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Best Dessert Recipes How To Make Mini Tarts
Less Is More - Making Mini Tarts
In the arena of 100-calorie packaging, these little tarts fill the bill. Depending on what ingredients you use, you can keep these little tarts to 100 calories more or less per serving. They work great for parties and for small snacks when you just need something! The durability of the tart dough is unsurpassed thus far in my experience and all the tarts freeze up like a dream in freezer bags. They are ready within minutes after thawing. I try to always have a supply on hand "just in case", especially around the holidays.
Be creative with the dough as well! I have used the dough to experiment and have made mini pumpkin tarts, mini apple tarts and several quiche recipes. The important thing to remember with these little tart shells is that the ingredients themselves need to be chopped extremely fine so they will all fit inside the tart shells.
Photo: Flickr by ginnerobot
Another important point to make is to check periodically to make sure
they are not getting overly done if you experiment with other fillings.
There are hundreds of recipes on the Internet and in countless
cookbooks for tarts and/or mini-tarts and I have found the dough to be interchangeable for all recipes.
I also use it to make a large pecan tart for Thanksgiving and it performs beautifully. Same ingredients and same tart dough. You just have to watch the baking time as it is longer but you can tell as it begins to set up.
Only necessary equipment is a mini-muffin pan. A tart tool is a wonderful "luxury" but at only $3.95, it is well worth it and works both for large tarts and small tarts to press out the dough.
I always get rave reviews on these little tarts and they are very simple to make for the rewards of indulging in a few little bites of heaven!
This dough is wonderful because it holds together so well and can be kept for several days in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap. Thaw out for an hour or so if you have refrigerated it and then proceed. If you are using same day, it needs to chill in the fridge for 1 hour. You can also use this dough for a 7-inch or 8-inch tart shell as well.
This recipe is extremely freezer friendly so I usually double the recipe and make up several kinds or lots of the pecan tarts and then freeze. They thaw out in minutes and hold their texture extremely well even with freezing.
INGREDIENTS (Makes 24)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened (calories go down using fat-free)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- For tart shell dough, beat butter and cream cheese in small bowl until smooth. (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer or food processor to blend)
- Add flour and salt and mix until soft dough forms. (Again I do in the mixer or processor, then scoop out into ball)
- Place in plastic wrap, chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pinch off dough and shape into 1-inch balls.
- Place balls of dough into cups of ungreased mini-muffin pan.
- Dip tart tool in flour; press into dough evenly to form tart shell. (If you do not have a tart tool, you can simply use floured fingers to press each tart shell into shape in pan)
- Fill tart shells evenly with filling mixture - see recipes for fillings - make into mini-pecan tarts or do mini-quiches, mini-lemon tarts or use another filling.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Place muffin pan on cooling rack (loosen edges with a knife if needed).
- Cool completely; pop out of muffin pan.
- Freeze if desired in freezer bags.
NOTE: These thaw out from the frozen state in just a few minutes and are just small enough to pop in your mouth - bet you can't eat just one~!
Mini Pecan Tart Filling
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg, beaten (or egg substitute 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup pecans, chopped very fine
I have done this both ways, sprinkling the pecans in the formed tart shells or mixing the pecans with the other ingredients for the filling. I prefer mixing all the ingredients together as you get more a more consistent distribution of filling that way.
Either sprinkle pecans into individual tart cups or mix with all the above ingredients to prepare the filling part of the recipe. Mix all ingredients well. Then pour or spoon into the individual tart shells and bake as above 20-25 minutes. Cool and remove from pan as above.
Mini Quiche Lorraine Recipe
Prepare tart shells as above. Preheat oven to 375. Makes 24
- 1/4 pound bacon, fried, finely crumbled
- 1 cup Swiss cheese - finely grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup half and half (or substitute milk)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash cayenne
Fill mini-muffin shells with bacon equally. Top with grated cheese. Beat eggs, cream (or milk), salt and cayenne together lightly. Pour or spoon into shells. Note: You can also mix all ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine and fill the tart shells.
Bake 20 minutes at 375.
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