In a bowl with a pastry blender or in a food processor blend or pulse flour,
confectioners' sugar and salt until combined well and add butter, blending or
pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal.
In a small bowl whisk together yolks, ice water and vanilla extract until combined
well, then add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork or pulsing until incorporated.
Form dough into a ball and divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into a ball and
flatten to form disks. Chill disks, wrapped separately in a plastic wrap, for at
least 1 hour and up to 1 week.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Form 1 dough disk into twenty-four 1-inch balls, keeping remaining disk wrapped
and chilled. Press dough balls into bottoms and up sides of twenty-four 1/8-cup
mini-muffin cups (about 1 3/4 inches across top and 1 inch deep). Trim any overhang
with a knife and prick bottoms of shells with a wooden pick. Chill shells 15 minutes,
or until firm.
Bake shells in middle of oven 12 minutes, or until golden, and cool in cups on
Gently loosen shells with a knife and remove from cups, reserving shells for
chocolate bites (recipe below.). Make more shells (for lemon meringue bites; recipe
below) in same manner but after loosening shells do not remove them from cups. Tartlet
shells may be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes 48 tartlet shells.
Lemon Meringue Bites
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
24 Sweet Tartlet Shells in baking pans
3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Make lemon curd: Cut butter into pieces and in a heavy saucepan cook with zest,
lemon juice, and sugar over moderate heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and
mixture just comes to a simmer.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs and whisk in lemon mixture until combined well.
Transfer lemon curd to pan and heat over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until
it just begins to simmer. Pour lemon curd through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool
slightly. Chill curd, its surface covered with plastic wrap, at least 2 hours or
until cold, and up to 3 days.
Fill tartlet shells in baking cups with lemon curd. Chill tartlets, covered,
1 hour. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make meringue: In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat whites with a pinch of
salt until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat whites until they hold soft peaks.
Gradually add sugar, beating until meringue holds stiff peaks. Transfer meringue
to a pastry bag fitted with1/2 inch plain tip and pipe meringue 2 inches high onto
each tartlet, completely covering lemon curd.
Bake tartlets in middle of oven 3 minutes, or until meringue tips are just browned,
and cool in cups on racks. Chill tartlets in airtight containers at least 2 hours,
or until cold, and up to 1 day. Keep tartlets chilled until ready to serve.
Makes 24 tartlets.
Chocolate Truffle Bites
The large amount of chocolate glaze called for in this recipe makes the dipping
process easier. Leftover glaze is an excellent sauce for ice cream.
8 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 recipe (24) sweet tartlet shells
9 ounces fine quality bittersweet chocolate
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Filling: Chop chocolate and in a heavy saucepan, bring cream just to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and add chocolate, stirring until mixture is smooth. Transfer
filling to a bowl and cool slightly. Chill. filling, its surface covered with plastic
wrap, at least 4 hours or until completely cold and up to 3 days.
Put tartlet shells on a tray. With an electric mixer, beat the filling for 30
seconds, or until pale and thickened. Do not over-beat or it will become grainy.
Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with 1/2 inch plain tip and pipe filling
into shell 2 inches high, making sure filling touches insides of shells all the
way around (to firmly anchor it). Chill tartlets until filling is firm, about 1
Chocolate Glaze: Chop chocolate and cut butter into pieces. In a double-boiler
or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, combine all glaze
ingredients, stirring until mixture is smooth. Transfer glaze to a small saucepan
and cool to barely warm. Glaze may be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat
glaze over low heat to barely warm before proceeding.
To glaze tartlets: Holding saucepan at an angle, and working quickly, dip top
of 1 tartlet into glaze until filling is submerged almost to shell, holding tartlet
over glaze a few seconds to let excess glaze drip back into pan. Repeat procedure
with remaining tartlets.
Chill tartlets until glaze is set, about 15 minutes.
Tartlets may be made 1 day ahead and chilled in airtight containers.