: extremely simple to make, and keeping well in the fridge for a few days. Always a good thing.

lemon poppyseed yogurt tart

So imagine my dad’s surprise while we were chatting on Skype this morning when I said:

Devine quel dessert j’ai préparé ?” (guess what dessert I made?)

And him responding without hesitation: “Une tarte au fromage blanc !

He later told me that he had not eaten one in years — like P. and I.

It was really about time to fix this.

lemon poppyseed yogurt tart

Poppyseed, Lemon Yogurt Tart, the French way

(For a 7.5″ tart, springform pan measuring 7.5 X 2.5″; or 2 small ones using 2 small springform pans, like the one I made here)

You need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain sheep milk yogurt
  • 2/3 cup mascarpone
  • 4 tablespoons blond cane sugar
  • 2.5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
  • Pastry* (use a gluten free one or one that you like)
  • Confectioner’s sugar, to dust
  • *For a Gluten Free crust: place 2/3 cup white (or brown) rice flour + 1/3 cup quinoa flakes + 1/3 cup sweet rice flour + pinch of salt + 1.5 teaspoons xantham gum in the bowl of stand mixer and mix with 7 Tbsp soft butter until crumbly. Add about 4 to 6 Tbsp cold water to achieve a dough that detaches from the bowl. Wrap it in plastic film and place it in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. Take it out 30 minutes before using, so that it is easier to work, and not too cold.

Steps:

  • Preheat the oven at 350 F.
  • Roll your pastry crust and garnish your mold with it. Make small holes at the bottom; place in the fridge.
  • In a bowl, mix the yogurt, mascarpone, egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, lemon zest and poppyseeds; set aside.
  • Place the egg whites in a bowl and whip them firm with a pinch of salt — add 1 teaspoon sugar almost at the end, to make them firmer. Fold carefully into the yogurt preparation.
  • Pour this batter into the mold and level the top. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or so. Check regularly. Let cool before eating; dust with confectioner’s sugar
Le coin français
Tarte au yaourt, citron et graines de pavot

(Pour une tarte de 19 cm, moule à fond amovible, hauteur 6 1/3 cm; ; ou 2 petites tartes, préparées dans 2 petits moules à fond amovible, comme ici)

Ingrédients :

  • 2 oeufs
  • 200 g de yaourt au lait de brebis nature
  • 125 g de mascarpone
  • 60 g de sucre de canne blond
  • 2,5 càs (20 g) de maïzena
  • 1 zeste de citron bio
  • 1 càs de graines de pavot
  • Pâte brisée* (utilisez une pâte sans gluten, ou une pâte brisée classique)
  • Sucre glace, pour saupoudrer
  • *Pour une pâte brisée sans gluten : dans le bol d’un mixeur à pied, mélangez 100 g de farine de riz blanche ou complète, 30 g de flocons de quinoa, 60 g de farine de riz gluant, 1 pincée de sel et 1,5 càc de gomme xanthane; ajoutez 100 g de beurre mouet mélangez pour obtenir de grosses miettes. Ajoutez ensuite entre 4 à 6 càs d’eau froide, et mélangez jusqu’à ce que la pâte se détache du bol. Filmez et mettez au frais pendant 1 à 2 heures. Sortez-la à l’avance pour qu’elle se travaille mieux.

Etapes :

  • Préchauffez le four à 180 C.
  • Etalez votre pâte et foncez le moule. Piquez le fond avec une fourchette et mettez en attente au frais.
  • Dans une jatte, mélangez le yaourt, la mascarpone, les jaunes d’oeuf, la maïzena, le zeste de citron et les graines de pavot; mettez de côté.
  • Montez les blancs d’oeuf en neige ferme avec une pincée de sel. Vers la fin, ajoutez 1 càc de sucre pour les serrer. Ajoutez-les délicatement à la préparation au yaourt, en prêtant attention à bien soulever la masse.
  • Versez sur la pâte, lissez et enfournez pendant environ 45 à 50 minutes. Vérifiez la cuisson régulièrement. Laissez refroidir. Saupoudrez de sucre glace au moment de servir.

49 comments

  1. i will definitely make this tart bea. it is also one of my favorites (hadn’t tried with with poppy seeds). beautiful!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I cannot wait to make it. And I just made your rhubarb and raspberry clafoutis, delicious, thank you for that. I love your site. Belated congrats on the new baby.

  3. hi bea, such a pretty tart. & I am thinking of making it in celebration of my husband’s birthday. but where I live there is no fromage blanc nor sheep’s milk yoghurt (i live in sunny SIngapore). would you be able to suggest a substitute I could use?
    thanks!

