Mini Lemon Tarts

I had plans to do lots of wonderful baking this weekend.  And then I got really sick and spent the whole weekend in bed.  But here is a delicious lemon tart recipe and I hope later this week I will be able to get some more things baked for you.

Lemon tarts are so pretty and give a bright and delicious touch to gloomy January.
This is an easy crust to make.  Usually you have to cut the butter into the flour which adds an extra step but this is much easier.  It is good to chill it before you roll it out though; it makes it easier to handle.
I like to make everything miniature.  I like treats that are one or two bites so you can just pop them in your mouth. 
I made the crusts a little thick.  I didn't use up all the lemon curd.  They still tasted amazing though.
Lemon curd is so easy to make.  I use my lovely double boiler but you can put a stainless steel bowl over a pan of water too.  Just keep whisking so it cooks smoothly.  It seems like it takes a long time but it is really only 10 minutes.
See, they did puff a bit and were too thick.  It may be easier to make a big tart, the ratio of filling to crust is a bit better (since the filling is really the best part).  But I love my mini things and these were great, so enjoy!

Mini Lemon Tarts

3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
4 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. For lemon curd: In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, or a double boiler, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended.
2. Cook, whisking or stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes pale in color and quite thick (160 degrees F).  This will take about 10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest, cover, and let cool to room temperature before filling the pastry crust.
4. For sweet pastry crust: Place the butter in mixer and beat until softened.  Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the egg, beating just until incorporated.
5. Add flour and salt and mix lightly, just until you can form a ball.
6. Flatten dough into disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a circle about 1/8 inch thick.  To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll.
8. Use cooking spray to grease 24 mini cupcake tins (or use a 8-9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom). Cut circles slightly larger than the cupcake tins, a small juice glass is about the right size.  Lay each circle of dough over a cupcake cup and press gently into the tin.  Prick the bottom with a fork.
9. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes to chill the butter and to rest the gluten in the flour.
10. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is dry and lightly golden brown.  Remove crusts from tin and let cool completely, then fill with lemon curd.
From Joy of Baking

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1 comment:

  1. Yum, thanks for sharing! I made these for a friend's birthday and they turned out great. I've never made tart crust or curd before, but thanks to your photos and explanations, it was great :) Although I will say that my crusts were done in about 10 minutes (in case anyone else tries this)... and I noted your leftover curd comment and I made an extra 4" tart with the leftover crust and I STILL had extra curd.

    I plopped a blueberry in each of the tarts too and it was a great addition!

    So glad I found your blog :)