If you love lemon desserts, you will adore these lemon tartlets by Mary Berry. They are tangy, creamy, and delicious, with a crisp pastry shell and a smooth lemon filling. They are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a tea party, a picnic, or a special treat for yourself.
In this article, I will show you how to make these lemon tartlets from scratch, using simple ingredients and easy steps. You will learn how to make the pastry dough, how to blind bake the tart shells, how to make the lemon curd, and how to assemble and bake the tartlets. I will also share some tips and tricks to make your lemon tartlets look and taste amazing.
What is Mary Berry Lemon Tartlets Recipe?
Mary Berry Lemon Tartlets are a delightful dessert that perfectly balances tart and sweet flavors. They feature a crisp, buttery pastry shell filled with a smooth and tangy lemon curd. Created by Mary Berry, a respected figure in baking, these tartlets are both elegant and delicious. They’re ideal for various occasions, from tea parties to picnics, or as a special treat.
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Why You Love this Recipe
- Simplicity in Preparation: Despite their sophisticated appearance, these tartlets are surprisingly easy to make, using basic ingredients and straightforward steps.
- Perfect Balance of Flavors: The combination of the crisp pastry and the tangy lemon filling offers a perfect balance of textures and flavors.
- Versatility for Occasions: These tartlets are suitable for any event, from casual gatherings to special celebrations.
- Customizable: The recipe allows for creativity, with various options for garnishes and additional flavors.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Lemon Tartlets
To make these lemon tartlets, you will need the following ingredients:
For the pastry:
- 175 g (6 oz) plain flour
- 75 g (3 oz) butter, chilled and diced
- 25 g (1 oz) icing sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 tbsp cold water
For the filling:
- 3 large eggs
- 125 g (4 oz) caster sugar
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
You will also need the following equipment:
- A food processor or a large bowl and a pastry blender
- A 12-hole muffin tin
- A rolling pin
- A 7.5 cm (3 inch) round cutter
- A small saucepan
- A whisk
- A jug or a bowl with a spout
- A wire rack
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Lemon Tartlets
Here are the detailed steps to make these lemon tartlets:
Step 1: Make the pastry dough
To make the pastry dough, you can use a food processor or a large bowl and a pastry blender. If you use a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, and icing sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 1 tbsp of water and pulse until the dough comes together. If you use a large bowl and a pastry blender, rub the butter into the flour and icing sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg yolk and 1 tbsp of water and bring the dough together with your hands.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it briefly until smooth. Shape it into a disc, wrap it in cling film, and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2: Preheat the oven and grease the muffin tin
While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan, gas mark 6) and lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.
Step 3: Roll out the dough and cut out the circles
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 3 mm (1/8 inch). Using a 7.5 cm (3 inch) round cutter, cut out 12 circles of dough. You may need to re-roll the scraps to get enough circles.
Step 4: Line the muffin tin with the pastry circles
Carefully press each pastry circle into a hole in the muffin tin, making sure there are no gaps or air bubbles. Prick the base of each pastry shell with a fork to prevent it from puffing up during baking.
Step 5: Blind bake the pastry shells
To blind-bake the pastry shells, you need to cover them with baking paper and fill them with baking beans or rice. This will weigh down the pastry and help it keep its shape. Bake the pastry shells in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then remove the baking paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Step 6: Make the lemon curd
While the pastry shells are baking, you can make the lemon curd. In a small saucepan, whisk together the eggs, caster sugar, double cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Place the saucepan over low-medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon. This may take 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the heat and the size of your saucepan. Do not let the mixture boil or it will curdle.
Step 7: Fill and bake the tartlets
Once the pastry shells and the lemon curd are ready, you can fill and bake the tartlets. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4). Spoon the lemon curd into a jug or a bowl with a spout and pour it evenly into the pastry shells, filling them almost to the top. Bake the tartlets in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the filling is set and slightly golden on the edges.
