Sunday, 7 November 2010

Easy Peasy Cooking - Shortbread Lemon Tarlets

There are many people in the world who enjoy the art of cooking or baking and find it to be most satisfying to be able to create elaborate dishes. Some people say cooking helps them destress and mentally unwind from the chaos of the day. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people. I absolutely adore food and but I'd much rather someone else made the food for me toe eat.
When it comes to cooking, my style could best be described as 'easy peasy'. Recipes with minimal steps and minimal fuss will win me over - every time.
So, when it came to picking a dish to bring along to the recent Sydney Foodbloggers Picnic, I thought my shortbread lemon tartlets would do the trick.
It's a really easy recipe which I found from the Joy of Baking and it feels like your eating mini cheesecakes. You can make the tart shells a few days in advance or you could make a double batch and freeze them. I recommend making the lemon filling a day in advance so that it has time to thicken.
Easy Peasy Shortbread Lemon Tartlets Recipe

Ingredients
Shortbread Tarts:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup pure icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Filling:
250g Philadelphia cream cheese - softened
1 can (395g) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
p.s I always end up with heaps of leftover filling so you can always try halving the filling quantities.
Toppings: Whichever berry takes your fancy...Strawberries, Raspberries or Blueberries.

Easy Peasey Instructions
Makes 36 mini tarts... but I always find I have quite a bit of filling leftover.

For the Shortbread tarts:
Lightly spray with a nonstick canola spray a 36 miniature muffin tins
• Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
• Beat the butter and sugar together (approximately two minutes) with an eletric mixer. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and mix just together. It might be a bit sticky to start with but it will firm up.
• Divide the dough mixture into 36 even pieces and place one ball of dough in the centre of each muffin tin. Press the dough up the sides of each muffin tin
• Place muffin tin with the unbaked shells into the freezer for about 10 minutes. This will help to prevent the shells puffing up too much in the oven.
• Take out of freezer and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the shells are lightly browned. At about the 10 minutes into baking, take the shells out and lightly prick each shell to prevent the shell from puffing. Prick the shells again after 5 minutes if they still look like they are puffing up.
• Take out from oven and cool. Once cooled, remove from the pan.

To make the cream cheese filling:
• With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the condensed milk, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and mix until just until smooth.
• Place filling to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until serving time. For the best results, try and make the filling at least a day in advance to allow it to firm up and to let all the lemony flavours mix together.
To make your easy peasey shortbread tartlet creations:
• Using two tea spoons, fill each of tart shells with the filling and then top with a berry of your choice. I've used strawberries and blueberries before but I find raspberries make the cutest looking tartlets.

I've made these tartlets a few times and found they are perfectly bite sized for a girly afternoon tea and look fabulous placed on a 3 tiered cake stand. Easy peasey!

4 comments:

  1. woohoo i've been waiting for the recipe for these since the picnic! thanks for sharing :D

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  2. I can't remember whether I got around to trying one of these at the picnic or not... =p But the ingredients are similar to cheesecake - did they taste like cheesecake?

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