Shortbread Tarts with Lemon Curd Filling

I have made a couple of variations on mini lemon tarts over the past few two years because I am always too lazy to call my mom for her recipe, and they always turn out really well because there’s just nothing to dislike about lemon tarts. I have two finals this week though, and I decided that I needed the mom-version of these to get me through my studying. It has unfortunately turned into a day of me pretending to study while actually shoving my face full of lemon tarts and watching wedding shows on TLC.

The reason that I love this recipe more than any other recipe for lemon tarts is the shortbread crust. For reasons that I cannot explain, shortbread is a comfort food for me. I always feel like shortbread cookies are forgotten in my house during the holidays because the other cookies and desserts are all so much more exciting. Shortbread cookies are so simple, and they just melt in your mouth so it’s only natural that a shortbread crust be equally as delicious. These are really easy to make, and I am going to call them brain food since they are my perfect study snack. You can make these even simpler by just going out and buying a jar of lemon curd for the filling if you don’t have a lot of time.
Shortbread Tarts
1 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp corn starch

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until a dough forms.
Break off pieces of dough and roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place a ball in each spot in a mini muffin tin. My mom has this little wooden tool that she uses to press the balls so that they form little tart shells in the muffin tin, but I used the back of a measuring spoon dipped in flour so that the dough wouldn’t stick. Poke holes all over the shells with a toothpick or a fork so that they won’t shrink so much in the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees F. If the tarts puff up too much, just take the spoon or whatever you used to form them and press them down again while they are still hot.
Lemon Curd Filling
2 eggs
2 Tbsps butter
1 cup sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
Lemon zest (I used about 2 1/2 lemons)

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Cover and cool in the fridge. Spoon filling into shortbread tarts.

Comments (9)

  • I never would have thought to use the measuring spoon to form the shells. You Tullys are just too clever.

    • haha well thank you!

  • Love these addicting little lemon treats! Mine looked just like yours! I dusted them with a little confectioners sugar before serving.

  • These look very good.. Thank you for sharing the recipe, and thanks to your mom too.

    Can you tell me please, is the butter cold, or at room temperature?

    Thank you.

  • I tried these and the shells came out really soft.just a bit too soft even to take out from the muffin pan. Maybe there’s too much butter in the recipe but they were absolutely yummy. Also some of my egg white solidified when I heated it over in the pan. Guess its best to mix the ingredients really well before putting them on heat. Excellent recipe overall and so easy to follow.

  • These are so cute! Adorable idea!

  • I love this recipe…used as is for filling with Meyers lemon curd for a wedding! Then had leftover dough and added coconut flour…WOW!!! No need to fork it …but a little press with tamper…VERY good and held together!!! I would say about 1/8-1/4 cup coconut flour. It just helps to absorb the extra buttery goodness to hold together!

  • And…I cooked at 400 degrees till browned on edges!


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