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little lemony tartlets

Spree’s been making messes around here for 2 years now! That deserves something. It’s not a huge anniversary – no reason to go hog-wild. Let’s keep it simple, very simple. That suits Spree best. Jeans, soft sweaters and comfy shoes. Bring a dish of comfort if you like but nothing more. We’ll have lots to eat and drink. We’ll build fires, sit on quilts and wait for Spring to come. We’ll watch the birds eating just outside the windows and we’ll look close at crocus pushing up the dirt. We’ll eat savory popcorn and watch old movies. We’ll tell each other stories and laugh til our sides ache. We’ll roll the rugs back and dance (like the winter-weary but happy fools we are.) We’ll rest our heads on each other’s shoulders and maybe nod off a time or two. And then before you leave for home again, we’ll have little lemony tartlets, so that everyone can have their own, and

Spree will have 2.


A two-part dessert that’s easy as pie:

Little Lemon Curd Tartlets

In a Gingersnap Crust


The Curd:

(makes 1 pint)

Lemons – 2 or 3

Sugar – ½ cup

Eggs – 3 – lightly beaten

Unsalted Butter – ½ cup (4 oz/125g)

Optional: Lemon Extract – ½ teaspoon


Cut the butter into small cubes. Finely grate the zest of one lemon. Set aside and cover. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze enough juice to measure 1/3 cup.

Place a non-reactive, heat-proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Be certain that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and eggs (lightly beaten) to the bowl and whisk or stir continuously. Add the butter, a few small cubes at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Continue stirring until all the butter has been incorporated and the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. (10 – 15 minutes)

Pour the curd into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and stir until the silky lemony pudding has made its way to the bowl below. Stir in the zest (and lemon extract if you like – I do) and then set aside to cool.


The Crust:

makes 4 tartlet shells

I used a store-bought gingersnaps for this crust – and (weird that I am) I counted them so that I could tell you it will take 20 cookies to make 4 tartlet shells. Of course that will depend on the size of the cookie, but the standard shelf brand in the US measures out that way. But if you have a kitchen scale, it’s a snap.

Gingersnap crumbs – 1¾ cups (5 oz/155g)

Unsalted Butter – 5 Tablespoons

All-purpose Flour – ¼ cup

Optional – Powdered Ginger – ½ teaspoon


Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and butter four 4½ inch tartlet pans with removable bottoms.

In a food processor, combine the gingersnap crumbs and flour; drop in the butter. Pulse until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture begins to clump together. (It’s unlikely, but is dependent on your brand of snap – if the mixture is too “dusty” and doesn’t cling together, add another pat of butter.) Remove the mixture from the processor, divide into 4 equal parts, and press into the pans –  first onto the bottom and secondly up the sides.

(I find that a heaping soup-spoon full onto the bottom, then evened out and pressed with the back of the spoon works well. I then hold the tartlet pan more or less upright over the bowl and with my fingers pick up crumbs enough to fill that section, press them in, then turn the pan to add more. This helps evenly distribute the crust and avoid thickness at the seam.) 

Place the filled tartlet pans on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven until the crusts are set and begin to lightly brown. (7 minutes in my oven – maybe up to 9.) Transfer carefully to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Remove the shells from their pans by gently pushing up on the bottom disk. Spoon the lemon curd into the shells.


Serve — with a dollop of sweetened creme fraiche or whipped cream to which has been added a drizzle of vanilla extract and enough confections sugar to please you. Alternately, you can place on top a few raspberries, blueberries, or sliced sweet strawberries (if it’s summer where you are.) Or a few slices of bright green kiwi. In any event, sprinkle with lemon zest to finish.

{ print the recipes }


Keep the faith…

Spring will soon be here!

and together we can make it… 


{ a note to my blogging buddies – I’ve been working under a couple of deadlines recently and have been a bit tardy – and sometimes altogether absent – I’ll be back reading again as soon as I can }

54 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m ready to roll the rug back with you! what a lovely, snappy post… Spree-esque in every way…Such divine looking tartlets. And I know where to find GF ginger snapettes.

