Flower shaped Mini Lemon Curd Tarts

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Mini Lemon Tarts

I am currently in the process of making Limoncello… which takes 80 days.   After zesting about 15 lemons for that recipe (check back in 80 days for results), I had 15 lemons worth of juice.  My husband got sick of drinking lemon drop martinis, so I made lemon curd with the remaining juice.  Now I have an overabundance of lemon curd – so I guess it’s time to make some lemon tarts!

I bought mini tart shell molds at Bed Bath and Beyond, for about 30 cents each… but after peeling and scraping all the price tags off the bottom of each one, I was a little tired, and didn’t feel like rolling out dough and making individual tart shells.  (Why do they have to put super sticky paper stickers on the bottoms of each tart shell???  Why??!!!!?!)  I had some pre-packaged pie crust in the refrigerator, and in my lazy mood, decided to use that instead to make the tart shells.  I used a flower shaped cookie cutter to punch out the unbaked pie crust, and arranged the flower shaped dough “cookies” in a mini muffin pan to make the tarts look more decorative ( vs. standard pastry rounds haphazardly crammed into the mini muffin tin).

My mini tarts turned out really cute, and I’m really happy with how easy it was.  In the future, I might use this method again to make mini-tart shells… but I prefer the taste of homemade pastry over the store bought crust which is rather bland.

UPDATE 9/17/2013:  Several people have sent me messages asking for a lemon curd recipe.  I do have a step by step recipe for lemon curd (you could also make lime curd) that I have posted.  (The lemon curd recipe can be cut in half.)

For alternate filling ideas (chocolate ganache, cheesecake cream, etc.), see my post on homemade Mini Tart Desserts.  

If you would like to make your own pie crust and roll it out, try my pastry recipe for tart shells.

Mini Lemon Tarts:

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 1 jar lemon curd
  • 1 T. powdered sugar

Hardware:

  • mini muffin pan
  • flower shaped cookie cutter

1.  Unroll the pie crust.  Cut out as many flowers as possible.  Re-roll the scraps and cut more flowers, you should be able to get 12 flower shaped dough pieces.

2.  Center each flower over a mini muffin depression.  Fold alternate petals inward, and gently push the dough down into the bottom.

3.  Gently push the outer petals against the muffin pan sides, then push the inner 3 petals against the sides and outer 3 petals.  You will end up with a flower shaped unbaked tart shell.

4.  Prick each of the bottoms of the unbaked dough shells with a fork, twice.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown.  Remove to a plate.

5.  Fill each shell with a few teaspoons of lemon curd.

6.  Dust the powdered sugar over the tops.  Voila!  A fancy dessert that is cute, and very simple to make.  (A variety of fillings that would also work:  nutella, jam, vanilla pudding or custard topped with berries… the possibilities are endless!)

Comments

  1. TK says:

    I randomly found this recipe while Image-Googling “Flower Side Bun Hairstyle” and I’m so glad your pictures came up in the search! I am absolutely giving this a try. Very clever!

  2. TK says:

    Lovely idea want to try this for my daughters 5 bday party.

  3. Buenisima idea

  4. Amy says:

    Hi Mika,
    How big is your cookie cutter ? ( diameter size)

    • Mika Mika says:

      My flower shaped cookie cutter is somewhere around 4 inches in diameter. The one I use came from a 101 piece Wilton Cookie Cutter set – it’s a pretty good deal because you get a variety of shapes for multiple occasions for only $12 or so:

      Wilton Cookie Cutter Set

  5. Mint says:

    Hi Mika.
    Thanks for the recipe and the tutorial :) I did and I`m very happy :)
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/203/mpwr.jpg/
    Dzikuje i serdecznie pozdrawiam!

  6. Nancy says:

    Adorable,,,how did you get the powdered sugar on just the petals and not on the filling?

  7. CMS says:

    where can I find the recipe for the lemon curd?

  8. Hinda says:

    This sounds wonderful but my kids are not into lemon (I love lemon tarts). Can it be substituted with chocolate or pumpkin pie filling? If so, do you have a recipe to recommend?
    Thanks

  9. Veronica says:

    What an intelligent idea! Gorgeous! Love it !

  10. Liz McLaughlin says:

    I have no idea how to make lemon curd. Help!!!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Could you use pumpkin filing

    • Mika Mika says:

      Yes, absolutely! However, I would pre-bake the tart shells first, then fill them with cooked pumpkin pie filling. (Just make your favorite pumpkin pie recipe without the pie crust. Then, use a large open star tip to pipe the cooked pumpkin pie filling into the shells.) If you need a recipe for pumpkin pie filling, I will be posting one pretty soon.

  12. salma says:

    I love it ^_^

  13. Kathy says:

    do you flour or spray the muffin pan before putting down the pie dough?