Step 8: Cool and serve the tartlets
Let the tartlets cool slightly in the muffin tin, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. You can dust them with some icing sugar if you like, or serve them plain. Enjoy your lemon tartlets with some whipped cream or fresh berries, or just on their own. They are best eaten on the same day, but you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Lemon Tartlets?
Pairing these tartlets with complementary sides or beverages enhances the overall dining experience. Some suggestions include:
- Fresh Berries: Serve with a side of fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries for a refreshing touch.
- Whipped Cream: A dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream can add a creamy contrast.
- Dessert Wines: Pair with a sweet dessert wine like Moscato or a Riesling for an elevated dessert course.
- Coffee or Tea: Complement the tartlets with a hot cup of coffee or a fragrant tea for a cozy dessert time.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Lemon Tartlets
- Quality Ingredients: Use the freshest lemons and high-quality butter for the best flavor.
- Pastry Texture: Ensure the pastry is chilled adequately to prevent shrinking during baking.
- Avoid Overworking Dough: Handle the pastry dough as little as possible to keep it light and flaky.
- Constant Stirring: When making lemon curd, stir continuously to avoid lumps and ensure smoothness.
- Monitor Baking Closely: Keep an eye on the tartlets while baking to prevent over-browning.
Variations of Mary Berry Lemon Tartlets
- Lime or Orange Tartlets: Substitute lemon with lime or orange for a different citrus flavor.
- Berry Topped Tartlets: Add a berry compote on top of the lemon filling before baking for an extra fruity flavor.
- Chocolate Ganache Layer: Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache on the pastry base before adding lemon curd for a decadent twist.
How do I store Mary Berry Lemon Tartlets Leftovers?
Storing the Tartlets:
- Cool Completely: Ensure the tartlets are completely cooled before storing.
- Airtight Container: Place them in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
- Refrigerate: Store in the refrigerator if not consumed immediately.
- Room Temperature: They can be kept at room temperature for a day.
- Refrigerated: In the fridge, they stay fresh for up to 2 days.
How do I reheat Mary Berry Lemon Tartlets Leftovers?
- Preheat Oven: Heat your oven to 150°C (300°F).
- Baking Sheet: Place the tartlets on a baking sheet.
- Brief Heating: Warm them for about 5-10 minutes. Be cautious not to overheat, as the filling should remain creamy.
Nutrition value per tartlet:
- 59 calories,
- 3.4 g fat
- 1.8 g protein
- 6.4 g carbs
- 0.2 g fiber
- 4.5 g sugar
Can I use store-bought lemon curd instead of making it from scratch?
Yes, you can use store-bought lemon curd for convenience. However, homemade lemon curd typically has a fresher, more vibrant lemon flavor. If you opt for a store-bought version, choose a high-quality brand for the best taste.
What can I use if I don’t have a food processor for the pastry dough?
If you don’t have a food processor, you can easily make the pastry dough by hand. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Then, stir in the egg yolk and water to form the dough.
How can I prevent the pastry from shrinking during baking?
To prevent the pastry from shrinking, make sure to chill the dough after shaping it into the tartlet pans. This allows the gluten in the dough to relax. Also, avoid stretching the dough when placing it in the pans; it should be gently laid in to fit.
Can these tartlets be made in advance?
Yes, you can make these tartlets in advance. The pastry shells can be blind-baked and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. The lemon curd can also be made ahead and refrigerated. Assemble and bake the tartlets shortly before serving for the best texture and flavor.
What is the best way to serve these tartlets at a party?
For a party, these tartlets can be served at room temperature. Arrange them on a platter and garnish each tartlet with a small fresh berry or a mint leaf for a decorative touch. If desired, a light dusting of powdered sugar right before serving adds a sweet finish.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make these lemon tartlets by Mary Berry. They are one of my favorite lemon desserts, and I’m sure you will love them too. They are easy, delicious, versatile, and elegant. What more could you ask for?
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you and see how your lemon tartlets turned out. Thank you for reading and happy baking!