By Adrianne Jamieson
A few months back, I got one of the Woolies Fresh magazines which had an awesome recipe for Mini Lemon Tarts with Meringue Caps. I did make them at the time and whilst it took me 2 goes to get the hang of the lemon curd, I succeeded in the end. Since then I have wanted to make them again but with a few slight variations.
One was that I wanted to make a ‘chocolate’ pastry instead of a vanilla one and the second was that I wanted to top them with a fresh raspberry instead of the meringue as whilst delicious, I felt that I needed more of a balance between sugar elements in the dish.
I made these earlier today and I was quite happy with the results. There were a few tiny things I might adjust for next time, but overall I was quite satisfied with my efforts.
I love that these are bite size and you can almost pop the whole little tart in your mouth in one go and get the combination of the chocolate pastry, with the lemon curd and the raspberry all at once – yum!
Chocolate Pastry Ingredients
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1/3 cup sifted icing sugar
1 tbs sifted cocoa
140g butter, diced
1 tsp vanilla extract
Lemon Curd Ingredients
2 large eggs
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
Punnet fresh raspberries
Chocolate Pastry Method
- Sift flour, icing sugar and cocoa and put into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the butter and use a hand held beater to mix the ingredients together
- Whisk one egg and add ½ of it to the mixing bowl
- Add the vanilla and keep mixing
- When the ingredients are mixed together well and there is no big chunks of butter, lay a piece of glad wrap on the bench.
- Take the bowl and transfer the mixture onto the gladwrap
- Move the sides of the wrap up and around the pastry, you will notice that it sticks together well and you can role it into a solid shape.
- Put the pastry in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, take the pastry out and role into into a flat sheet, approximately 4mm high. I like to use glad wrap on both the top and bottom of the pastry and use a rolling pin to flatten the mix.
Image 1: How I roll my pastry (gladwrap on top and bottom)
Cooking the tart cups
- Turn the oven on to 180 degrees.
- Spray a mini muffin tin with oil
- Once the pastry is rolled out, use a 5-6cm cookie cutter and cut 20-24 circles, depending on how many muffins your tray holds
- Put the pastry circles into the muffin tin and prick them with a fork.
- Put them in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Once cooked, take them out of the oven and leave them to fully cool down before filling with the curd.
Lemon Curd Method
- Put a small saucepan on the stove and add 2 egg yolks and the ½ remaining egg from the pastry mix.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice and rind.
- Turn on the stove, but down low (you don’t want to cook the eggs)
- Use a whisk and continuously mix the ingredients, keeping an eye on the edges of the saucepan to make sure that the eggs are not ‘cooking’ and becoming fried.
- Keep whisking, this will take up to 10 minutes and it may seem like it will not thicken but then all of a sudden it will, so keep going until it gets nice and thick to the texture of custard.
- Carefully taste the mixture without burning your finger, if the lemon flavour is not strong enough, add more lemon juice. (I love a nice strong flavour)
- Keep whisking until the texture and flavour is to your likening.
- Transfer the mix into a small bowl, cover with gladwrap and put in the fridge
Filling the tarts
- Once both the shells and the curd are fully cooled, you can fill the shells with the lemon curd using a teaspoon.
- Top each tart with a fresh raspberry
The things that I have found could go wrong with this recipe and to watch out for are:
- Cooking the pastry for too long and burning it
- Having the heat too high on the stove top and cooking the eggs in the curd (you will see this mistake easily, if you make it like I did in the beginning, tip out that curd, rinse the saucepan and start again, we are all human and the results will be good) The 1st time I made it I had huge chunks of cooked egg in the curd and I was like, what in the world is that. But I was patient with myself and nailed it on the 2nd attempt. The flavour was also better as I had an understanding of the technique and then could play around with the strength of the lemon flavor.
Image 3: Mini Raspberry Lemon Curd Tarts