Lemon Tartlets

May/June 1994

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Cream-puff pastry baked in muffin cups forms the base for these pretty lemon-filled tartlets. If you'd like, garnish with fresh violet petals or candied violets.

Lemon Tartlets

Makes: 12 servings, 2 tartlets each

Active Time:

Total Time:


Lemon Curd

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice, (4 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Pastry Shells

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. To make lemon curd: Whisk together 1 egg, 2 egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, lemon juice and zest in a heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan. (If you do not have a heavy-bottomed pan, use a double boiler and increase the cooking time slightly.) Add butter and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. (The curd will become thicker as it cools.) Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  2. To make pastry shells: Place oven rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 375°F. Lightly oil 24 three-inch muffin cups or coat them with cooking spray.
  3. Combine water, oil, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a medium saucepan; bring just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a smooth mass. Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a stand-up mixer fitted with paddle attachment or to a food processor.
  4. Whisk together 2 eggs, 4 egg whites and vanilla in a measuring cup. Gradually add one quarter of the egg mixture to the flour paste, beating or processing until the eggs are incorporated. Repeat with 3 more additions of the egg mixture until the batter just falls from a spoon. (The batter may seem lumpy.)
  5. Place about 1 tablespoon pastry into each prepared muffin cup. Dip a spoon in cold water and press the pastry into the sides of the cups. With moistened fingers, press the pastry partway up the sides of the cups, forming 3/8-inch-thick shells.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and prick the centers of the shells with a fork. Return to the oven and bake until puffed and golden, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Loosen shells with a table knife or small metal spatula and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool.
  7. To assemble tartlets: Not more than 1 1/2 hours before serving, spoon about 1 tablespoon lemon curd into each tartlet shell and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the curd (Step 1) for up to 2 days. The shells (Steps 2-6) can be stored, well-wrapped, in the freezer for up to 1 month. Unwrap and thaw at room temperature for 1 hour before filling.


Per serving: 163 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 58 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 0 g fiber; 94 mg sodium; 74 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (16% daily value).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

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