These lemon tarts look adorable, are super zesty and have the added bonus of being made with olive oil whole grain pastry and no dairy. They also are refined sugar free, sweetened with maple syrup, and nut free. You could make them with gluten free flour if you would like them to be gluten free but I’ve chosen spelt and wholegrain flour for their rich nutty flavour.
The lemon curd filling is flecked with vanilla which perfectly compliments the flavour of the maple syrup. They are above all a lemon tart though and they scream lemon at the top of their lungs. By not using too much sweetener the lemon flavour is really allowed to shine and is the perfect balance to the nutty tasting (but nut free!) base.
If you’re an avid reader of the blog you may recognise the lemon curd recipe from both my favourite porridge of all time and these refined sugar free meringues. The quantity is larger here and it worked just as seamlessly.
I love this olive oil pastry for it’s simplicity, it’s so quick and easy to whip up and surprisingly easy to handle. I’ve used it before in this beetroot and goats cheese galette, and just added a tiny hint of vanilla and sweetness to take it to the dessert side of things in this recipe.
You could make this one large tart but I think these small bites of creamy lemon curd incased in a crisp shell are the perfect amount. You don’t need any fancy mini tart tins either, just use a 12 hole muffin tin and you’re away laughing.
You could serve these with some coconut cream (keeping it dairy free) or mascarpone if you wanted to get a little fancy. Even a little raspberry on top could be nice. Personally, I like them just as they are, simple and delicious mini lemon tarts.
1 cup spelt flour (I like the stoneground whole grain variety)
1 cup wholegrain all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs maple syrup
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
Lemon Curd (makes approx. 2 cups)
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup brown rice malt or maple syrup (honey would work too)
1 vanilla pod scraped
3 tsp lemon zest
Other: Rice or pie weights
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Set aside 2 x 12 hole muffin tins
For the pastry:
Mix the flours and baking powder together in a large bowl. Mix the water and oil together by whisking well or shaking in a jar.
Pour the liquid into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Tip out onto a piece of baking paper or clean smooth surface and roll into a circle about 2 mm thick. It might be a little wet feeling, this is fine.
Use a glass or cookie cutter to cut circles, peel off using a spatula and place in 12 hole muffin tins. The muffin tins should not need to be greased as the pastry contains oil, if yours are quite old feel free to lightly grease. Press pastry into holes lightly so there is a 1 cm edge. Fill with a scant tablespoon of rice or pie weights to prevent the middle rising. Bring any pastry scraps together into a bowl and roll out again, cut the circles and so on until you have 20 holes of the muffin tins lined.
Cook in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, remove the pie weights after 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack.
For the lemon curd:
Combine syrup and lemon juice in a heavy based small sauce pan over a low heat and stir until combined, while this is happening lightly beat the egg (I do this in a stand mixer to make the next part easier).
Next, pour the hot lemon syrup mixture into the bowl whilst continuously beating the egg. Continue to beat for about 1 minute (in a stand mixer, double if doing by hand).
Return the mixture to the sauce pan, add 2 tsp lemon zest and whisk continuously over a low heat until the mixture has thickened to a curd consistency. This should take about 5 minutes. Take off heat, pour into a container and set aside until needed. it’s important that it’s is very cool when you use it so that it thickens further.
Once the tart shells are cool fill with the lemon curd being careful to evenly disperse it. Top with a sprinkle of the reserved lemon zest. They are best served at least half an hour after making as it will give the curd time to set in the tart shell.
You can refrigerate these for a couple of days, but give them time to come closer to room temperature before serving.