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My mother had finished the pie crust before she fell and went to the hospital in an ambulance. When I arrived at their house, lemons were falling off the tree and my dad said to use them. I made lemon curd, mixed it with whipped cream to make a mousse, and filled Mom’s pie crust. Delicious!

Two days later I made more lemon curd to fill these tarts. Delicious again! I used the lemon curd recipe found at pastrypal.com. The tart recipe is based upon one found at Home Cooking in Montana. I didn’t have mini-muffin tins and so adjusted Montana’s recipe to use regular muffin tins. The leftover lemon curd is in the freezer for whenever Mom comes back home. She can use it as cake filling or to make another mousse pie. Lemon curd has many uses.

  • Lemon Curd Ingredients
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Dash salt
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) butter, cubed

I created a double boiler by setting a mixing bowl on the edge of a saucepan with a couple inches of water in the saucepan. I brought the water in the saucepan to a boil while I squeezed lemons and prepared the ingredients. In the mixing bowl I whisked together the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Then I set the bowl onto the saucepan and whisked constantly.

The mixture gets frothy as you whisk and then it becomes nearly all froth and then the froth gets thick. Once the mixture is thick enough that it stands up on its own, remove it from the saucepan of water. A handful at a time, whisk in the butter cubes until all the butter cubes are melted. The recipe says you can return it over the water in order to get all the butter melted, but neither I nor the recipe author had to do that. Just sayin’.

Let the curd cool for a few minutes and then place a piece of cling wrap directly on top of the curd so that a skin does not form. Let it cool and then set it into the refrigerator to chill. My guess as to yield is about 3 cups of curd.

In case you’re interested in making Lemon Mousse, whip one cup of whipping cream with 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in 1-1/2 cups lemon curd. Voila! Mousse! It firms up quite nicely in a pie crust or in decorative glasses, a very mild flavor.

  • Mini Tart Crust Ingredients
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups flour

Mix ingredients together with your hands. Make sure it is well incorporated. Set in the refrigerator to chill for a little while so that it’s easy to handle for the next step.

Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into ten even pieces. One-by-one place a dough ball into a muffin cup and spread into the bottom and all the way up the sides.

Set the muffin tin into the refrigerator until the dough is firm, fifteen minutes or so should do it. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Remove from refrigeration and bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Start checking them around 13 minutes. The edges should be brown and the centers should be slightly brown. These will look greasy in the middle as there is a lot of butter, but just ignore it and go with it. Once they’re baked, remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.

While they are still quite warm, use the back of a spoon to press a well into the center of each cup. Let them sit in the muffin tins until they are completely cool. Very carefully remove them from the tins. I ran a knife around the edge of each muffin cup to release them gently, gently.

  • Assembling the Mini Lemon Tarts
  • Using a teaspoon dollop lemon curd into each tart crust.
  • Decorate with berries and mint leaves.
  • Keep refrigerated until serving.
  • Serves ten.