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Lemon Blackberry Tarts

April 14, 2012

I love lemons.  I love how lemons remind me of warming sunshine.  The bright yellow color uplifts while the fragrance of fresh zest invigorates.  Ah, yes, the lemon they are a super food and with good reason.  ‘Lemons are sour and warm. They are a promoter of gastric fire, light, good for vision, pungent and astringent.  Lemons check the excessive flow of bile and cleanse the mouth. Lemons also assist in dislodging phlegm (cough) and expelling wind from the digestive tract. Lemons also aid in digestion and helps remove constipation. Did you know that lemons also prevent vomiting, throat trouble, acidity and rheumatism. Lemons are also capable of destroying intestinal worms.’ According, to Earth In Common lemons are an extremely beneficial part of our diets.

If you love lemons you’ll love these glorious Lemon Blackberry Tarts.  This Lemon Blackberry Tart pairs a crisp yet sweet shortbread pastry crust with a creamy smooth lemon curd filling topped off with fresh blackberries. Lemon Curd is actually considered to be a preserve and while you can purchase it,  you really should try to make your own as it is very easy to make and the flavor is far better tasting.  What’s great about Lemon Curd is that it can be made well in advance, it keeps well, covered, in the refrigerator for about a week or so.  If you are experienced at making preserves, it can be sealed into jars. The tangy flavor and creamy smooth consistency of the Lemon Curd is perfectly balanced by the sweet flavor and crisp yet crumbly texture of the pastry crust. The crust does have to be pre-baked so make sure you prick the bottom of the crusts before baking to prevent it from puffing up.

Lemon-Blackberry Tarts

For the Shortbread Pastry Crust

2 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 tablespoon vanilla

For the Lemon Curd Filling

3 large eggs
3/4 cup  sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon zest

To Prepare the Shortbread Pastry Crust

Place the flour and icing sugar in a bowl. Place the butter and margarine in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat until softened. Add the flour and icing sugar and beat on low speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.  Flatten the pastry into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or just until firm.

Lightly butter and flour  6~ 4-inch tart pans with a removable bottoms. Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, evenly pat it into the bottoms and up the sides of the tart pans. Cover the tart shells with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F  and place rack in center of oven. Lightly prick bottom of pastry crust with the tines of a fork (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Place the prepared tart pans on a larger baking pan and bake the crusts for 10-12 minutes or until crust is dry and lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

To Prepare the Lemon Curd Filling

In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like a hollandaise sauce). This will take about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and allow to cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate for up to a week.

Note: If you would like a lighter lemon curd or lemon mousse whip 1/2 cup  of whipping cream and fold into the lemon curd.

To Assemble the Tarts

Once the pastry shells have cooled, evenly fill them with the lemon curd. The tarts may be served immediately or covered and placed in the refrigerator until serving time. Place a few fresh blackberries on top and serve.  Alternately you could serve them plain or with softly whipped cream and fresh berries.

Makes 6 ~ 4-inch tarts
Martha Stewart
Earth In Common

If you are looking for a rather quick and effortless dessert that looks to be on the contrary, this is it!  These little tarts would be wonderful on a sunny afternoon as they are lemony and light!

From our kitchen to yours,
Sydney Jones

19 Comments leave one →
  1. daniellekrawiec permalink
    April 14, 2012 2:57 pm

    Very pretty!

  2. April 14, 2012 4:04 pm


  3. April 14, 2012 4:41 pm

    Very pretty! They look like they took hours to make!

    • April 18, 2012 11:32 am

      you may tell your guests they take hours to make but they don’t take long at all 🙂 it will be our secret!

  4. April 14, 2012 5:38 pm

    These so cute and beautiful 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. April 15, 2012 12:57 pm

    Oh yes! I wish I had one of these right now. Lemon and blackberry always work together well. Yummy.

  6. April 16, 2012 4:17 am

    Mm, I bought a bag of lemons and limes on Friday and when I was packing the shopping away I had to stop and inhale the beautiful scent of the fruits – I love lemons too… so summery and amazing. These look incredible, the tarts – patisserie quality!

    • April 18, 2012 11:34 am

      Thank you so much Charles! I hope you find some creative ways to use your lemons 🙂

  7. April 16, 2012 12:28 pm

    what beauties those tarts!!! and i love the flavor combination of lemon and berries! lovely!

  8. eliotthecat permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:04 pm

    I drove by the local blackberry U-pick farm this weekend and they were actually blooming. I think this might be one of the first things I make when I go pick.

    • April 18, 2012 11:31 am

      WOW!! They are already in bloom?? That sounds so early, they are not in season here until late summer and there are no u-picks (that I know of) for blackberries. When you go to the U-pick, pick some for me too 🙂 I hope you enjoy these Eliot!


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