• Description:

    Putting together dessert platters may seem daunting but, with these three mini tart recipes on hand, you’ll be able to prepare one with ease. These tangy lemon tartlets, dainty apple roses and simple custard cups give you the selection you need to satisfy the variety of preferences your guests might have. You can also make any one of the following items on their own if you feel a craving coming along. Serves: 8–10

  • Ingredients:

    Lemon Tartlets
    1½ cups tennis biscuit crumbs
    3 tbsp. sugar
    ⅓ cup butter, melted
    ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 egg yolks
    1 can (385 g) condensed milk
    ½ cup whipping cream
    1 tbsp. castor sugar
    ⅓ cup shredded coconut

    Custard Tartlets
    2 sheets phyllo pastry
    Non-stick cooking spray
    1 cup vanilla custard
    1 tbsp. brown sugar
    1 tbsp. cinnamon
    12 raspberries

    Apple Roses
    1 packet ready-rolled sweet shortcrust pastry, thawed
    10 red apples, thinly sliced
    ½ cup sugar
    4 tbsp. lemon juice
    4 tbsp. cornstarch
    ¼ cup apricot jam

  • Method:

    Lemon Tartlets

    1. Preheat oven to 180 °C.
    2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the tennis biscuit crumbs, sugar and melted butter until combined.
    3. Using a tablespoon, scoop the crumbs into a 24-cup, non-stick, mini cupcake pan.
    4. Using the back of the same spoon, press the crumbs smooth and so that they come up to the top of the cup.  
    5. Bake for 5 minutes in a preheated oven.  
    6. Remove and let cool.
    7. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 °C.  
    8. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the lemon juice, egg yolks and condensed milk until smooth.  
    9. Spoon the filling into the biscuit crusts using a ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) measuring spoon.  
    10. Bake for about 7 minutes or until the filling is set.  
    11. Remove the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
    12. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven for 5 minutes or so until the coconut is fragrant and crunchy, but still white.  
    13. Let cool.
    14. When the muffin pan is cool enough to handle, place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill the pies.  
    15. Before you remove the pies from the pan, let it sit out of the fridge for about 5 minutes.
    16. Place on a serving platter.
    17. Whip cream until peaks form.
    18. Add castor sugar and continue to whisk until stiff.
    19. Using a pastry bag with star nozzle, pipe cream onto pies and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

    Custard Tartlets

    1. Preheat oven to 200 °C and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
    2. Place a sheet of phyllo pastry on work surface and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
    3. Combine sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over phyllo pastry.
    4. Cover with remaining phyllo sheet.
    5. Cut into 12 squares and carefully push into muffin tin.
    6. Bake at 200 °C for 5 minutes or until golden.
    7. Cool completely on rack.
    8. Spoon custard into phyllo cases and top with raspberries.

    Apple Roses

    1. Preheat oven to 200 °C.
    2. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
    3. Steam apples for 4–8 minutes (they need to be soft and pliable, but not mushy).
    4. Combine the sugar, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and cornstarch together and toss in apples.
    5. Roll pastry onto a floured surface and, using an 8 cm round cookie cutter, cut into circles and place on muffin pan.
    6. Arrange apples inside pastry cases to form rose shapes (start from outside and work your way in, making sure apples overlap).
    7. Bake for 30–40 minutes until crust is browned and apples are cooked.
    8. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack before removing from tin.
    9. While apples are cooking, heat apricot jam and the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice.  
    10. Brush apples with mixture.

    Making the roses is a bit time-consuming but the presentation looks fantastic and is well worth the effort. Cornstarch helps make the apples sturdy so that they don’t collapse when baking.