    • Mika Mika says:

      If your mini muffin pan is non-stick, then no, you don’t have to. However, if you don’t have a non-stick pan, then you might want to spray it first. :)

      • noel says:

        hi, great idea. I tried them but i don’t think that i have the right mini muffin pan size as mine the flower come bigger on top. what size is your muffin tray please.

        • Mika Mika says:

          I use a regular sized cupcake pan. If your flowers are too big, then maybe try a smaller cookie cutter.

          • arline says:

            I’m a little confused; your recipe says to use a mini muffin pan, but just above here you say that you use a regular sized cupcake pan. Which is correct? And earlier when you said you used a cookie cutter that was about 4″ in diameter, was that actually for a REGULAR sized cupcake pan and NOT the mini pan as you originally stated?

            • Mika Mika says:

              Sorry for the confusion – I thought it was understood since I was replying to a question from someone who was referring to my comment on mini muffin pans. I meant a regular sized mini-muffin or mini-cupcake pan. There is a regular/standard muffin sized pan, and also a regular/standard sized mini muffin pan. So it’s a regular sized MINI muffin or MINI cupcake pan – see the photos above.

  14. Cyndy Sandlin says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe/tutorial :) I am a total lemon person so will be making these and the Lemon Curd recipe as well. You are amazing!!

    Cyndy

  15. Trinette Easton says:

    Love your recipes keep sharing them

  16. ROSSY says:

    HOLA… LA RECETA ESTA PADRISIMA PERO ¿COMO SE HACE LA CORTEZA DE PASTEL? O EN DONDE PUEDO CONSEGUIRLA?

  17. Denise W says:

    WOW, even me that don’t cook or bake very often I think I can do this, I have a jar of lemon curd also, but when I saw the pumpkin one, O-YES! so many things to put in it, THANK THANK YOU–O yea been on your site for 2 hrs, now hungrey, :-)

  18. Stephanie says:

    CUTE !!! I love this ideas and i’m going to make some for christmas I think. How awesome are these little things. Curious on how you got the icing sugar to stick to the crust…. you dusted them before filing the tarts right?

    • Mika Mika says:

      Actually, I filled the tarts first… then I dusted with powdered sugar. The sugar melts into the filling, so it becomes transparent there. Otherwise the powdered sugar sticks to the pastry crust all by itself. :)

  19. A Greenwald says:

    How did the Lemoncello taste? Is there a recipe?

  20. Donna Galloway Bridges says:

    I am making these for my daughters wedding reception on Saturday… to go along with the cookie bar, they are absolutely DARLING and I think they will just be adorable! Thank you!

    • Shannon says:

      Donna: How did these go? How far in advance did you make them? I want to make them for our vow renewal in two weeks but want to do as much as possible ahead of time.

  21. Lilly says:

    Thank you for this great tutorial.I’m planning on making this for my 50′s birthday. Can I make the tarts two or tree days before? Will they stay crisp? Thank you!!!

  22. Anna says:

    I am trying a savory version of this. Using crescent dough, dropping a square of Gouda cheese and the covering with a homemade cranberry sauce. I will let you know if it works.

  23. Daniela says:

    Thank you for the idea! I will do them for Christmas, they are beautiful and tasty for sure :) can not wait…

  24. Jodi says:

    Can’t wait to try these. Found some strawberry rhubarb filling on closeout today at Kroger by the lemon curd, so I’m going to try it with that! Hope to make these for a sweet treat for our Super Bowl Party!

  25. Dutch-glory says:

    Hi, Great idea, could you please advise the recipe for making the pie crust,
    thank you in advance

  26. Ramona says:

    This is such a great idea! I will definitely be giving this a try :)

  27. Lauren Given says:

    I was thinking of trying this idea with Pillsbury seamless pastry sheets and canned pie filling for a last minute quick idea. Served with a dollop of flavored whip cream. Would this work? Cookie cutter found in Easter aisle of Walmart.

    • Mika Mika says:

      Maybe? Pastry sheets… so you mean puff pastry? Anything more bread like or like puff pastry may puff up during baking and not give you much of a pocket to put any filling… but you can always try it and see if it works?

  28. nancy says:

    why can’t you just use lemon pie filling?

  29. Maricar says:

    Can you use sugar cookie dough instead of the pie crust and make fruit tarts instead?

    • Mika Mika says:

      It depends on the dough. Many cookie doughs will have a tendency to spread when baking, so you might end up with a much more messy looking tart. Chilled rolled cookie dough might give you the best shot… but I’m not sure since I’ve never made it that way.

    • Lauren says:

      The Pillsbury sheets did not work too well as they puffed up too much. But in theory this is a great idea.

  30. Lindsey says:

    Quick question: Did you spray your muffin tin before you put the pie crust in there?

    • Mika Mika says:

      No, I did not… my mini muffin pan has a non-stick coating, and there is usually enough fat in pastry crust to make a greasing step unnecessary.

