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mini lemon tarts

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Mini lemon tarts are bakery-style desserts that are quick and easy to make. Spoon lemon curd into freshly-baked pie shells. Garnish lemon tartlets with whipped cream and raspberries. The perfect spring and summer recipe!

PIN MINI LEMON TARTS

Mini Lemon Tarts garnished with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

There’s so much to love about these mini lemon tarts. You can choose to make them from scratch, or put them together quickly with the halfway-to-homemade option: 1 store-bought jar of lemon curd and 1 store-bought refrigerated pie crust. This post has directions for both of these methods.

Like chocolate ganache tarts, these mini lemon tarts have a gorgeous presentation. Serve them for special occasions: birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.

Add blueberries to the garnish of whipped cream and raspberries, and they instantly become a beautiful 4th of July dessert.

Lemon tartlets are also ideal for wedding showers, baby showers, teacher appreciation luncheons and retirement parties. Enjoy them for dinner parties and gatherings all summer long.

Lemon tartlets on a dessert table with fresh raspberries.

INGREDIENTS

Lemon Curd

HALFWAY TO HOMEMADE: Want to save time? Instead of making lemon curd from scratch, buy a jar of lemon curd at the market.

  • GRANULATED SUGAR: Provides sweetness for the lemon curd.
  • WHOLE EGG: Adds richness to the mixture.
  • EGG YOLKS: For even more richness. The yolks give the lemon curd its signature bright yellow color.
  • LEMON JUICE: Adds extra moisture to the mixture while giving it a bright lemony citrus flavor.
  • LEMON ZEST: Enhances the flavor of lemon.
  • BUTTER: Adds delicious creaminess, flavor, and a smooth satisfying mouthfeel. Use room temperature butter as it will incorporate more easily and smoothly into the mixture.
  • PURE VANILLA EXTRACT: Enhances sweetness and lemon flavor.
  • SEA SALT: Enhances the flavor of the recipe.
Ingredients for making lemon curd.

Mini Tart Shells

HALFWAY TO HOMEMADE: In a hurry? Instead of the ingredients for the mini tart shells below, feel free to substitute with 1 refrigerated pie crust.

  • ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR: This essential ingredient provides structure and strength for the pastry. It binds the other ingredients together.
  • POWDERED SUGAR: Adds sweetness to the tart shells, while also making the pastry lighter and a bit crisper than pie dough.
  • SEA SALT: This seasoning enhances the flavor of the mini tart shells.
  • BUTTER: Helps make the tart crust delicate and flaky, giving it a beautiful texture.
  • LARGE EGG YOLK: Adds fat which makes the pastry dough pliable and easy to handle. It also adds structure.
  • HEAVY CREAM: Adds richness and moisture to the recipe. It helps bind the ingredients together.
  • VANILLA EXTRACT: Adds fabulous flavor and aroma.

Whipped Cream

  • HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM: Is the primary ingredient for homemade whipped cream. For best results, chill the metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 15 minutes before whipping the cream.
  • POWDERED SUGAR: Adds sweetness to the whipped cream.
  • VANILLA EXTRACT: Adds beautiful flavor and aroma.

Berry Garnish

  • FRESH RASPBERRIES: If you don’t have raspberries on hand, garnish the mini lemon tarts with blueberries, blackberries or strawberries instead. If no fresh fruit, garnish with lemon zest and/or lime zest.
Ingredients for making mini lemon tartlets.

recipe steps

Lemon Curd

This homemade lemon curd is rich, thick, and refreshing.

  • STEP 1: In a small saucepan, add granulated sugar, large egg, and egg yolks. Whisk until mixture is well combined and pale yellow, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and lemon zest to the pan. Whisk to combine.
  • STEP 2: Set the pan over low heat. Cook, whisking constantly for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If after 5 minutes it’s still thin, raise heat to medium-low and continue whisking rapidly until it’s thick. It’s very important to keeping whisking the entire time to prevent the curd from scorching or curdling.
  • STEP 3: Once the lemon curd has thickened, remove the pan from heat. Add butter and vanilla extract. Whisk well to incorporate.
  • STEP 4: Pour lemon curd through a fine-mesh strainer to remove lemon zest and any bits of egg that may have scrambled during cooking.
  • STEP 5: Transfer lemon curd to a bowl. Cover the surface of the curd with a buttered piece of plastic wrap. Gently press down to make sure the plastic is touching the surface to block out all air. Refrigerate 2 hours or until completely cool.
Small saucepan with freshly-made lemon curd.

