Mini Lemon Crostata (Italian Mini Lemon Tarts)

Check the video for this recipe here

Yield: 1 x 9-inch tart or 1×26 mini cupcake pan

For the pasta frolla or pastry (check also the video here)

  • 2 sticks cold butter (8 oz)
  • 2 cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almonds, finely grounded

For the lemon cream or curd (check also the video here)

  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  •  Pinch sea salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

To make the pastry, mix the flour, sugar, ground almonds. Cut the butter in pieces and add it to the dry mixture. Mix everything together with your hand or using a mixer until it become crumbly. Add egg and mix just until the dough comes together. If the dough doesn’t comes together add a little bit of water (one tablespoon at the time).

With your hands, form the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic, and let rest for 1 hour.

In the meantime make the filling, in a small saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, sugar, eggs and yolks, cornstarch and fine sea salt over medium heat until boiling and thickened, 2 to 5 minutes. Make sure mixture comes to a boil or the cornstarch won’t activate. But once it boils do not cook for longer than 1 minute or you risk the curd thinning out again. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Whisk in olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Oil the pan with olive oil.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out and fit it into the pan. If using a bigger pan, prick the bottom with a fork in several places. This won’t be necessary for the mini cupcake pan.

Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes.

When the shortbread is ready, take it out of the oven and carefully pour the lemon curd onto the shortbread base; return the pan to the oven. Bake until topping is just set, 10 to 15 minutes more. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving. You can also add some berries just before serving.