Monday, August 27, 2012

Lemon Tarts for a Very Special Bake Sale

"..all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others" ~Lewis Carroll

Yesterday Yvonne and I got together to make some baked goods for a Bake Sale being held at her work to benefit the family of a very special person, Bryce Halbert.

I was imagining we would bake a few items and be done within a few hours (ha!). In typical "LiveBakeLove" fashion, and with Yvonne in her trademark experimental mode, we wound up baking more than expected; cute Peanut Butter Cookies topped with Raspberry Jam in the shape of a heart, delicious Peach Bread w/ Pecan Crumble Topping, gorgeous Lemon Tarts w/Cream Cheese Crust and Candied Lemon Slices, yummy Lemon Blueberry Bread w/Fresh Lemon Glaze and creamy Mango Tarts topped w/Fresh Blueberries.

The set up for the Bake Sale at LJG was pretty amazing and humbling with so many people contributing to the event...

****update***Its amazing what people joining together with a little flour, butter and sugar can do for a a good cause.  The  company bakers raised $520.00 for the Halbert Family Trust today. I know it will not bring back the husband, father and all around great guy,  but we hope our contribution helps the grieving family.  LJG VP. Tunia Kaawa, matched the amount made at the sale so the family will get over $1000.00. LIVEBAKELOVE is very proud to have been able to help where we could. *****

To make your donation to the Halbert Family Trust Fund, please use this link
 Today we're sharing the recipe for these Lemon Tarts with Cream Cheese Crust and Candied Lemon Slices which had to be my favorite dessert of the day. The cream cheese in the crust makes it so tender and flaky and the filling (which is super easy to make), had just the right balance of tart & sweet. The candied lemon slices were not only for visual appeal, they are completely edible and totally delicious!

Lemon Tarts
Makes 12 "muffin" size tarts
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Crust Ingredients:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 tablespoons (a stick and a half) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour

Filling Ingredients:
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (around 3 lemons)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream

Candied Lemon Ingredients:
1 small lemon cut into 1/4" thick half moon slices
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water


Make the crust:

Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese, butter, sugar and salt. Add the flour and mix gently until dough is completely combined and cohesive.

Remove from bowl and shape into a 1" thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.

Make the filling:

In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the lemon juice, zest and sugar. Whisk in the eggs until completely combined then whisk in the sour cream until completely combined and smooth with no lumps.

Make the candied lemon slices:

In a saucepan or small skillet, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water.

Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Carefully add the lemon slices. Simmer 3-4 minutes each side.

Carefully remove slices and place on parchment paper or wax paper.

Note: You'll probably have more candied lemon slices than you need for the tarts. The leftovers would be delicious in unsweetened iced tea!

Assemble the tarts:

Preheat oven to 375F

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out onto a lightly floured surface into a 1/8" circle.

Using a biscuit cutter or any other cutting device as your template (we used a 3 1/2" fluted tart pan) cut into 12 pieces, reshaping and rerolling the dough scraps as needed.

Lightly spray your baking pan. Transfer the dough circles to the baking pan and gently press them into the pan being careful not to stretch the dough.

Pour the filling into each tart shell distributing evenly and filling nearly full.

Talk about "fitting a round peg into a square hole"...even though Yvonne cut the dough into circles, they actually worked perfectly with this square pan that she found at Marshalls. Ingenuity in the kitchen at its' finest! And the scalloped edges are so pretty...

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set. Baking time will depend upon the size of the pan you use;  regular muffin size tarts take approx 28-30 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with the candied lemon slices.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Lemon Tarts cooling next to our Coconut Cake w/Mango Filling (recipe coming soon....)

Serve when completely cool or refrigerate before serving.

Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Bake Sale Packaging Tips:

We've found that nice packaging of your baked goods for Bake Sales really helps with the presentation. We like to pick up cute bags, ribbon and disposable baking pans whenever we find them on sale.

The Peach Bread was baked in disposable paper tube pans then placed in a large ziploc bag (with the top cut off), then tied with a nice ribbon. The Peanut Butter Cookies were stacked on top of heart shaped paper doiles then placed in cellophane bags and tied with baking twine.


  1. Thank you both so much for all the yummy treats! You guys are amazing! The bake sale so far has been a huge success! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

  2. Wow great job ladies!! Everything looks AH-MAZING too! What a great cause :)

    1. Thank you... it was a great turn out! Try out these Tarts they were super yummy!.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! Since both Faye and i have sister's, not sure which SIS it is :-)!! But we thank you all.

  4. Excellent job! Look at all of those goodies!! I can't wait to try these Lemon Tarts! :)

    1. Hi! these were delicious. The favor was super good, and they looked adorable!. They were at hit at the bake sale. So were the peanut butter and strawberry heart cookies. Faye will need to post that one soon.