when someone contacts me about my book, i get slightly worried that they are calling or emailing me because they are unhappy with a recipe; it didn’t work or it just wasn’t any good. luckily, that hasn’t happened and just about everyone i have heard from is happy and excited to have the book and the chance to bake the desserts they remember from the cafe.
when joy mc-waitress extraordinaire, came to me with a note from a guest, i was worried. it seems that a woman (so sorry that i do not know your name-but i wouldn’t use it without your permission anyway) who was visiting the cafe from all the way down in boca raton, florida, was wondering about a recipe in the book. she has a copy and wants to make the lady lemon bars the way they are photographed-in tiny little tarts rather than bars.
the problem; the recipe only contained instructions for bars. the explanation; when you have to take 75 photos, things get changed so that the photos look different. we made a spur of the moment decision to assemble the lemon bars using a mini muffin pan rather than try to cut them into squares; squares are messy and sometimes the filling can ooze and separate from the crust. in short, the tarts were much more camera friendly in 90+ degree temps for a photo shoot that was happening outdoors!
the good news, i made a batch of little tarts and am posting the recipe and instructions here so that anyone who would like to make tarts rather than bars, can. enjoy!
lady lemon tarts
makes 20 mini tarts
to make the dough, place the following into the bowl of a food processor:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
pulse that mixture until it resembles coarse meal
add 1 egg yolk and process until it comes together to form a soft dough.
preheat the oven to 350. divide the dough into 20 equal pieces. if you use a scale, as i did, it will be about 1/2 ounce each. if you do not have a scale, pat the dough into an evenly shaped rectangle with the same thickness through out and then cut it into 20 even pieces. lightly spray the pan with grease and using your fingertips, gently press the dough into the cups of the pan. be sure to bring the dough to the top of each cup.
bake the tart shells until they just begin to color on the edges and are no longer glossy in the bottom, about 10-12 minutes. while the tart shells bake, prepare the filling.
***a note about the filling; the tarts use a lot less than bars do! so, i am including a half recipe of filling that will be more than enough to fill 20 mini tarts. if you want to make more than 20, both recipes are easily doubled!
place the following in a mixing bowl:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
using a whisk, mix well.
whisk in the following:
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
using a tablespoon, carefully fill the tart shells taking care not to let the filling go over the edges or it will seal the crust to the pan and make it difficult to remove the tarts from the pan. bake until the filling is firm, about 10-12 minutes. allow to cool completely before removing them from the pan.
the finished tarts, fresh from the oven.
using a thin bladed knife, carefully lift the tarts out of the pan by inserting the knife down the side of the cup. take care when doing this so that you do not scratch the finish of your pan if it has a nonstick finish. to decorate, sprinkle additional powdered sugar over the top and place a fresh berry or two in the center-we used blackberries for the photos.
bake on friends and feel free to ask me questions about the book anytime-it’s nice to know that the recipes are being used and the results enjoyed!