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Mini Lemon Tarts

May 27, 2013
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If you haven’t visited King Arthur Flour’s recipe collection, you’ve really been missing out.  First of all, I usually have luck with the flavor and quality of their recipes.  Second of all–and this is a godsend for those of us who can no longer bake with volumetric measurements, which I lovingly refer to as “cups & stuff”–every recipe appears (1) volumetrically, (2) in pounds and ounces, and (3) in grams.  Woah, baby.

This particular recipe was requested by some family members who love lemon, and it turned out really nicely.  As someone who grew up on bottled lemon juice, I’m here to tell you: freshly-squeezed lemon juice and zest make all the difference, especially in a recipe with as few ingredients as this one.

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If your mini muffin pan is nonstick, you don’t even have to spray it; as long as you’re careful not to over-fill the tart shells, these little guys pop right out.

The dough puffs quite a bit, so you should roll the dough pretty thinly.  I used this cutter because it was the one I had on hand, but a slightly larger one–2 3/4″, as the recipe specifies–would have worked better.

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See how my dough comes up a little short in the tin?  If your dough comes all the way to the top of the muffin tin, you’ll have a better ratio of crust to filling.  I also had some filling left at the end, which probably wouldn’t have happened if I had cut the circles slightly larger.

In short: do as I say, not as I do.  Follow the instructions in the recipe, and you’ll be fine.

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Even though citrus fruits are typically associated with winter, lemon seems to hold a special place in springtime recipes, when cherries, apricots, and peaches are right around the corner.  Cheers to a lovely Memorial Day and an even lovelier summer.  Enjoy!

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Mini Lemon Tarts

From King Arthur’s recipe.  I made it in grams, but you can refer to their recipes for pounds/ounces or volume measurements

Crust:

85 g cream cheese, softened

85 g unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

92 g all-purpose flour

Filling:

113 g fresh lemon juice, about 2 ea

1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest

206 g granulated sugar

3 large eggs

76 g sour cream (I used fat-free, and it worked fine)

1. Make the crust: Mix together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and salt until smooth.  Add the flour and mix gently until the dough is cohesive.  Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until it is stiff enough to roll out.

2. Make the filling: Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, and sugar.  Whisk in the eggs, then the sour cream.  To make it easier to fill the tarts, I would suggest transferring the filling to a pitcher.

3. Assemble your mini tarts: On a floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8″.

4. Using a 2 3/4″ round cutter, cut out 24 circles.  You can press the dough back together and re-roll it as necessary, but you should re-roll as little as possible.

5. Preheat the oven to 375º.

6. Transfer the dough circles to the mini muffin cups, pressing into the corners and up the sides of each cup.

7. Pour the filling into each of the tart shells until it nearly reaches the rim of the cup.  If you overfill the tarts, the filling will bake onto the pan and become very difficult to remove, so be careful!

8. Bake the tarts for 28-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling has set.

9. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the tarts to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a rack to cool completely.  If desired, you can dust them with confectioner’s sugar just before serving.

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