    February 19, 2013
    • I so meant to mention gluten-free gingersnaps and it slipped me mind! Thank you for bringing it to our attention little Lina!

      February 20, 2013
  2. ps…I shall have three, please.

    February 19, 2013
  3. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!
    Your lemon curd looks good enough to eat by itself, Spree. How ever did you manage to save enough to make the tartlets? I’d have to make a double-batch, no doubt about it. Even so, your tartlets look perfect, a fitting way to celebrate an anniversary.

    February 19, 2013
    • Oh Thanks John. Lemon curd good enough to eat by itself? Hmm I hadn’t thought about that! 😉 OK…I did….a few times. You know that spoon suspended in that full jar of luscious lemon curd? It made numerous roundtrips between the jar and my mouth after the photo session was up. Mm hmm. It’s good. And I anticipated your advice and made a double batch, just to be on the safe side. 🙂

      February 20, 2013
  4. Appropriately sprightly and zesty and gorgeous–the mark of Spree’s food and her own fabulous self! Happy anniversary, my lovely! xoxo!

    February 19, 2013
    • Why thank you kindly dear Kathryn! I always so love when you leave words in your wake! 🙂 xx

      February 20, 2013
  5. What a delicious recipe. I was looking for a lemon curd recipe yesterday, and lo, here it is. Great looking pictures.

    February 20, 2013
    • Well lo! Here you go. (You might take John’s advice and make a double batch. It’s too good!)

      February 20, 2013
  6. Congratulations on the anniversary. What lovely pictures, they make me feel Spring is in the air. Lemon curd is one of my favourite flavours.

    February 20, 2013
    • Ah Maria, thank you so much! Pleases me lots to know that you feel a hint of Spring after visiting. 🙂 And I’m with you…lemon curd is pretty exquisite stuff…and such a simple pleasure.

      February 20, 2013
  7. I absolutely love lemon tarts…. and must try this soon. 🙂

    February 20, 2013
    • Oh if you love lemon tarts, you’ll be happy with this one. It’s a pretty delightful little thing. 🙂 Thank you for stopping in!

      February 20, 2013
  8. Congratulations on two wonderful blogging years! Not weird at all to count the gingersnaps, makes perfect sense to me. I adore lemon curd and putting it with ginger….heavenly 🙂

    February 20, 2013
    • Oh I’m so relieved Tanya to have a weird friend in you! (Kidding!!) So as long as you’re interested, in a box of “___” brand Gingersnaps (the one most common here in the states) there are 60 cookies, enough to make 3 batches of tart shells, so that’s what I did. Whatever will I do with 12 heavenly lemon tartlets? 🙂 I’d be happy to share with you!

      February 20, 2013
  9. Savoring the fresh clean tang of lemons combined with the spicy taste of ginger while sipping a just brewed cup of Earl Grey–what could be better?

    February 20, 2013
    • In this moment…Nothing. Nothing at all. 🙂

      February 20, 2013
  10. Delightful tartlets …. congratulation to the 2 years .. and I been around for 3rd for sure.

    February 20, 2013
    • Ahh Viveka, thank you friend! Sorry to have missed a couple of your posts recently – I’ll be back around very soon!

      February 20, 2013
      • No problems .. you don’t have to catch up – I have been busy too the last few days – and I will never be able to catch up … have to be brutal and delete the last couple of days emails.
        It’s a catch 22. While we are trying to catch up – new posts are being made.

        February 22, 2013
  11. Yay — congratulations on your two years! What a beautiful way to celebrate. These look UNBELIEVABLE! I love the china on the quilt and the gorgeous photos of the lemon curd on that springy towel (I’d forgotten how easy that is to make). Yes, indeed, spring does seem just around the corner. Your post made me feel so happy and downright springy myself. 🙂

    February 20, 2013
    • Honestly…it doesn’t get a lot better for dessert than luscious lemonyness! I’m glad on this at least we agree! (We’re so often worlds apart – hehe!) 🙂 We’ve had some lovely Spring-teaser days around here…pretty soon now we’ll start taking it seriously! I happen to know the power of your springy happiness, and it could easily bring Spring to these parts early! Thank you for your efforts on our collective behalf! xx

      February 20, 2013
  12. Congrats on being 2. Lovely post, lovely tartlets.

