These petite & pretty tartlettes are simply sweet pastry dough baked off, then filled with lemon curd, and topped with a sweetened whipped cream "kiss". They are perfect as part of a dessert buffet, or as an offering on the sweets tray for an afternoon tea.
If available make the curd with Meyer lemons, the flavor is milder and a little more "fruity". But don't worry if Meyer's are not in season, I've filled them with regular lemon curd and the plate is always cleared.
No last minute rushing to serve these as you can make the lemon curd a day or two in advance, ready to fill the pastry "flowers". On the day you want to serve, simply prepare and bake the pastry shells, allow them to cool and fill with the lemon curd, refrigerate until serving time.
Being from the temperate SF Bay Area, I took homegrown citrus for granted until I moved to this colder climate.
Never fear! If you don't mind overwintering the pot indoors, you can grow Meyer lemons from your own tree as I do, even if your winter temperatures are less than ideal for growing citrus.
Use your favorite Lemon Curd recipe for the filling; here is one of mine:
Makes 1 1/2 cups
3 large egg yolks
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, (2 or 3 lemons)
6 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is smooth.
Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly.
Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour. Store, refrigerated in an airtight container.
Of course you can fill any shape baked pastry with the lemon curd, but if you want to make the flowers, choose a "daisy" shaped cookie cutter similar to this one:
I baked mine off in a "tart plaque", a specialty pan with very shallow indentations. Prick the dough with a fork before baking to prevent it from puffing up. Also before baking I brushed the surface of the dough with an egg wash for extra sheen. (Not necessary though.)
If you don't have such a pan simply invert a mini-muffin pan and gently shape each dough cut-out over the bottoms of the mini-muffin cups, and bake (with the dough on top of the inverted pan.) You may want to allow space between each piece of dough to avoid crowding, so cover every-other muffin cup with the raw dough.
Just use your favorite pie crust dough recipe, adding a teaspoon of sugar with the flour when mixing, if desired. Cut into flowers or circles, bake off then cool completely before filling with the cold lemon curd.
After filling cover loosely and keep refrigerated until serving time. Top with a bit of slightly sweetened whipped cream just before serving.