DIY TUTORIAL: Mini Lemon Tartlets

by Jillian Leslie on

Nicole W doesn’t just throw incredible parties, she also makes incredible desserts.

When Nicole offered to put together a tutorial on how she made the mini lemon tartlets from her Secret Garden Baby Shower, I got very excited. Take a look at this photo and you will see why… just gorgeous!


Here’s how Nicole did her magic…

You will need:

  • Prepared pie crust dough
  • Lemon Curd (either bought or homemade).  I’ve done it both ways.  When I made my own, this was the recipe I used from Food Network.


  • Roll out pie crust
  • Use a 3.75″ wide flower-shaped cookie cutter to cut out mini crusts


  • Place the crusts gently in a lightly greased mini-muffin tin


  • Fill halfway with lemon curd, being careful not to overfill


  • Bake at 375 for 18 minutes, or until the pastry starts to turn a golden color


A special note on pie crust…

This is the recipe I always use for my pie crust:
Single Crust Pie Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • Approximately 7 Tablespoons ice-cold water/vodka mixture

Pie crust is fussy stuff.  It can so easily turn into an incredibly hard and chewy mess.  You have to have an exquisitely gentle touch when combining the ingredients.  Gluten can develop so quickly and make your pie crust absolutely inedible.  To prevent formation of the gluten, we do things like use ice water, put the flour in the freezer, put the shortening in the freezer, barely mix the dough with the lightest touch possible, never re-roll the dough.

The magic bullet, however, came courtesy of Cooks Illustrated.  Flour needs water to develop gluten, so if you replace some of the water with another liquid (in this case vodka), the gluten can’t develop!  Brilliant!  I’m still gentle when handling my pie dough, but it can take so much more abuse if you just replace about 1/3 of the water with vodka.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, and the alcohol bakes out.

I buy exceptionally cheap vodka in a giant plastic bottle for cake decorating and making pie crusts.  And yes, I did get the one named Borg so that if I ever did decide to drink the stuff, I could wake up the next morning nursing a headache and saying “I was annihilated by the Borg.”  </geek moment>

I had no idea you were a geek, Nicole!  Thank you for putting together this tutorial. My husband could eat that entire plate of tartlets.

As I mentioned above, Nicole makes fantastic cakes and desserts so please check out her other parties. Also, to learn more about Nicole check out the custom wedding accessories she designs as her day job. 🙂






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    Angie G wrote:

    I can't make pie crust to save my life. I will have to try to vodka and if it doesn't work I can drink away my defeat :-) I'm so enjoying your website and blog. It all looks great!

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    Karen wrote:

    very cute! :-)

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    Sue Ann wrote:

    YEP Vodka in a pie crust is so important ........ my husband always looks at me like I am crazy when I have the vodka out at 9am and no OJ in sight. Love the mini tarts and great idea for the flower cookie cutter!!! LEMON CURD ROCKS!!!

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    Lori Clement wrote:

    These are adorable! I am linking up to these on my blog, Full credit goes to you of course, but let me know if for any reason you want me to remove it. I love this idea, and definitely plan to use it!

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    Rachel wrote:

    Just made these with caramel, thank you so much for posting the idea!

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    Nicole wrote:

    Just curious, how many of these does this recipe make?

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    Debbi wrote:

    Do you have to cook the lemon curd or could you just bake the tarts and spoon lemon curd into them?? Thanks

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    Fern wrote:

    i have an easy dough recipe to share with you. if you try it just let me know how you like it. i use it for pie, tourtiere, buttertarts, lemon, blueberries, cherries etc.... dough recipe: 5 cup all-purpose flour 1 lbs lard 1 can of 7-up or sprite do not use ginger ale mix the flour and lard together then add the can of 7-up. it make enough dough for about 4 to 5 double pie. enjoy

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    Fern wrote:

    sorry forgot to said that if it too sticky just add more flour to it if you need too. i flour the counter top and the rolling pin. hope you like it. this was giving to me by a girl that sell tupperware. have fun making it i share that recipe with family and friends and they all said the same this is the only dough recipe they were going to use from now on.

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    Summer wrote:

    Darling! How far ahead can these be made? And are they freezable? :)

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    Laura @ Inspiration For Moms wrote:

    Very cute desserts, I featured them in my Friday's Fantastic Finds. Have a wonderful week! Laura

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    Detektei wrote:

    This looks amazing and really beautiful. I love doof formed in blossoms, so nice!

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    Chenita Boyce wrote:

    After I bake these, can I freeze them and what's the best way to do it

  • Joesy P

    Joesy P wrote:

    Hi I was wondering if you could use pumpkin pie in these and if so should you pre bake them first. I love the idea of using the vodka I hope it works I am not the best pie maker mostly because I hate making the dough I'd rather make bread.