Our favorite mini tart recipes or little pies without a top crust. They are a great way to serve individual desserts or make something REALLY special for mom on mother’s day or for any special occasion.
I wanted to make a really special dessert for my daycare moms, so I came up with the best combinations I could think of for mini tart recipes. They are adorable and would be a really special gift for mother’s day, Easter, Valentine’s day, someone’s birthday, or other special days. Nothing makes someone feel special like a gorgeous individualized dessert just for them.
Mini tart recipes
This year we had to do our annual Mom’s night out as a take-home bag and I wanted to make the bags as special as possible. So I worked on creating some recipes for the cutest and best tasting individual pies anyone ever tasted.
I made them in 4 inch aluminum pie pans and put them in pretty little brown boxes. I punched a heart-shaped hole in the front of the box and tied a cute little name tag on with a little baker’s twine bow. I LOVE how cute they turned out.
They turned out amazing and the moms thought they were really special. They are teeny tiny, and I wanted to make choices of flavors, so I decided to have a little bake sale since it was Valentine’s weekend anyway and sell the rest of them for fun. They went over great. I think it would make an awesome fundraiser for the daycare to do a bake sale of them again.
Mini pie crust
I started with a poll on facebook to find out what the most popular flavors were. Then I wanted to make a unique crust for the mini tarts so they would taste even better than regular pie. I’m not a fan of pie crust at all, so I wanted something sandier and sweeter than that to contain my mini tarts.
Shortbread pie crust
I made a couple of prototypes and had a few people sample them. I liked sugar cookie the best, but everyone else who voted preferred the shortbread crust I created.
I had a big flower-shaped cookie cutter, so I cut them out with that and put them down into the little pie pan and it made the little mini tart look like a flower. I loved how they turned out! If you don’t have tiny pie pans, you can also use a 4 inch flower cutter and a muffin tin and make the mini tarts like that.
Crispy, buttery, sandy melt in your mouth shortbread that you can roll out and form into a pie shell for a tart.
- 2 sticks salted butter
- 2 c flour
- 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
Beat the butter until light and fluffy.
Add powdered sugar and beat well.
Add flour, baking powder and vanilla and lightly mix until the dough starts to come together.
For a large tart, press into the shell, for mini tarts, roll dough 1/8 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters.
Carefully place into pie tins or muffin tins. Shortbread is very fragile as dough and when cooked. Be gentle.
Bake at 350 for 10-14 minutes until the crust is toasty brown.
Cool before adding filling.
This recipe will make shortbread to fill one 10 inch tart shell if you aren’t doing mini tarts. You could also probably fill 12 muffin tins with smaller crusts.
Next I needed to choose fillings.
The most popular mini tart flavors in my poll were fruit with cream cheese (but finding fresh fruit that’s in season in February was proving impossible) and lemon. So I decided on lemon with cream cheese, blueberry pie filling (not fresh berries) with cream cheese, cranberry pie filling with cream cheese, and coconut cream with meringue topping. They turned out so delicious.
One tip for making really good fillings is to always use butter instead of margarine. Add a little salt to enhance the flavors. Just a pinch is all it takes. Using whole milk or cream gives more flavor and better texture. Using good quality ingredients makes all the difference.
The next step I took was to make a bunch of cream cheese fillings and try them out until I found the best-tasting one. I ended up choosing this one and it turned out perfectly with all of the pie fillings. I didn’t put it in the coconut one because it had meringue.
The absolute best-tasting mini tart was the blueberry pie filling with cream cheese. They were all amazing though. I named them sweetie pies since they look so cute and fun. Just as sweet as can be. They would go great with some spa water or other fun special drink like watermelon lemonade. Oooo, or a cherry limeade.
Cream cheese filling for sweetie pies
Sweet cream cheese filling to put in mini tart under the fruit topping
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix together well and drop a spoonful in the bottom of each tart crust.
Spread flat and top with desired topping.
For the lemon tartlet, I added a spoon full of cream cheese filling to the cooled crust and then a scoop of yummy lemon curd on top of that. I beat up some heavy cream with a little powdered sugar and vanilla and piped in on top of the lemon to make it look even sweeter.
Sweet fluffy whipped cream to make your dishes better than you ever thought possible. So much better than store bought whipped topping.
- 1 c heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Beat whipping cream until it starts to thicken.
Add powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
Add vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to go too far or you'll end up with butter.
Sweet, tangy, silky curd made with lemon zest and lemon juice.
- 1 c sugar
- 1 T finely grated lemon zest
- 2/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 T salted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, whisk together sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and chunks of butter.
Cook, whisking constantly over medium high heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add lemon extract, and continue to whisk a few more minutes.
Place on top of cream cheese filling in mini tart shell and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Cranberry dessert with cream cheese
For the cranberry mini tart, I started with a spoon full of cream cheese filling again and then topped it with cranberry curd and decorated with whipped cream. You don’t have to use the whipped cream, but on the curd mini tarts, I thought it looked cute.
Sweet, tangy, silky curd with a bits of cranberry.
- 12 oz frozen cranberries
- juice of one orange
- 1 1/4 c raw sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 stick butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the cranberries and orange juice in a thick bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat until the cranberries split.
Strain through a food mill and discard skins
Return to the saucepan and add sugar, eggs, yolks, butter, and vanilla. Cook stirring constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 170 degrees. About 8-9 minutes.
Place in the mini tart shell on top of the cream cheese filling and spread smooth.
Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least one hour.
For the blueberry tart, I made blueberry pie filling and topped the cream cheese filling with it. I didn’t decorate it with whipped cream because I thought the bumpy little blueberry filling was already cute. You can choose to do it any way you’d like.
Super flavorful blueberry pie filling that tastes amazing over cream cheese filling or on it's own. It's simple and easy to make.
- 4 c blueberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 T lemon juice
In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine all ingredients and stir to combine.
Cook, stirring occasionally on medium low for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
Remove from heat and allow to cool before spooning over cream cheese filling in mini tart.
For the coconut mini tart, I didn’t use cream cheese filling. I did coconut filling and topped it with meringue. I love how meringue looks. If you don’t like it, you can use whipped cream.
A pro tip that I learned from my pie friend is to toast the coconut before you start the coconut mini tart. It gives it a crispy texture and brings out the flavor of the coconut.
Creamy, thick coconut custard
- 3/4 c raw sugar
- 1/4 c cornstarch
- 2 c milk
- 1 c heavy cream
- 3 T butter
- 1 c toasted coconut
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 T powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Place milk and cream in a microwavable bowl.
Whisk in the egg yolks only, reserve the whites in a mixing bowl.
Add raw sugar and corn starch and whisk thoroughly.
Microwave for 2 minutes and whisk thoroughly.
Microwave again for 2 minutes and whisk thoroughly, continue this pattern until mixture thickens.
Stir in 3/4 c of the coconut, and 1 tsp of the vanilla.
Whisk well and set aside.
In the mixing bowl with the egg whites add cream of tartar.
Beat until soft peaks form.
Add powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.
Place in a ziplock bag or icing bag.
Fill mini tarts with coconut filling, pipe meringue on top of filling, sprinkle with remaning toasted coconut.
Bake in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes until tops of meringue is lightly browned.
If you decide to make these sweetie pie mini tarts, you are going to have some really happy people receiving them. They would make wonderful gifts for Mother’s Day, Easter, Valentine’s Day, or any time you want to make someone feel really special.