Light and zesty Cheats Mini Lemon Tarts – just four basic ingredients, and absolutely no baking required!
Its seems I’m on a roll with the theme of ‘mini’ at the moment. Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes, Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes, Mini Carrot Cakes. Everything finger sized and nibbley. I think in my head I’m putting together an afternoon tea for you, cake by cake.
We’ll set up the cake stands and dust off the vintage china. Slice the crusts off our sandwiches and warm the tea pot. Stir the tea, leaves not bags, and pour a steaming cup through a delicate silver strainer. We can sit and chat and find out all about each other over scones and clotted cream, and little pots of strawberry jam. An afternoon tea is not an afternoon tea without the daintiest of little cakes and pâtisserie.
These Mini Lemon Tarts are another little treat along the theme; the perfect addition to any afternoon tea table. They’re dinky, delicious and, the best bit, ridiculously easy.
Usually when making lemon tart you’d need to make the pastry, chill it, roll it, blind bake it, and then bake the egg based tart filling. These ‘cheats’ lemon tarts use shop bought pastry cases. I used these cases from Sainsbury’s. They’re wonderfully buttery and have that important melt in the mouth quality. They stay lovely and crisp, even when filled and stored in the fridge. No-one will ever know that they’re not homemade!
The filling doesn’t require baking, its made with just three ingredients – double cream, condensed milk and lemon. It is smooth, creamy and has a zesty freshness from both lemon zest and lemon juice. As the recipe doesn’t contain egg yolks, like a traditional lemon tart, you’ll have to add a few drops of yellow food colouring if you want them the traditional yellow colour. Personally though, I like the pale, ever so slightly yellowy cream colour. It looks so pretty against the pink-red of the raspberries, and the vibrant canary flash of the lemon zest.
The filling is so quick, they really do only take minutes to throw together. The cream is whipped until it forms peaks, then the condensed milk is added and whipped together. Finally the mixture is flavoured with lemon zest and juice, then either spooned or piped into the pastry cases depending on how neat you want to make the tarts, and how quickly you wanted to put them together. I found the best way to get a nice neat top to the filling was to slightly over fill the cases, then run a palette knife, or the back of a kitchen knife, keeping the edge tight to the top of the pastry.
Finish simply with fresh raspberries, lemon zest, and a little dust of icing sugar.
– filling is enough for approximately 30 mini tarts, depending on how generously you fill each case.
- Pre-made mini pastry cases
- 175ml double cream
- 200g condensed milk
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Raspberries and icing sugar, to decorate
- Pour the double cream into a large bowl. Whip the cream until it forms peaks.
- Add the condensed milk, lemon zest and lemon juice, and continue whipping until fully combined with the cream, and the mixture is fairly stiff. It should hold its shape on a spoon.
- Spoon or pipe the mixture into the pastry cases.
- Top with fresh raspberries, lemon zest and a dust of icing sugar.
- Store in an air tight container in the fridge until serving.