little 4 inch lemon mini tart in a brown cardboard box with plastic windwo and little red and white bow on the side

Mini Tart Recipes

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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.

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.

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 a 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.

little 4 inch lemon mini tart in a brown cardboard box with plastic windwo and little red and white bow on the side
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Shortbread Cookie Tart Crust

Crispy, buttery, sandy melt in your mouth shortbread that you can roll out and form into a pie shell for a tart.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shortbread, shortbread crust
Servings: 6 4 inch mini pies
Author: Christina

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Sweet filling for mini tarts

Cream Cheese Filling for Mini Tarts-Sweet cream cheese filling to put in mini tart under the fruit topping

Servings: 8 mini tarts

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mix together well and drop a spoonful in the bottom of each tart crust.
  2. Spread flat and top with desired topping.

Lemon tartlet

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.

I use homemade lemon extract in my curd, but if you don’t have it, you can leave it out. I make all my own extracts and the flavor they give is incredible.

Homemade Whipped Cream-Sweet fluffy whipped cream to make your dishes better than you ever thought possible. So much better than store bought whipped topping.

Servings: 6 mini tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Beat whipping cream until it starts to thicken.
  2. Add powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
  3. Add vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to go too far or you’ll end up with butter.

Lemon Curd Tart Filling-Sweet, tangy, silky curd made with lemon zest and lemon juice.

Servings: 8 mini tarts

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, whisk together sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and chunks of butter.
  2. Cook, whisking constantly over medium high heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, add lemon extract, and continue to whisk a few more minutes.
  4. 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 little cranberry mini tart in a tiny pan

Cranberry Curd-Sweet, tangy, silky curd with a bits of cranberry.

Servings: 10 mini tarts

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Heat the cranberries and orange juice in a thick bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat until the cranberries split.
  2. Strain through a food mill and discard skins
  3. 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.
  4. Place in the mini tart shell on top of the cream cheese filling and spread smooth.
  5. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Blueberry tart

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.

4 inch mini blueberry tart in a box

Blueberry Pie Filling-Super flavorful blueberry pie filling that tastes amazing over cream cheese filling or on it’s own. It’s simple and easy to make.

Servings: 8 mini tarts

Ingredients

  • 4 c blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 T lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine all ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally on medium low for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool before spooning over cream cheese filling in mini tart.

Coconut 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.

little 4 inch mini coconut tart on a tray full of them

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.

Coconut Cream Mini Tart-Creamy, thick coconut custard

Servings: 8 mini tarts

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Place milk and cream in a microwavable bowl.
  2. Whisk in the egg yolks only, reserve the whites in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add raw sugar and corn starch and whisk thoroughly.
  4. Add butter.
  5. Microwave for 2 minutes and whisk thoroughly.
  6. Microwave again for 2 minutes and whisk thoroughly, continue this pattern until mixture thickens.
  7. Stir in 3/4 c of the coconut, and 1 tsp of the vanilla.
  8. Whisk well and set aside.
  9. In the mixing bowl with the egg whites add cream of tartar.
  10. Beat until soft peaks form.
  11. Add powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.
  12. Place in a ziplock bag or icing bag.
  13. Fill mini tarts with coconut filling, pipe meringue on top of filling, sprinkle with remaning toasted coconut.
  14. 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.

Special Occasion Desserts:

For a big pie, check out these gorgeous ones

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