How to make "Semi-Homemade" Mini Lemon Tarts....
1. Prepare lemon curd (this can be done in advance and like I said it freezes well. When you need to defrost it, put it in the refrigerator 24hrs before you need it.)
2. Prepare the mini shells with pre-made pie crust
3. Pipe the lemon curd in the shells and garnish to your liking (these can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge).
Lemon Curd By The Joy of Baking
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)
4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zestIn a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisktogether the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate for up to a week. Makes 1 1/2 cups
Mini Pie Shells
You can find pre-made pie dough in the refrigerator section at your grocery store. I found mine near the cookie dough. Unroll the dough on your counter and using at least a 3in circle cookie cutter cut out circles. I around 8 circles in one dough. Place them each in a muffin tin cup. You want to make some sort of well for the curd to sit in. Don't forget to pierce the bottom of the dough or it will balloon up! I baked mine on 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes (this may vary according to the directions on the box). Let them cool. Now you're ready to fill with the curd!
*I tired using the extra dough by putting all the scraps together and re-rolling it out, cutting out the circles, and everything... but when it baked it shunk up and did not make a cute little bowl/well like the others. Still tasted good though ;-)
Here is a funny pic my friend sent me of her family's dog rocking a "sombrero cookie" as her dad called them when he first saw the tarts LOL...