Mini tartlets make an impressive appetitzer or dessert, depending on whether you fill the small pastry cups with sweet or savory filling. The miniature version of the traditional tart can be eaten in only a few bites, making it an easy food to pass around on trays or serve with cocktail napkins. The tartlet crust is basically a miniature pie crust that creates a cup for filling that is left open rather than covered with a top crust. A muffin pan works well for shaping the tartlets before baking.
Things You'll Need
- Pie dough
- Mini muffin pan
- Vegetable shortening
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Serving tray
Roll 2 tablespoons of prepared pie dough in your hands to form a ball; repeat with the remaining dough. Lightly grease mini muffin cups with vegetable shortening and dust with flour or spray the cups with non-stick cooking spray.
Set one dough ball in each muffin cup. Press the dough to conform to the bottom and sides of the muffin pan. This is even easier with a tart tamper tool which has circular, flat ends that you press onto the dough to form the tartlet shape. Alternatively, you can roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick and cut out circles to press into the cups.
Poke the dough all over with a fork. Place the pan in the refrigerator or freezer for about half an hour to chill. Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fill the tartlet cups with your choice of filling, such as warm blueberry or raspberry compote, pecan pie filling, or caramelized onion and eggs. Skip this step if you want to fill the tartlets with a cold filling.
Bake the tartlets for 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust becomes firm and golden brown. Follow this step when baking filled or empty tartlet shells. Remove from the oven. Allow empty tartlets to cool completely.
Remove the tartlets to a serving tray. Fill the cups with your choice of filling, such as fresh custard, whipped cream or chocolate pudding.
Tips & Warnings
- While you might prefer the taste of warm fruit baked along with the tartlet shells, prebaked shells make great use of fresh berries and other fruits if you prefer to avoid the extra sugar in a fruit compote.
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