Mini Tart Shells

This homemade tart crust produces mini tart shells that are buttery, lightly sweet, golden blonde and flaky. However, if using a refrigerated pie crust skip down to the “halfway-to-homemade directions.”

  • STEP 1: In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse briefly to combine. Add butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Process until dough gathers into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix.
  • STEP 2: Tightly wrap dough in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour in the fridge.
  • STEP 3: Preheat oven to 375°F. Unwrap dough. Transfer it to a clean, lightly-floured work surface. Roll it to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 4 circles that are 3/4-inch larger than the base of your tartlet pans. (Cut one circle first. If it’s the perfect size, use it as a template for the others.)
  • STEP 4: While the pastry circles on your work surface, prick holes in the crust with a fork. Spray 4 tartlet pans with non-stick baking spray. Press crusts into the tart pans, removing any excess dough from edges.
Four mini tartlet pans with raw tart dough ready to bake in the oven.
  • STEP 5: Put parchment paper over each tart crust. Fill the centers with pie weights (or dry beans or rice).
  • STEP 6: Bake 12 minutes. Remove pie weights. Bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mini tart shells are golden blonde. Remove from oven. Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, remove the shells from pans.
Four mini tart shells cooling on a wire rack.

HALFWAY TO HOMEMADE DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 4 tartlet pans with non-stick cooking spray. Roll out refrigerated pie crust to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 4 circles 3/4-inch larger than the base of the tart pans. Prick the bottoms a few times with a fork. Press dough into pans and trim off any excess dough. Cover crusts with parchment paper. Fill middles with pie weights (or dry beans or rice). Bake 10 minutes. Remove weights. Bake 5 minutes more or until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Whipped Cream

RECIPE PREP: I recommend using an electric or stand mixer. Chill a metal mixing bowl and metal whip attachment in the freezer for 15 minutes.

  • STEP 1: Pour heavy whipping cream into the bowl. Beat the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  • STEP 2: Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Raise the speed to high. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Do not over mix.
  • STEP 3: If desired, transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with an open-star French tip of your choice (my favorite tips are by Ateco).

Assemble Mini Lemon Tarts

  • STEP 1: Spoon lemon curd into the center of the cooled tart shells.
Lemon curd spooned into the middle of 4 mini tart shells.
  • STEP 2: Spread or pipe whipped cream on top of the mini lemon tarts. Garnish with fresh raspberries. Serve immediately.
Four mini lemon tarts garnished with whipped cream and raspberries set on a metal rack.

RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions when making mini lemon tarts, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

WHAT’S THE BEST TARTLET PAN FOR THIS RECIPE?

Mini tartlet pans (4-inch diameter) with removable bottoms. I bought mine from King Arthur Flour. But later I found the exact same ones on Amazon at a much better price and with free Amazon Prime shipping.

WHY COVER THE SURFACE OF LEMON CURD WITH PLASTIC WRAP?

Lemon curd thickens as it cools. Plastic wrap applied directly to the surface of the curd will block out air and prevent a skin from forming.

HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP HOMEMADE LEMON CURD IN THE FRIDGE?

When placed in an airtight container and refrigerated, homemade lemon curd can last up to 4 weeks.

CAN MINI TART CRUSTS BE MADE IN ADVANCE?

Yes. Place the baked (unfilled) mini tart crusts in an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 5 days.

WHY PRICK TART CRUST WITH A FORK?

The small holes allow steam to escape in the oven which helps prevent the tart crust from rising up. Pie weights also assist in keeping the crust from popping up. In the case of mini tartlets, if the crusts rise up there won’t be enough room to add filling.

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER SCRAPS OF DOUGH?

Arrange dough scraps on a cookie sheet and bake. Enjoy them as shortbread cookies.

HOW TO STABILIZE WHIPPED CREAM SO IT DOESN’T GO FLAT?

Keep it from going flat with gelatin, instant pudding mix, cornstarch, cream of tartar, or powdered milk. Let sugargeekshow.com show you how: stabilized whipped cream. And thekitchen.com has additional methods to make whipped cream last longer.

WHEN RASPBERRIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE, WHAT TO USE INSTEAD?

For garnishing the tarts, use blueberries, blackberries or strawberries. For color and beauty, garnish with a combination of lemon and lime zest. Another option: mint leaves and edible flowers.

Overhead view of dessert table with mini lemon tarts garnished with whipped cream and raspberries.

MORE SPRING and summer DESSERTS

If you love these mini lemon tarts, then you’ll also enjoy these delicious spring and summer desserts. Each is a crowd pleaser that’s super easy to make. Print out your favorites for later, or pin them to Pinterest.

