I created these tartlets a few years back when I was trying to avoid making lemon meringue pie. I was participating in a blogging challenge and made a different pie for every letter of the alphabet. For “L” the lemon meringue pie seemed the obvious choice, however I had not yet tackled meringue and was wary of trying.
Update: I’m no longer wary but yet still haven’t made meringue. I’ll get to it soon.
In the meantime I gave my Lemon Tartlets recipe an update, adding some salty and flavorful pistachios to the top.
The pastry cups are full of bright, citrusy tang. I also made a version using Orange Curd topped with Maple Cream and Chocolate. (Click here for that recipe!)
These tartlets are tasty any time of year but especially cheery during the freezing depths of winter. They’re like little bites of sweet sunshine.
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (12 tablespoons) butter, cold
- Ice water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice, strained
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup pistachios in shell, or 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Use a knife to slice the cold butter into very small cubes -about 1/4-inch sized cubes. Work these into the flour using a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse. Add 6 tablespoons of ice water to the mixture and use a spoon to toss it together. Add more ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing it together with the flour-butter mixture with the spoon. Add water only until the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze some in your hand.
- Turn the contents of the bowl out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently 4-5 times: flatten it with the heel of your hand, fold up from the bottom, turn one-quarter turn and repeat. Do not over-knead the dough. Stop when the dough has just come together. There will still be pieces of butter visible in the dough. Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half slightly and wrap the disk in plastic wrap. Chill the dough disk in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.
For the curd: in a stainless steel saucepan whisk together the granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs and egg yolk until the mixture is smooth. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently for 6-8 minutes until mixture is beginning to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the 2 tablespoons of butter into the curd until it has melted and mixed in. Set the curd aside.
- Preheat the over to 400° degrees F. Have ready a mini muffin pan. Unwrap one chilled dough disk onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1/4″ thickness. Use a cutter or drinking glass to cut out circles that are about 2-1/2″ in diameter. Press the circles into the cups of a mini cupcake pan, over the bottoms and up the sides of the wells. Fill each cup almost to the top with lemon curd (about 2 teaspoons.) Bake the tartlets for 25 minutes until the crust edges and curd have started to brown. Use the tip of a knife to carefully pop the tartlets out of the pan. Cool them on a wire rack. Repeat with any remaining pastry dough and curd until they are all baked.
- Remove the pistachios from their shells, discard the shells. Use sharp knife to coarsely chop the nuts. Top each tartlet with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios and a dusting of confectioner's sugar. They are ready to serve.
- Makes about 50 tartlets. Extra tartlets can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.