Bite-Sized Lemon Tarts
Prepare to swoon! Prepare to ooohhh and aaahhh! Prepare to receive compliments! In fact, prepare at least two batches of these Bite-Sized Lemon Tarts, because they’ll go quickly. Bite-sized anything are a big hit at parties, showers and weddings, but filled with a sweet-tart lemon curd and topped with fresh berries? Well, they’re a site to behold and make any occasion special.
It all starts with a mini muffin pan. (I’m including affiliate links so you don’t have to search the web or the mall for these necessities. Plus, I’ll make a few cents if you do buy something! Whoo hoo!)
I’m having a bit of a renaissance with my muffin tin right now. I bought this one at one of those Pampered Chef parties that were so big a while back. I think I’d used it a handful of times to make mini-muffins (DUH). But now, I’m using it for all sorts of things –and the most-obvious hack is to make bite-sized canapes and desserts with them.
If you don’t have one yet, get one. And don’t forget the tamper that automatically presses the pastry into the form. This muffin tin makes nibbles that can be passed around on a tray and eaten effortlessly while still holding a beverage in the other hand. Perfect party fare.
What makes these tartlets so sublime is the fresh lemon curd. It’s sweet and tart in the same bite. If you’ve never made lemon curd before, it’s really easy. Start by zesting your lemons with a microplane grater.
Cook the lemon zest and juice with sugar and egg yolks until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to thicken. Then whisk in pats of cold butter. Let each pat of butter melt completely before adding more.
Strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer — you don’t want flecks of zest marring the silkiness of the filling.
Fill the pastry cups with the curd and chill until it sets.
Then garnish with fresh berries and mint. Easy, eye-catching and irresistible!
More bite sized desserts you’ll love:
- Pistachio Truffles
- Mini Pumpkin Pies
- Southern Style Pralines
- Candied Citrus Peel
- Coconut Rum Cookie Truffles
- Chocolate Bourbon Gingerbread Truffles
- Apricot Date & Nut Bites
- Passion Fruit Tartlets
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Table of Contents
Bite Sized Lemon Tarts
- 5 lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cold, cut into cubes
- 1 9-inch pie pastry
- Special Equipment
- Mini Muffin Tin
- Tart Tamper
- 2 ” round biscuit cutter
For the tart shells
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to about 3/8″ inch. Use the biscuit cutter to cut out rounds of dough. Transfer the rounds to the muffin tin and place them in individual muffin wells. Use the tamper to press the dough into place and form a mini pie shell. Bake for 5 -7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Lemon Curd
- Zest four of the lemons and set aside. Use a citrus juicer to juice the lemons. You need half a cup of lemon juice. If you can get it from 4 lemons, great, if not, juice another lemon. (I had to use 5 lemons to get half a cup of juice.)
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, pinch of salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and egg yolks. Use a wire whisk to combine and place over medium low heat, whisking constantly and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan so it doesn't stick. Heat until the sugar dissolves and mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from the heat. Add one tablespoon of butter and whisk until it completely melts and is incorporated before adding another tablespoon of butter. Continue in this manner until you’ve used all the butter.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl and carefully pour the lemon curd through the strainer. Use the back of a spoon or small spatula to press the curd through the strainer — this will remove the lemon zest and any stray seeds that made it into the curd . Cover the curd and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
- Use a pastry bag or small spoon to fill the tart cups with the lemon curd. Garnish with fresh fruit, or a dollop of whipped cream. Serve.
The lemon curd isnt as thick as thick as it should be… any advice? Or do I have to start over?
Refrigerate it. It thickens as it chills.
These are beautiful to look at – and I am sure they taste great. I love anything with lemon!
Thank you, Alexandra! I have several followers who absolutely swear by these tarts.
Can these be made a day in advance?
You can make the curd in advance and fill the tarts the day of.
Can I use whole eggs instead of just yolks? They look divine!!!
For lemon curd, you only use egg yolks — save the whites for an egg white omelette or whisk them into meringues to top your tarts and give them a run in the oven or with a kitchen torch to brown the meringue.
Any suggestions on what to do with the 5 egg whites?
Well, meringue cookies are always a good bet — and I’ve got a few recipes for them on this site… But if you don’t feel like going all in, I usually save the egg whites for the next days breakfast — egg white omelets — are one of my husband’s favorites.
Hi Lisa! My church does camp every year for local kids in foster care and we do a tea party for the girls. I volunteered to take the goodies. Can I make them the night before and transport them in a cooler?
I would think so. The tart shells might get a little soft overnight with the filling inside, but shouldn’t be too bad. Otherwise, I would recommend making the shells and curd and keeping them separate until the day you’re serving. Fill them a few hours before and they should be perfect.
Look yummy! I want to make it — how did you make the mini tart shells? Thanks.
I used refrigerated pie crust and cut them out with a biscuit cutter.
I need to try making these! they look so yummy 🙂
I’m glad you like them, Mei! They’re really easy and tasty!
These tarts look like heaven. So cute and so tasty I guess! Oh and your pics are beautiful!
The recipe doesn’t call for butter??? The pictures show you adding pats of butter. I made it without butter and it tastes fine.
Pat, Thanks so much for letting me know! — I’ve fixed the recipe to include the butter – and believe me, it’s even better WITH!
These are so so cute but I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to resist eating just one more! Again and again!
Ok, first of all, these are adorable! I think a one-bite dessert is so lovely for a party. (Of course, I’d have 10 of them!) The custard sounds divine and looks so creamy and perfect. Love!
There’s so much to love about this recipe… the Lemon curd, the beautiful presentation and the fact that I can eat way more because they’re bite-size!! YUM!
Thank you for reminding me that I too, have a mini muffin pan. I’m going to take your tip and start using it!!! (Duh moment for me, as well.)
Your Bite-Sized Lemon Tarts look amazing, the colors and photos really pop!
These are so pretty and they look absolutely lovely. I love that they are bite-sized. I am always looking for a bite-sized dessert for entertaining. I will be making these at my next dinner party.
Glad you like them, Katie! I’m sure your guests will too!
These are so gorgeous! I absolutely love mini desserts–I think they’re so adorable and elegant at the same time. 🙂 Also, that tamper is the COOLEST tool ever–I need one!
BUY THE TAMPER!
These are so cute! Why is it that anything mini-sized seems so much tastier than the full sized component? I love how bright and cheery the lemon curd looks against the berries.
I completely agree, Julie — miniatures just make everything more fun!
These are great! Not a big lemon fan, but these blew me away! Not to sweet, not to puckery lemon… perfect!
Glad you enjoyed them, Katrina!
Oh yum! These are beautiful and look so yummy. I have to make these for a party. 😀