  4. It’s a wonderful looking tart…and I love the sound of fromage blanc! I’m sure I would like it if I got to taste it :)

  5. A priori, en utilisant du yahourt grec entier, on devrait presque avoir à la bonne consistance pour le fromage blanc. Mais le mascarpone est une bonne idée aussi (c’est ce que j’utilise pour substituer la crème fraiche quand je fais des scones car il est difficile de trouver de la crème fraiche à Rome).

  6. Bea if i utter the courage to bake one tomorrow (we are invited to a b-day party) – i will as it looks delicious. plus it has all my favorite ingredients in it. i’ll let you know :)

  7. Bea, this is a beautiful recipe, thank you!
    Can you give me any advice on how to replace cream of Tartar added to beaten egg whites? I live in France, and as you know, that just doesn’t exist here! Is salt sufficient?

  8. I have my dad coming to dinner tomorrow, I believe I will be serving this. What a lovely tart.

  9. Merci beaucoup for this recipe!! The picture of it from the previous post had me searching the web for a comparable recipe…in vain. I can’t wait to make it this weekend.

  10. mmm, fromage blanc. It’s really difficult to find here in the UK as well. Once in a blue moon the supermarket stocks it and then of course I have to buy it. The tart looks gorgeous Bea, lemon and poppyseeds are such a wonderful combination.

  11. I love the sheep staring out of the screen at me. It’s as though they’re proclaiming “Make this!”

  12. This is wonderful, and you’ve really given it such a nice story too…it makes it even more appealing!

  13. I can not believe I remembered what oeufs were! 3 years of French in high school a million years ago, I still love to hear the language. I love the photos of the sheep, they always have the cutest faces and whenever I see them I wonder what they are thinking. Unfortunately I can not get organic lemons around here. Bookmarked, thanks.

  14. French letters, il suffit alors de remplacer le yaourt par le fromage blanc, meme quantite. Autre option aussi c’est de n’utiliser que du fromage blanc a la place du yaourt et de la mascarpone. De preference alors, du fromage blanc a 40%. Bonne chance.

  15. J’adore l’association citron-pavot, alors je testerai volontiers cette recette.

    A bientôt!

  16. Merci pour cette très appétissante recette que je ne manquerais pas d’essayer en tant que fan de tarte au fromage blanc!

  17. Tu sais, a mon avis tu dois pouvoir faire ton propre fromage blanc, a partir de lait entier, si ca te manque autant. je crois que ce n’est pas difficile.

  18. This was absolutely amazing. It was the perfect texture and flavor. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I also really like the pictures of the sheep!

  19. I think that is the most beautiful dessert I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to try it!

  20. That looks incredible. I love hearing about new desserts, especially family favorites. Merci!

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  22. This was absolutely wonderful and is now officially listed as my favorite dessert. Thank you so much. Does your father have any other favorite desserts? :)

  23. I MUST make this one soon….too bad i’m on a detox cleanse over the next 12 days…otherwise this pretty would be sitting on my kitchen counter! I totally adore and love your blog and your recipes!

    Keep em coming! Lylah
    la maison et le jardin

  24. This looks wonderful. I would like to make it with fromage blanc – how much would I need for the recipe? Thanks

  25. Hi Stephanie,
    If you use fromage blanc, substitute the yogurt and mascarpone with it. Make sure to buy 40% fromage blanc though, not fat free or 20%.

  26. site que je viens de decouvrir suite au reportage d’envoye speciale . Mais vous etes francaise, pourquoi ne publiez vous pas en francais en 1er car la translation de google laisse a desirer merci pour vos sublimes photos et recettes

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  28. Hi Greg,

    Yes, use the same quantity. And I’d recommend a simple pâte brisée for the crust, if you go with a wheat crust.

  29. Hi Béa! what a lovely website! :D

    I was wondering if can I use just plain yogurt instead sheep yogurt?
    thanks!

  30. I found whole fat fromage fraise at Waitrose (UK) and was very excited until I got home and realized it isn’t the same as fromage blanc. I wonder how it would work in this recipe though? I have goat yogurt but am not sure how to obtain sheep’s… Your photos are beautiful and the sheep are adorable =D

  31. Hello :) I fell in love with the recipe. I bought cheese that meets the description of the fromage blanc so I can’t wait to make it :) Still have to buy poppy seeds though but as I am in Poland, where it’s extremely popular, it shouldn’t be much of a problem ;) Best wishes :)

  32. I am the lucky one who lives in Belgium, and I would like to use fromage blanc ;-) How much should I use? 325 g?

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  34. I made this tart and my husband thought it was perfect and said that we should have this on Christmas Eve to celebrate our family’s French heritage! So lovely, thank you!

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