Saturday, April 7, 2012

Charmed Mini Lemon Tarts (And Optional Easter Tarts)

Ella Mae, the heroine of the upcoming Charmed Pie Shoppe series, is a big fan of the lemon. The bright yellow of its skin, the clean scent of its fruit, and the millions of delicious recipes one can make with this citrus make it one of her all-time favorite ingredients.

Now that the spring sunshine has made itself known, you might be ready for a light, sunny dessert. Try these easy, creamy, lemony tarts and you'll feel warm and bright right on down to your toes!

Charmed Mini Lemon Tarts

5 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (requires 3 large lemons)

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

2 packages mini graham cracker tart crusts (for a total of 12 mini tarts)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a stand mixer or food processor blend cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar. Once the sugar is completely mixed into the cream cheese, add the eggs. Next, add the lemon juice and zest and process until completely blended and smooth. Spoon the mixture into the individual tarts, filling to the top. Bake the mini tarts approximately 15 minutes or when filling is set. Let cool and top with berries, whipped cream, a sprig of mint, or a piece of lemon cut into a small triangle.

To make cute spring bird’s nests, use food coloring to dye the tart filling before baking. After the tarts cool, use shredded coconut or chocolate shavings as the “nest” and add jellybean “eggs.” These are sure to brighten any table!

What's your favorite lemony food?


  1. Adorable. When we lived in California we had a lemon tree right outside the back door, and it bore fruit year-round. We got very good at making lemon meringue pie. Me, I've always loved lemon ice cream (not sherbet), but I've never found a good recipe. Suggestions?

  2. That sounds so good, Sheila. I could see a whole summer filled with lemon ice cream. I hope someone posts a recipe!

  3. These are darling! What a cute Easter dessert. I'm tempted to make a slight change in my Easter dinner plans . . .

    ~ Krista

  4. Looks great Ellery. Lemon deserts are my favorite. Believe it or not, I can pass up chocolate or most other sweets, but lemon gets me everytime - as long as it's not too sweet. Love that tang...

  5. I found this several years ago in a Taste of Home magazine. I've never made it, but it's very similar to the custard ice cream I make with the exception of the lemon juice.
    Lemon Custard:
    2 cups sugar
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    4 cups milk
    4 eggs, lightly beaten
    3 cups heavy whipping cream
    1 cup lemon juice
    In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.
    Whisk a small amount of hot milk mixture into the eggs. Return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook and stir until mixture reaches 160° and coats the back of a metal spoon.
    Remove from the heat; stir in cream and lemon juice. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Press waxed paper onto surface of custard. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
    Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze. When ice cream is frozen, transfer to a freezer container; freeze for 2-4 hours before serving. Yield: 2 quarts.

  6. love lemon anything. my favorite spice to use is lemon pepper. i even love that on my cucumbers and tomatoes. these sounds delicious. thanks for sharing Ellery
    Lori Cimino

    1. Lori, is that Penzey's lemon pepper? I'm addicted to that stuff!

  7. Hmm if I could buy tart crusts here in Holland, I would be tempted to make these myself, I love lemony tarts and cookies. But I am not a baker at all.

  8. Aurian, wish I could easily send you some! :)