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Mini Lemon Tarts

Mini Lemon Tarts Recipe By: Cece Kirkwood This post may contain affiliate links.

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This is the summer of lemons. I don’t know what happened to my flavor palette recently but I do know that it is completely obsessed with lemons. And thus the mini lemon tarts recipe was born!

The crust for this tart is a buttery, flakey shortbread base that will fill your mouth with warmth. And the creamy tart filling is as my husband describes it – “sweet lemony perfection”.

The wonderful thing about tarts is that if you have a great recipe for a tart crust, you can easily make any fruit flavor filling. So head out to the farmer’s market or grocery store and grab some fresh lemons and let’s bake! 

The Process 

Prepare Your Work Station & Mix Together the Crust Dough

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and pre-measure all the ingredients.

You’ll first combine the melted butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl using a rubber spatula. Once everything dissolves into the melted butter, add the flour and salt to combine. The dough will be a little buttery and greasy when complete, but don’t worry, that’s how it should be.

Fill the Tart Molds and Complete the First Bake

Evenly divide the dough into the mini tart molds (no need to grease the pans). Use your fingers to press the dough out and up the rim of the pan. 

If you are using rubber tart molds, I suggest placing a small piece of parchment paper on top of the crust and filling it with uncooked beans or rice. This will stop the tart from bubbling up and creating a dome like structure in the center of the crust. This step is called a blind bake.

If you do not have pie weights, just be aware the pie crust may puff up a bit. Check out my tips to see how to ensure a properly baked tart.*

Then immediately place into the oven for 11-13 minutes, until the crust is just barely golden.

Prepare the Mini Lemon Tarts Filling

While the tart crusts bake, make the filling by whisking together the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolk.

Once the tarts come out of the oven, remove the parchment paper and beans. Then, using a fork, poke several holes into the base of the crust. This will help the crust absorb the tarts filling without leaving a soggy bottom! 

Pour the filling into the warm tart crusts and spread the filling around to evenly coat the base of the tart molds.

Next, dollop a spoonful of the strawberry preserves into each mini tarts. Then, use a toothpick to swirl everything around.

Final Bake & Enjoy

Place the tarts into the oven for 17 minutes or until the middle of the tarts do not jiggle when lightly tapped. Be careful not to overbake the tarts as you don’t want things to be rubbery.

Let the tarts cool at room temp fully and then place into the fridge for at least two hours.

Finally, devour!

The Tips 

HELP! My tarts puffed up in the center after the first bake! 

No worries. If you are using a silicone baking mold, that can happen. Silicone isn’t super breathable so sometimes the dough can puff up a little bit during that first bake. There are two things you can do about this…

  1. Prevent it from the start with a blind bake. If you have some extra parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans – then you can weigh the pie crust down while baking it, just like you would a pie. Before putting the tarts in the oven the first time, simply place a little bit of parchment paper on top of each tart base. Then fill them up with the weights and bake away. After the first bake, remove the parchment paper and weights and continue on with the directions.
  2. No pie weights, no problem. Bake the tart crust as directed and then as soon as they come out of the oven for that first bake, use a spoon to gently push the warm pie crust center down flat. Then, continue on with the baking directions. 

Can I make these mini tarts as one big tart instead? 

Absolutely! If you are looking for one big delicious tart, instead of several small ones, simply place all the tart dough in one large 9″ tart pan and bake the same way. She is delightfully delicious in both ways. 

How long does the tart last in the fridge?

These starts will remain happy for up to 3 days in an air tight container in the fridge. Do not store them at room temperature once cooled after baking.

Can I make this gluten free?

Yes! Simply replace the flour in this tart with 1:1 gluten free flour. My favorite is Bob’s Mills or King Arthur’s 1:1 Gluten Free Flour. No need to adjust anything else! 

Why is this recipe in grams? 

Baking is a science and in science you want things to be exact and precise. The best way to do this is by weighing out your ingredients using a simple scale. Ever baked a cookie using the same recipe, yet somehow it turns out slightly different each time? That is because when measuring by volume, you can’t be as precise. It is vital that your ingredient ratios are accurate for a reliable bake every time.

Photo of mini trts in a large silver tray

The Mini Lemon Tarts Recipe

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Mini Lemon Tarts

  • Author: Cece
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 50 min
  • Yield: 9 Tarts 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Crust:

  • 115g unsalted butter, melted
  • 65g powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 180g all purpose flour 

Filling:

  • 14 ounce can condensed milk
  • 90 ml Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 large Egg Yolk 
  • Optional Topping & Swirl: Strawberry Preserves

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Combine the melted butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl using a rubber spatula. 
  • Then add in the flour and salt and combine. The dough will be a little buttery and greasy but don’t worry, that’s how it should be!
  • Evenly divide the dough into the mini tart molds (no need to grease the pans). Use your fingers to press the dough out and up the rim of the pan. 
  • If you are using rubber tart molds, I suggest placing a small piece of parchment paper on top of the crust and filling it with uncooked beans or rice. This will stop the tart from bubbling up and creating a dome like structure in the center of the crust. This step is called a blind bake.
  • If you do not have pie weights, just be aware the pie crust may puff up a bit. Check out my tips to see how to ensure a properly baked tart.*
  • Then immediately place into the oven for 11-13 minutes, until the crust is just barely golden.
  • While that bakes, make the filling by whisking together the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolk.
  • Once the tarts come out of the oven, remove the parchment paper and beans. Then, using a fork, poke several holes into the base of the crust. This will help the crust absorb the tarts filling without leaving a soggy bottom! 
  • Pour the filling into the warm tart crusts and spread the filling around to evenly coat the base of the tart molds.
  • Next, dollop a spoonful of the strawberry preserves into each mini tart. Then, use a toothpick to swirl everything around.
  • Place the tarts into the oven for 17 minutes or until the middle of the tarts do not jiggle when lightly tapped. Be careful not to overbake the tarts as you don’t want things to be rubbery.
  • Let the tarts cool at room temp fully and then place into the fridge for at least two hours.
  • Finally, devour!

 

Notes

Special equipment: mini tart pans or one large tart pan & pie weights

*No pie weights, no problem. Bake the tart crust as directed and then as soon as they come out of the oven for that first bake, use a spoon to gently push the warm pie crust center down flat. Then, continue on with the baking directions.

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