    February 20, 2013
    • I feel so much more mature at 2…thank you Richard, very much!!

      February 20, 2013
  13. Congrats! This looks so yummy!!

    February 20, 2013
    • Thank you…and it IS. 🙂

      February 20, 2013
  14. Beautiful. How I wish I had one now. And, many happy returns!

    February 20, 2013
    • Merci! How I wish I could share them with you Michelle!

      February 20, 2013
  15. Happy 2 years anniversary and thanks for sharing lovely lemon tarts!!!

    February 20, 2013
    • Well, you’re so welcome, and thank YOU!! 🙂

      February 20, 2013
  16. Happy second blogiversary, Spree! This lemon tart is a lovely way to celebrate. And thank you for bringing a little bit of springtime to the screen. It’s a lovely contrast all the white stuff I see outside the window!

    February 21, 2013
    • I’ve heard about your weather Mar…ooooo…am very happy to bring you a touch of spring, even if only virtually. Spring will feel SO good when it hits you!

      February 25, 2013
  17. That looks utterly wonderful! What a perfect tart – simply stunning.

    February 21, 2013
  18. “We’ll build fires, sit on quilts and wait for Spring to come” count me in Spree, count me in. Especialy if there is a lemony pud involved !!! A wonderful post and recipe, and another saved to my favourites file 🙂

    February 21, 2013
    • Thank you Claire! I just knew the pud would appeal to you! Your spot on the quilt’s reserved…can’t wait to see you! 🙂

      February 25, 2013
  19. Perfect timing,Spree; my book club is meeting at my house next time and they have no idea what a fabulous treat they’re about to eat! This will trump all discussions about the book we’re supposed to read!

    February 21, 2013
    • You’re so cute Ronnie! Thank you! So what book will it be, with bits of lemony curd and crumbs caught in the spine? (I haven’t a doubt in the world that you’ll love this!) 🙂

      February 21, 2013
  20. These look delicious!

    February 22, 2013
    • Thanks Shimon…I’ve got to confess, they are.

      February 25, 2013
  21. settleandchase #

    Now, this just sounds like my perfect party!!

    February 22, 2013
  22. estherhwillow #

    Reblogged this on Birdies Blog.

    February 22, 2013
  23. Happy blogiversary! And thanks for making us tarts with ginger crusts. Because some people don’t like graham crusts, and it would be a shame to eat all of the lemony bits and leave the crust behind…

    February 23, 2013
    • Thanks Movita, and ’tis true…would be a shame!

      February 25, 2013
  24. Congratulations Spree 🙂 my blog just turned two this past week too 🙂
    Your introduction put a big smile on my face. Oh how I wish we could!
    Spring is indeed on the way but waiting for it is not easy on cold and gloomy days.
    I have a little basket of lemons on the kitchen table and now I know the sweet end they will meet!

    February 23, 2013
    • I missed your “birthday” Sawsan! Did you celebrate? Would have loved to have you here celebrating along with us…even though was just a virtual party, it was virtually a lot of fun! 🙂 Congratulations on turning 2 too! 🙂

      February 25, 2013
  25. deb #

    I am a big fan of anything lemon, and this looks and sounds like it could end up a favorite. Such a bright and cheery entry this time of year 🙂 Your attention to detail makes all your posts so appealing. Happy spring, and anniversary!

    February 24, 2013
    • Ahh you’re sweet Deb! Thank you. We’ll have to bring you more lemons! 🙂

      February 25, 2013
  26. These look delectable and this is just how I would like to spend my birthday in a couple weeks. Comfy shoes, soft sweaters (probably still in April but no winter coats!) eat and drink and be with a few good friends. Happy belated number 2.

    March 24, 2013
    • Ahh thank you Wendy! It’d be such a pleasure to have you here!

      March 24, 2013
  27. Ooh this needs to be tried!! I LOVE the ginger snap addition to the pastry, so clever!!

    July 6, 2013

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