Yes to this. Yes to all of this. I asked Lindsey for another Dessert For Two recipe, and when this showed up, it felt like she created these Mini Lemon Curd Tarts as a special gift to me. I adore lemon desserts, and this one couldn’t be easier, with simple ingredients and very little prep. Plus, these photos are killing me with their gorgeousness!
Citrus season is a great time to live in California. On the drive to school I pass at least a dozen trees dripping with oranges and lemons, and a friend of ours asked Oscar to help pick oranges from his tree, then sent him home with two giant bags full. Fresh-squeezed orange juice for days! We’re trying to figure out if there’s a sunny enough spot in our yard to plant a mini citrus grove — one tree each of lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, and kumquat. Doesn’t that sound dreamy?
Before we jump into the recipe, tell me friends, what’s your take on lemon desserts? I know lemons can bring out strong opinions. As for me, I’m not afraid to admit: I would choose this over a chocolate dessert any day!
Are you ready for a super easy, semi-homemade dessert (for two) that is out of this world? These Mini Lemon Curd Tarts are based on a beloved recipe I’ve been making since I first got married nearly 14 years ago. I’ve simplified it and kept all of the mouthwatering flavors, but instead of taking a day to make, it takes maybe 10-15 minutes tops – not counting chilling time.
Citrus season has become one of my favorite times of year. Something about the cold weather coupled with bright citrus makes winter a little easier to bear for those of us who live where the air hurts our faces. Meyer lemons are my favorite variety. They are a hybrid of lemons and mandarin oranges. That combo makes for a slightly sweeter lemon.
In the filling of these cute little tarts, I’ve used my homemade Meyer lemon curd. Totally use whatever lemon curd you can find or if you want to make your own, that’s awesome too. By the way, lemon curd can be found in grocery stores near the jams and jellies. Other fruit curds would be great here, too, if you can find them. (We are also partial to lime, passionfruit, mango, and pineapple.)
To the lemon curd, I add creme fraiche. It’s one of things I always tend to have in my fridge. It’s very similar to sour cream, but is much creamier. I’ve included substitution directions in the notes, if needed. Creme fraiche is magic with lemon curd.
The crust is made with crushed gingersnap cookies and a tiny bit of melted butter. That’s it! So, so easy. And so delicious for such a minimal effort.
Set aside a few minutes to make these cute little tarts, tuck them away in the fridge, and after dinner you’ll have a delicious, lemony dessert. No mixer needed!
Be sure to read the notes below for substitutions and other tips.
Mini Lemon Curd Tarts
1/2 cup (2 ounces) gingersnap crumbs (see note)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup creme fraiche (see note)
1/4 cup lemon curd (homemade lemon curd or store-bought)
2-3 teaspoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1. Have two 8-ounce custard cups, small bowls, or ramekins ready.
2. Place gingersnap crumbs in a medium bowl and stir in the melted butter. Divide the crumb mixture between the two cups or ramekins. Use your fingers to gently press into the bottom and a little up the sides of the dish. Set aside.
3. Wipe out the mixing bowl from the crumbs and place the creme fraiche into the bowl. Whisk vigorously for 30-60 seconds until it thickens and becomes lighter in texture. (It won’t whip up fluffy like whipped cream, but it will whip.) Fold in the lemon curd. Divide the mixture between the two dishes. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours to allow the tarts to set up.
4. Before serving, sprinkle the top of the tarts with the chopped crystallized ginger.
– To make the gingersnap crumbs, place the cookies into a resealable bag and crush them with the back of a wooden spoon. Or place in a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. I’ve made these with gluten-free gingersnaps and regular gingersnaps. Both work great.
– You can find creme fraiche in the cheese section of most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, substitute 1/4 cup heavy cream and whip it just until it thickens and forms soft peaks. Stir into the lemon curd and proceed with recipe as written.
-Other cookies may be used instead of ginger snaps — graham crackers, vanilla wafers, shortbread, etc.
Thank you so much, Lindsey! I haven’t even made this yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be my favorite recipe in the dessert for two series. Hah! It takes almost no imagination to picture me and Ben Blair staying up late, and eating these while watching Netflix, every single night. : )
If you make this, friends, let me know! I’d love to hear, and I’m sure Lindsey would too.
Credits: Photos and recipe by Lindsey Rose Johnson for Design Mom.