Which is why these little tartlets are nothing short of perfect. Light and lemony and bite sized. Best of all, they fall well under my 30-limit prep time requirement. In fact, thanks to two special “short cut” ingredients, they can be prepared in about 15 minutes, which alone makes me jump for joy.
The first special ingredient is store-bought lemon curd:
If you’re ambitious and a stickler for doing everything from scratch, homemade lemon curd is pretty wonderful (Ina Garten’s Lemon Curd recipe works well). But of course then you’ll most certainly blow my “30 minute dessert” rule. For me, I am more than happy to go with whatever I can find in the store!
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love these shells. Just crisp them up in an oven or toaster oven, for five minutes and they’re ready to fill! Having been brought to tears once in my pre-culinary school days after doing battle with some uncooperative phyllo dough, I am more than happy to take advantage of this convenience.
Armed with these two incredibly time-saving ingredients, preparation is very simple. Just whip some heavy cream with a little bit of powdered sugar and vanilla, stir in the lemon curd, fill the cups and top with your favorite berries, a dash of lemon zest and a final sprinkle of sugar:
Of course the fun is just begininning this recipe. You can substitute any kind of fresh berry, add a dollop of sour cream, a sprig of fresh mint. The lemon cream is also a very versatile ingredient. Spoon it over angel food or pound cake then top with mixed berries. Spoon it over sweet biscuits and strawberries for an instant shortcake. Or layer it with cake and fruit in glasses and top with slivered almonds for a quick trifle.
The tartlets can be made several hours in advance and the lemon cream will hold for several days in the fridge. And if my family’s response to these last night is any indication: MAKE EXTRA! They may take 15 minutes to make but trust me, they’ll disappear in a fraction of that time!
Perfect Little Lemon Blueberry Tartlets
1 package (15 count) frozen Phyllo shells (I use Athens® brand Mini Fillo Shells)
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon curd (I use Dickenson’s® Lemon Curd)
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
Pre-bake frozen phyllo shells according to package directions and set aside
Place a medium-sized metal bowl and beaters in the freezer for about ten minutes. Then remove. Add heavy cream to bowl along with 1 1/2 tsp powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until medium peaks form. Place lemon curd in a separate bowl and whisk until smooth. Add curd to whipped cream. Beat until well combined and smooth.
Spoon lemon cream into shells. Top with fresh blueberries and lemon zest. Dust with powdered sugar and serve*
*I think these benefit from chilling in the fridge about 30 minutes prior to serving. Can be made up to 8 hours in advance. Cover loosely and refrigerate. Leftover lemon cream will keep for several days in the fridge.