Luscious Lemon Tartlets- A mouthful of Scrumptious!

Remember the lemon curd? I said I was going to make a shortbread tart to put it in. Tonight I used the Barefoot Contessa recipe to make tartlets . Instead of making one big tart, I used my muffin pans to make mini tart shells and it was so easy I had to share this. Besides lemon curd, this shell would be delicious with almost any filling including berries. Here’s her recipe:

For the tart shell:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup sugar  (I substituted Splenda and cut down the baking time)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

I found the dough to be drier than I liked so I added about 4 tbs cold milk until it was malleable.


Mix the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until they are just combined (I used my regular Sunbeam hand mixer. It gets a little bogged down at time but still works ok). Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift  together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the doug starts to come together (This is where I added a little milk). Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Press the dough into a 10-inch-round or 9-inch-square false-bottom  tart pan, making sure that the finished edge is flat. Chill until firm.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter 1 side of a square of aluminum foil to fit inside the chilled tart and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. Fill with beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans , prick the tart all over with the tines of a fork, and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Now that’s for making one tart. since lemon curd is so rich, I wanted to make little tarts. After I formed the dough, I put it in the fridge to cool. Then  I made round balls with the cooled pastry and mushed each ball into the bottom of a muffin pan. I formed the sides and this amount made 12 small muffin sized shells. I sprayed Baker’s Pam on the bottoms of cupcake papers and pressed a paper inside each shell. Then I weighted each one with ceramic beans I have . After the first 20 minutes, I lifted the cupcake papers with the beans right out, no problem,  pricked the shells and finished the baking . It WORKED PERFECTLY!!!!! The added benefit was that the cupcake papers left the corragated impression in the dough- very neat!

I buried a maraschino cherry at the bottom of each shell and filled them with lemon curd. My taste tester tried one and she was in deep love!