24 August 2015

Eats: lemon berry tartlets

One of the things I totally forgot to photograph at my sister-in-law’s baby shower was the many jars of homemade lemon curd. An awesome favor for guests made by Mr. P’s sister! Fortunately, we got to take two of the jars home with us. (I suppose I could have argued that Baby P deserved a jar of his own, thus bringing three jars home, but opted against being the sister who greedily hoards homemade lemon curd).

Guess how much I’ve enjoyed it on toasted English muffins for breakfast. Just guess.

But no matter how delicious it is (very)... it’s still two whole jars of lemon curd. Lemon curd isn’t known for an extended shelf life. I worried that I’d savor it a little too much, waiting too long to eat it all, and letting it go bad before we could enjoy it.

As it happened, my parents came to stay with us shortly after the shower, so I decided to use their visit as an opportunity to make a lemony treat. They always bemoan the lack of sweets at our house – I think they once tried to eat poptarts as dessert – so I could solve two problems at once!

I wanted to do something with puff pastry, and lo and behold, this recipe was just what I was looking for. I adapted it a bit by omitting the frozen whipped topping, and it was still tasty and oh, so easy.

You start with half a block of softened cream cheese and half a cup of lemon curd.

Mix. Filling DONE!

I made this in advance one morning – as you’ll be able to tell from the shifting lighting and white balance in the photos – and it was just fine waiting in the fridge until the puff pastry was ready for it.

Speaking of the puff pastry:

I rolled out a single sheet into a big 12” square, and cut 2” squares from that, 36 in total. My mom asked if I used a pizza cutter to do that, which is a fantastic idea that I totally didn’t do. Way to make an easy recipe even easier!

The little squares are then pressed into a mini-muffin tin and brushed with a beaten egg. I wasn’t sure if the pan needed to be greased, so I tried once with nonstick spray and once without. The ones with nonstick spray were way prettier in the end, so be sure to spray your pan first!

(Ugh I know, sorry for the nighttime photos!)

Then the little cups bake for ten minutes at 375 degrees. When they come out of the oven, the centers can be a little too puffy. A wine cork is the perfect size to make an indentation in the middle!

Once the cups cooled, I added a spoonful of the lemon curd-cream cheese mixture into each. So pretty and yet so simple!

Oh, but wait. Let’s make this little dessert even more summery by topping each with half a raspberry:

Not only are these treats easy to make, but they’re easy to make in advance. I assembled them entirely the night before and stored them in a pyrex dish in the fridge. The following day or two, they were still just as pretty and tasty! I think my stepdad even had a few for breakfast. (Rather ironic, considering we also have, you know, poptarts.)

Even if you don’t have an extra jar of fantastic homemade lemon curd that you’re afraid of squandering, you can still make these with storebought lemon curd for one last summery, party-friendly treat. As a matter of fact, I think that we’re now out of lemon curd, I’ll have to do just that! And can you imagine all the other delicious things you could fill into mini puff pastry cups?! I’m envisioning a nutella-mousse situation next. Mmmmm. Enjoy!