Two-bite tarts are like having your cake and eating it all, too. They are indulgent little goodies that satisfy the pesky earworm ”feed me, feed me, feed me something good” and they also don’t require that you must eat an entire 5-inch tart to do that. Two-bite tarts make great picnic or backyard barbecue desserts (read: Memorial Day cook-outs). And if you like dressier shindigs, these make terrific cocktail party goodies.
This recipe makes 16-18 standard (two-bite) muffin pan sized tarts. Of course, big old five-inch tarts are also a tasty dessert – this recipe could make 6-8 of those. Or you can downsize them to one-bite tarts by making them in two 24-count mini-muffin pans. Just be sure to down size the dough ball to a heaping teaspoon sized thing and reduce the baking time to better suit the small-fry size. The clue that they are done is that the filling is set and won’t be liquid looking and the crust is a nice nutty brown. People prefer “golden brown” but I’ve yet to see a crust turn golden – they mostly just look almond nutty brown.
I love blackberries in and on top of lemon stuff, but any berry will work well. Use what’s in season or easy to find at the market. Mix up the berries if that works for you. But do add those top berries close to serving time so they look their best.
Meyer lemons look and taste the best for these little tarts, but any decent lemon will do. Be sure to sample the lemon to make sure you don’t need to adjust the sugar. Meyer lemons are typically sweeter than some other (talking to you major grocery chain) lemons that feel like they might be disguised as little yellow boulders instead of fruit.
Also, please do chill those little tart shells once they are in the pan and formed. The crust comes out so much more crusty when they go into the oven from the freezer or refrigerator. You can also spread out the effort by making the tart dough the day before and leaving it to chill in the refrigerator overnight which really benefits the texture and flavor – letting the flours and starch hydrate fully.
Two-bite tarts – the picnic dessert that will win you friends and more friends.
And guess what? We have a new book (September 3, 2013) with tons of new recipes and a few new versions of recipes you might have seen here. It’s available for preorder and that means you will get it as soon as it is hot off the press. It’s all about baking, and we’ve included a savory chapter (did you faint?). Nosh on This published by The Experiment. You can buy it everywhere it seems, but you can preorder it here.
|Lemon Blackberry Two-Bite Tarts, Gluten Free||
- 300 grams Canteen Flour (2⅓ cups)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 170 grams shortening (Spectrum Solid, organic)
- 70-100 grams ice water (weight without ice)
- 300 grams granulated sugar (1 ½ cups)
- Zest from three lemons (Meyer lemons preferred)
- 6 extra large eggs
- 130 grams Canteen Flour (1 cup)
- 175 grams freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 scant cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla/lavender powder
- 25-32 blackberries (one or two small berries per tart)
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- 18-20 fresh blackberries
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse flour, sugar and salt. Add shortening and pulse until mixture looks like uneven coarse crumbs. Add half of the ice water down the processor chute and pulse, adding water a little at a time, just until the mixture comes together in a ragged ball. Don’t add more water than necessary and you will probably not use the last 30-40 grams. Knead dough on plastic wrap until it comes together, one to two turns. If you have time, wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Divide into 16-18 even pieces. Roll into balls.
- Grease 16-18 standard muffin openings with nonstick spray. Place a skinny strip of parchment in each opening so the ends come up the sides like a handle. The spray will hold the parchment. Place a ball of dough in each opening and flatten with a glass lined with plastic wrap or use your fingers to make the dough come up the sides like a tart shell. Freeze pan for about 20 minutes.
- Mix sugar and lemon zest together with clean fingertips. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together until well combined.
- While preparing the filling and freezing tart shells, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake frozen tart shells in the muffin pan for 15 minutes. While the liners are warm, pour in the filling. Push one or two small berries into the filling of each tart. Bake about 15-17 minutes more or until the filling is set and crust is nutty brown. Cool in the pans to room temperature. Remove each tart using the parchment paper handle and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Top each tart with a dusting of sifted powdered sugar and a fresh blackberry. Serve at room temperature.