  31. They are so loveli!

  32. jean says:

    I bought some good quality frozen pie crust, but it puffed up like puff pastry, even though I pricked it with a fork. Is there a brand of frozen crust that you can recommend?

    • Mika Mika says:

      I don’t recall what brand I bought… I think it might have been store brand. Often, I will make my own pie crust. Just make sure you dock it well so that it doesn’t puff up. If all else fails, you can fill the mini tarts with pie weights to keep it down.

  33. Jacquie says:

    Looks like Michelle Phan took your idea without crediting the source. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0WCCyBWGVM&feature=youtu.be

  34. Kristn says:

    How far ahead of time could I fill these without them getting soggy? I am making the cups & lemon curd and pastry cream for mini fruit tarts today and was going to pipe the fillings in tomorrow but don’t know how early I can fill/store them before we eat around noon. Ideas?

    • Mika Mika says:

      I think you can prepare all the ingredients ahead of time, then fill them the morning of your event. Making the tart shells is the most time consuming part. Piping and filling shouldn’t take too long as long as you have all the ingredients prepped in advance.

  35. Dianne says:

    Just baked a test batch of tarts. Failure. All the tarts stuck, the petals fell off. Am not sure what to do next time is ticking!

    • Mika Mika says:

      Is your pan non-stick? Maybe your tarts are underbaked. What kind of dough did you use? You need to use a pie crust dough that has a fair amount of fat in it – in the pictures above, I used refrigerated pie crust dough. When you place the dough into the depressions of the mini muffin pan, be gentle and don’t press it up against the sides.

  36. Loreen says:

    I want to make mini tartlets for an appetizer but I want a flower for that and I don’t have tartlet pans. Can I spray a regular muffin tin well and only put the dough a little bit up the side or line it with foil?
    Thank you

    • Mika Mika says:

      Are you saying that you have a regular sized muffin pan, but not a mini muffin pan? You can make these tartlets in a larger muffin pan, but you might need to make them a bit bigger for the same effect. If you use the smaller sized flowers and only go half way up a regular muffin pan – the problem is the bottom is too large and the petals won’t spread out, so it will not look the same. You can certainly try it, though, and see if you are happy with the way it looks. (Also it might be hard to remove).

      • Johni says:

        Hi,
        Sorry for the typo, I don’t want the flower. I do have regular size muffin pan but not a tart pan with the removable bottom. Well I still be able to just spray the pan n not ppt the dough all the way up the sides in order to make my trays?
        Thank you

        • Mika Mika says:

          OK… so I’m not sure what you are asking since you are commenting on my “flower shaped mini lemon curd tart” recipe. If I am understanding correctly – you want to make mini tarts, but NOT in a flower shape, and you don’t have a tart pan or a mini muffin pan?

          If you are looking to make open tarts in a regular sized muffin pan – I don’t have any recipes for this. Can you do it? Probably. Will it look nice? I don’t know. You might also have a problem removing them from the muffin pan.

          I do have a recipe for mini PIES (with pastry to cover the top) using muffin pans – these look better and come out nicer because they have a top pastry connected to the sides. You probably can’t use it for lemon curd – you would have to use a more solid filling like apple.
          http://www.the350degreeoven.com/2011/05/pastries-pies/mini-apple-pies-tarts/

          You can also buy a mini tartlet pan (which is much easier) if you are looking to make mini tarts – these come out really pretty:
          http://www.the350degreeoven.com/2013/09/pastries-pies/homemade-mini-tartlet-desserts-how-to-make-mini-tarts/

          If you don’t want either of the above, the easiest way of making mini tarts using a muffin pan is to use a cookie cutter in a flower shape and proceed as suggested in the recipe above… these are the easiest to remove from the pan and look the nicest. But make sure that your flower is large enough to cover the opening as the picture in step 3 shows.

        • Johni says:

          We are totally miscommunicating. Do I have to have a muffin pan where the bottom circle comes out or can I use a well sprayed muffin pan of the size of my choice?

          • Mika Mika says:

            If you are looking to make the flower shaped tarts (as in the recipe above), you simply use a regular mini muffin pan – removable bottom not needed. :)

  37. Mad Margaret says:

    I love this recipe. Thank you so much. Obviously so many other people also love it because I’ve seldom seen so many comments, all good, for any recipe.

    These are darling and were a great hit. I am right now making lime curd muffin cups because I had no lemons and the lovely neighbor behind me has a lime tree. Part of it drips into my yard and sprinkles limes on the ground for me. Can’t wait to taste this.

    Thanks, Mad Maggie

  38. Lauren says:

    Yes I use a muffin tin. Just be sure to cut the piecrust into flower shape with a cookie cutter (found a very inexpensive one at Walmart) and let the edges of the petals flop over the top edges.

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