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.
- 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
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
*HALFWAY TO HOMEMADE OPTION
- 1 (raw) refrigerated pie crust, store-bought
- 1 (12.7-ounce) jar Bonne Maman Lemon Curd
If using store-bought lemon curd, you can skip these steps.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the lemon curd has thickened, remove the pan from heat. Add butter and vanilla extract. Whisk well to incorporate.
- Pour lemon curd through a fine-mesh strainer to remove lemon zest and any bits of egg that may have scrambled during cooking.
- 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.”
- 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.
- Tightly wrap dough in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour in the fridge.
- 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.)
- 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).
- 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.
Chill a metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Pour heavy cream into the chilled mixing bowl. With an electric or stand mixer, beat cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Raise the speed to high. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Do not over mix.
- If desired, transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with an open-star French tip of your choice.
ASSEMBLE MINI LEMON TARTS
- Spoon lemon curd into the center of the cooled tart shells.
- Spread or pipe whipped cream on top of the tarts. Garnish with fresh raspberries. Serve immediately.
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