A homemade mini lemon tart with raspberries.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I recently made these lemon tartlets for a wedding shower. Guests were delighted with the beauty and taste of these delicious desserts. If you agree these lemon tarts are amazing, give them a 5-star rating in the comments.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Mini Lemon Tarts garnished with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

mini lemon tarts


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: Halfway to Homemade: 35 Minutes + Chill Time
  • Yield: 4 Mini Tarts 1x

Description

These mini lemon tarts are brimming with sunshine. Make the lemon tartlets from scratch, or use the halfway-to-homemade option with a refrigerated pie crust and store-bought lemon curd.


Ingredients

Units Scale

LEMON CURD*

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, or a bit more if desired

MINI TART SHELLS*

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

BERRY GARNISH

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

*HALFWAY TO HOMEMADE OPTION

  • 1 (raw) refrigerated pie crust, store-bought
  • 1 (12.7-ounce) jar Bonne Maman Lemon Curd

 


Instructions

LEMON CURD

If using store-bought lemon curd, you can skip these steps.

  1. In a small saucepan, add granulated sugar, salt, large egg, and egg yolks. Whisk until mixture is well combined and pale yellow, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and lemon zest to the pan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Set the pan over low heat. Cook, whisking constantly for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If after 5 minutes it’s still thin, raise heat to medium-low and continue whisking rapidly until it’s thick. It’s very important to keeping whisking the entire time to prevent the curd from scorching or curdling.
  3. Once the lemon curd has thickened, remove the pan from heat. Add butter and vanilla extract. Whisk well to incorporate.
  4. Pour lemon curd through a fine-mesh strainer to remove lemon zest and any bits of egg that may have scrambled during cooking.
  5. Transfer lemon curd to a bowl. Cover the surface of the curd with a buttered piece of plastic wrap. Gently press down to make sure the plastic is touching the surface to block out all air. Refrigerate 2 hours or until completely cool.

HOMEMADE MINI TART SHELLS

If using a refrigerated pie crust, see Notes for “halfway-to-homemade tart shells.”

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla. Process until dough gathers into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Do not over-mix.
  2. Tightly wrap dough in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour in the fridge.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Unwrap dough. Transfer it to a clean, lightly-floured work surface. Roll it to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 4 circles 3/4-inch larger than the base of your tartlet pans. (Cut one circle first. If it’s the perfect size, use it as a template for the others.)
  4. With the pastry circles on your work surface, prick holes in the middle of the dough with a fork. Spray 4 tartlet pans with non-stick baking spray. Press crusts into the tart pans, trimming off any excess dough. Place parchment paper over each tart crust. Fill the centers with pie weights (or dry beans or rice).
  5. Bake 12 minutes. Remove weights. Bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mini tart shells are golden blonde. Remove from oven. Cool on a wire rack. Remove shells from pans.

WHIPPED CREAM

Chill a metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 15 minutes.

  1. Pour heavy cream into the chilled mixing bowl. With an electric or stand mixer, beat cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Raise the speed to high. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Do not over mix.
  3. If desired, transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with an open-star French tip of your choice.

ASSEMBLE MINI LEMON TARTS

  1. Spoon lemon curd into the center of the cooled tart shells. 
  2. Spread or pipe whipped cream on top of the tarts. Garnish with fresh raspberries. Serve immediately.

Notes

HALFWAY-TO-HOMEMADE TART SHELLS: Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 4 tartlet pans with non-stick cooking spray. Roll out refrigerated pie crust to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 4 circles 3/4-inch larger than the base of the tart pans. Prick the pastry circles a few times with a fork. Press crusts into tart pans, trimming off any excess dough. Cover crusts with parchment paper. Fill middles with pie weights (or dry beans or rice). Bake 10 minutes. Remove weights. Bake 5 minutes more or until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.

NOTE ABOUT BUTTER: I use a high-quality butter (Tillamook sea salted extra creamy butter) for this recipe, plus I add 1/8 teaspoon salt to the mixture. But if you prefer, you can use unsalted butter and then adjust the salt to taste.

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER DOUGH SCRAPS: Arrange the scraps on a cookie sheet and bake. Enjoy them as shortbread cookies.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Chill Time: 2 Hours
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mini Lemon Tarts, Lemon Tarts, Lemon Tartlets, Lemon Curd Tarts

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

MINI LEMON TARTS > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Which method will you use to make this lemon tartlet recipe? From scratch or halfway to homemade? Share your thoughts on these mini lemon tarts in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

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