A rich lemon filling topped with a fresh sweetened whipped cream and a candied lemon slices make these tartlets a special sweet treat!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups unsalted butter, very cold, cubed
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 recipe Lemon Filling (recipe follows)
- 1 recipe Sweetened Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
- 1 recipe Candied Lemon Slices (recipe follows)
- Spray 12 (3½-inch) tartlet pans* lightly with baking spray. Place tartlet pans on a rimmed baking sheet.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, and salt, plusing to blend. Add cold butter, pulsing until it resembles peas. Add very cold water, pulsing until a dough forms.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 2 portions, and shape each portion into a disc. Wrap each portion securely in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Working with only one portion at a time, unwrap and place dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Using a 4½-inch round cutter, cut 12 rounds from dough, rerolling scraps once. Being careful not to stretch dough, center a dough round atop each prepared tartlet pan. Lightly press dough rounds into bottoms of tartlet pans, and stand dough up against sides of pans. Using a rolling pin, roll over tops of tartlet pans to trim excess dough. Using large end of a chopstick, press dough into indentations in sides of tartlet pans. Place tartlet pans in freezer for 15 minutes.
- Coat a 9x12-inch piece of foil with softened butter. Cut foil into 12 (3-inch) squares. Place a foil square, butter side down, in center of each prepared tartlet pan, and place cera-mic pie weights or dried beans atop each foil square.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove pie weights and foil. Using a fork, prick bottoms of tartlet shells.
- Bake until light golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Let cool completely before carefully removing tartlet shells from pans.
- Divide Lemon Filling among tartlet shells. Place tartlets in a single layer in a covered container, and refrigerate until cold, approximately 2 hours.
- Garnish with Sweetened Whipped Cream and Candied Lemon Slices, if desired.
*We used Gobel 3.5-inch nonstick tartlet pans, available from Sur la Table.
Yield: 1½ cups
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and salt, whisking well.
- Very slowly add butter in small amounts to egg mixture, whisking constantly so eggs don’t curdle.
- Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, approximately 10 minutes. If mixture begins to scorch, lower heat. (Thickened mixture should coat back of the spoon and hold when finger is drawn through mixture.)
- Pour mixture though a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover, and refri-gerate until needed, up to a day.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Yield: 2 cups
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed with a mixer until thickened.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until needed.
Candied Lemon Slices
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 12 very thin (⅛-inch thick) lemon slices
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper.
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Cook over medium-high heat just until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, and add lemon slices. Cook until lemon slices are shiny and translucent, approximately 10 minutes.
- Lay lemon slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Let cool to room temperature. Just before using, blot lemon slices with paper towels, and form into ruffled shapes.
Make-Ahead Tip: Make Candied Lemon Slices up to a day ahead. Reserve syrup after removing lemon slices to baking sheet to cool. Combine cooled syrup and cooled slices, and store in a covered container in the refrigerator until needed. Blot and shape slices just before using.