All anecdotes aside, these are pretty darn good. Very easy to make these using a mini muffin pan. My tartlet pastry is a bit sweet, but not too sweet. And the lemon curd has just got that perfectly lovely lemony taste. I only make this about once a year because I really cannot resist eating them all. You should try it too :)
Lemon Curd Tartlets
You will need:
For the tart shells-
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
For lemon curd-
3 large lemons, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until just combined. Add vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Remove to a floured surface and shape into a ball. Then break off marble-sized pieces of dough, roll between palms, flatten into discs and press each into the cups of a mini muffin pan, just until they come up the sides a bit. You should have enough dough to make about 32-36 tartlets. Press a fork into the base of each tartlet one or two times so steam can escape and they don't puff up. Bake the tartlets in a preheated 350 F oven for 15 minutes. If the edges start to brown too quickly cover the mini muffin pan with a sheet of aluminum foil in the last 2-3 minutes of baking. Cool the pan completely before removing tartlets. Use a finger to push them out, they should come out very easily.
For the lemon curd:
Remove the lemon zest with a vegetable peeler or micro plane grater, remember to avoid the white pith (will give a bitter taste). Then, juice the lemons so you get enough to make 1/2 cup of juice and set this aside. In a food processor, mix the lemon zest and sugar until combined. The zest should be finely minced. Then, in a bowl, cream together the butter with the sugar-lemon zest mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by reserved the lemon juice and salt. Mix for a minute or two, until well combined.
Then pour this into a saucepan and cook over a very low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. This may take about 12-15 minutes depending on the heat. Lemon curd normally thickens at a temperature just below a simmer. Remove from heat.
Fill the tartlet shells with the warm lemon curd and leave it alone (if you can resist the urge to try one) until it sets at room temperature. Will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. This freezes pretty well too, so it's a good make ahead dessert. Enjoy!
Note: you can alternatively make the tart shell using a regular tart pan with a false bottom. It will take a bit less time, but then you'd have to cut the whole tart into wedges to make servings and that's just so boring, no? :)