Lovely Lemon Tartlets

Going for a walk in the sunshine today, I couldn’t help but pause to admire all of the wildflowers edging the path. From beach roses to snapdragons, each fragrant bloom captured the essence of easy late July days. These tartlets are like summer wildflowers… bold, sweet, and simple, they’re summer in a dessert.


The tart shell is flaky, buttery, and melts in your mouth. If you don’t have small tartlet molds, this simple crust recipe will work perfectly in the same quantity to line a full-sized tart.


The filling is tart and sharp, but the powdered sugar dusted on top cuts into the tang. Think sour lemonade or sour gummy candy – it’s not like eating a fresh lemon, but there’s definitely a bright, flavorful kick.


To decorate, I thinly sliced a lemon and then cut the sliced rounds in two, forming half-circles. I then placed them rind-to-rind across the top of the tartlets, as you can see, and their perfect fit across the tartlet width delighted my perfectionist mind. Adding a small touch like sliced lemons or a dusting of powered sugar (or both), I find, elevates a dessert from looking messily homemade to bakery-quality. The fanciness is in the finishing!


Don’t forget to stop and smell the wildflowers… or stop and bake the tartlets, up to you.



Lovely Lemon Tartlets

Adapted from Minimally Invasive

Prep time: 20 minutes (plus 30 minutes of cooling & 2 hours of setting)

Cook time: 13 minutes

Yield: 4 tartlets (4-inches in diameter)


For the tartlet crusts

  • 2 tablespoons almonds (raw, unsalted, with skins)
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 stick butter, cold, cut into small cubes (1/4 cup; 4 tablespoons)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons citrus-infused olive oil (lemon, lime, orange… or sub plain olive oil and add a pinch of lemon zest to the oil)

For the lemon curd filling

  • 3 lemons for:
    • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
    • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs & 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into small cubes (1/4 cup; 4 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons citrus-infused olive oil (*see substitution note above)

To bake

  1. Preheat your oven to 425*F, and lightly grease four 4-inch diameter tartlet tins with cooking spray.
  2. In your food processor, pulse together the almonds, flour, and salt until even-textured. Drop in the butter pieces and pulse again until the mixture resembles sand and contains some pea-sized butter lumps. Add the egg yolk and oil, and pulse until just combined.
  3. Evenly distribute the dough among the tartlet tins and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. While chilling, make the lemon curd filling. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, sugar, cornstarch, eggs, and egg yolks. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil, whisking, for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the stove and whisk in the butter and oil until smooth.
  6. Bake the tartlet crusts for 13 minutes, or until golden-brown, and allow them to cool completely before popping them out of the tins and filling.
  7. Decorate with lemon slices or powdered sugar, and allow the filled tartlets to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.

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