Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lemon Cheese Tarts


I had a bit of fun playing with pie pastry when I was making there tarts, but if you do not have time for that, you can use purchased frozen tarts. They work very well too. These "sweet" little lemon tarts
tell someone that you wanted to make something special for them.

Ingredients:

Crust: (or you favorite - great options on this blog)
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups shortening
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Lemon Cheese:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks (yolk determines final color- free range eggs have darker yolks)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice ( about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup butter
Method:

Crust:
  1. Cut shortening into flour and salt until crumbly. Stir in water, using fork and stir until combined. Shape into ball with a gentle quick knead. Divide in half. Roll out thinner than for pie crust.
  2. Each half should make about 10 - 12 tarts. To determine the size of cutter, measure the tart/muffin cup, going down, across and up. I used mini tins and the cut-outs a little larger than the measurement. This allowed for a bit of folding to create the flower effect, which is totally optional. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes.
 Lemon Cheese:
  1. In a small pot, mix sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks until well blended.
  2. Stir in lemon juice and water.
  3. Heat on low-medium heat, stirring the whole time until mixture comes to boil and continue cooking, stirring hard for about a minute, until mixture is thick and smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter, one Tbsp at a time.
  5. Cover with cling wrap. It is easiest to fill the tarts while filling is still warm. Refrigerate tarts. To keep crispy, do not cover. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar for a pretty effect.
Wondering what to do with the egg whites? They will keep in covered container in the fridge for several days and also freeze well. Try some individual meringues or a pavlova for another dessert.

  

A nice gift idea is to pour the hot lemon cheese into a sterilized, still hot, canning jar. Seal with new clean lid and allow to cool. When you hear the pop it is sealed. Wrap it up as a gift for a favorite cook. It's great on pancakes or lemon buns. (This recipe makes enough to fill 20 - 24 mini tarts or one 8 oz jar. Recipe doubles nicely too. Store in refrigerator.

32 comments:

  1. Lovely. Lemon is one of my favourites and this will be a keeper.
    The pictures are delightful. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  2. Like lemon curd loads, so loving this recipe - sweet morsels.

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  3. These do look awesome! Another nice idea for a bridal shower I am having! But I will say that I was disappointed when I did not find any cream cheese in this recipe. From the title, you had my hopes up! LOL!

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    1. I think you could easily beat some cream cheese into the lemon cheese.I don't know why it's called lemon curd or lemon cheese. I prefer the sound of the latter.

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    2. I have never heard the term "lemon cheese". just lemon curd. perhaps it's a Canadian phrase?

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    3. I'm Canadian, never heard it called "lemon cheese".

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  4. I have made these tarts with cherry pie filling and mincemeat, and used the same cookie cutter as you have there (in blue, though :D). It makes them so pretty. I'm going to have to try the lemon ones now. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Such a pretty springtime treat. When I first saw them they reminded me a bit of daffodils.

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  6. I wonder what these would taste like if you used sugar cookie dough instead of pie crust?

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    1. Don't know if sugar cookie dough would keep its shape as a tart.
      Please let us know if you try it.

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  7. How adorable! Wouldn't these be pretty at Christmas time, using a star cutter and a red fruit filling?

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    1. For sure! So easy with a dab of cream cheese and cherry pie filling on top.

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  8. shirley reimer bertheletteMay 9, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Hi Anneliese,,, love lemon anything,, did you just put the tarts,as is in the oven? and thanks for the reply (bubbat) yeah I had to Laugh too!!

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    1. Shirley, I baked the tarts. Let them cool and then filled them.

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  9. shirley reimer bertheletteMay 9, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Thanks Anneliese,, good to know---:)

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  10. I was just wondering about storing them in jars... after you fill the jars with the lemon curd do you have to put them back in the water and let cook?

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    1. I have not done the boiling water bath with this, but I do store it in the fridge, even with the jar sealed. I only make it if I plan to use it soon, like within a couple of months. Not something I would put in the pantry for a year, with eggs and butter in it, although you see it in the stores when it's commercially processed.

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  11. My friend uses lemon filling and folds it into whipped cream and serves it with cake. Another use for the lemon filling. I like the idea of canning it. Nice to have on hand to use for desserts or to tuck in a basket as a gift to a special friend.

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  12. These are lovely Anneliese - great for bridal showers (got several of those coming up). I am going to attempt making your cream puff swans too. Love your recipes!!

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  13. These sound delicious and I just might try them.
    I do have a question for you: why is the lemon filling
    called lemon cheese? I looked for cream cheese in the
    recipe but none was there. Just wondered!!!
    I have tried several of you recipes and love them all.
    Dorothy

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    1. Lemon cheese or lemon curd (same thing) is a traditional English topping for scones or tarts. I prefer calling it lemon cheese, but I have no idea why it's called that. You are right, it can make you think there is cream cheese in it and I think it would go great together because the lemon curd is quite tart.

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  14. Just wondering if there is a substitute for the shortening in the crust recipe? Could I use butter instead? Thanks.

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    1. You could try it. I use shortening or lard for a tender pie pastry, but I have never tried just butter. Maybe a mix of the two. Be sure the butter is not too soft to allow nice crumbs to form with the pastry blender,stir in cold water and mix gently.

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    2. I was thinking if you just used butter, you would end up with a shortbread crust wouldn't you? Still yummy, but different texture for end result.

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  15. Swoon. Thank you for sharing.

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  16. Im not so sure Butter would be the right thing to use either...

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  17. Are these tarts able to be frozen? They look yummy!

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    1. I would freeze the unbaked, unfilled tartshells.(If you use the homemade pastry, if not, just have some purchased frozen tartshells on hand) Bake, then fill them the day or night before serving.

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  18. I made the lemon part only last night, and it is really good. Nice rich lemony taste. I love making things from scratch.
    Thanks Anneliese!

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  19. Martha Stewart's pate brisee uses only butter; very delicious pastry

    Eva

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  20. I made the lemon cheese for putting on top of butterhorns, I added 4oz of cream cheese to the lemon....totally awesome stuff! Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

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