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Shortbread Tarts with Cream Filling Recipe

Cream Cheese Filling: In your food processor or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and process just until smooth. (Do not over process or the filling will be too runny.) Transfer the filling to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or preferably overnight. Can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

Shortbread Tarts:  Lightly butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, 36 miniature muffin tins (approximately 2 inch (5 cm) in diameter).

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together (1-2 minutes) until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and mix just until incorporated. If the shortbread dough is too soft to roll into balls, cover and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.

Take a scant 1 tablespoon of shortbread dough (about 15 grams) and place in the center of each muffin tin. With your fingertips, press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the individual muffin tin. Once filled, cover and place the tart pan, with the unbaked shells, in the freezer for about 15 minutes so the shortbread can become firm. (This will help to prevent the shortbread from puffing up during baking.) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. About halfway through the baking time, if the shortbread has puffed up, lightly prick the bottom of each shortbread with the tines of a fork. Once they are fully baked, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove the tarts from the pan. (They can be frozen.)

To serve: Using two small spoons, fill the tart shells with a dollop of the cream cheese filling. (Can also place the filling in a piping bag, fitted with a small plain tip.) The filled tart shells can be made several hours in advance and refrigerated. Just before serving top with fresh berries or cut up fruit.

Makes about 36 - 2 inch (5 cm) shortbread tarts.

Cream Cheese Filling:

1-8 oz. (227 grams) package full fat cream cheese, room temperature

1-14 ounce (396 grams) can sweetened condensed milk

Zest of one lemon (outer yellow skin)

1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Shortbread Tarts:

1 cup (227 grams) (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (55 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (200 grams) all purpose flour

3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch (corn flour) or rice flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Garnish with berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) or other fruit such as slices of kiwi.

Scan for Demonstration Video: