Puff Pastry Tarts
with Lemon Cream

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Simple puff pastry tarts topped with light lemon cream and sprinkled with toasted almond flakes, these are so pretty and beyond delicious.

Great last-minute dessert made in only 40 minutes with a bunch of everyday ingredients (use store-bought or homemade lemon curd).

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Making the lemon cream (lemon curd + mascarpone)

These delicious tarts are topped with silky lemon cream made from lemon curd and mascarpone cheese. Making homemade lemon curd is fairly easy, with a few simple ingredients.


  • Lemons: You'll need 3-4 medium lemons, just be sure to use organic ones. First finely grate the lemon zest (you will need 2 full tablespoons of lemon zest) then squeeze the juice from them.

  • Eggs: In this recipe we use 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks to get gelatinous lemon curd so when mixed with mascarpone with have a firm cream. 

  • Cornstarch: This recipe features cornstarch which helps the curd to thickens quickly and the curd is done easily. Some other recipes don't use it.

  • Butter: Cut the butter into smaller pieces so it melts quickly. It add creaminess to the curd.

  • Mascarpone cheese: This recipe uses mascarpone cheese which is creamy and has mild sweet buttery flavour. It has smooth creamy texture and is less tangy than ricotta or regular cream cheese.

1. Step: Making the lemon curd

  1. First whisk egg, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl using a balloon whisk.

  2. Pour lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, then add finely grated lemon zest and egg mixture.

  3. Cook on a low heat, stirring with a silicon spatula, until it start to thickens (about 3-4 minutes), then add butter and cook shortly until melted. You should get a gelatinous texture. Strain the curd through the fine sieve to get rid of any egg lumps and lemon zest bits and set aside to cool (for about 5-6 minutes).

2. Step: Stirring the lemon curd and mascarpone

Once the lemon curd is cooled, place mascarpone in a bowl and beat with electric mixer for a few minutes. Add lemon curd and beat again until you get light and silky lemon cream. Be sure to keep it in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the tarts.

Baking the puff pastries

For the tarts you will need puff pastry, either homemade or store-bought. We used a block of frozen puff pastry. Take the puff pastry dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle.

Cut out rectangles then carve another rectangle inside each one 1cm from the edges. Place them on the baking sheet, brush with beaten egg and bake until they are golden brown, for about 18-20 minutes. Edges will be slightly dark, but this is fine.

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Assembling the tarts

From here, the rest is simple and straight forward as can be. Just before serving divide the lemon cream between each tart and sprinkle with toasted almond flakes and dust with some icing sugar for decoration.

Serve on decorative dessert plates!

Toasting the almond flakes

Toasting almond flakes is so easy. Sprinkle almonds on the baking sheet in a single layer and toast (at 160°C/320°F) for about 6-7 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Stir them once while toasting so they toast evenly.

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Puff Pastry Tarts with Lemon Cream

SERVES: 6 mini tarts
COOKS IN: 40 minutes


For the lemon cream

  • 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 160ml (2/3 cup) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 56g (4 tablespoons) butter, cutted into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 80g mascarpone cheese

For the pastries

  • puff pastry (250g), thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

For the garnish

  • 23g (1/4 cup) almond flakes, lightly toasted
  • icing sugar for dusting


  1. FOR LEMON CURD: Whisk egg, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl.

  2. Place the lemon juice and lemon zest in a heavy-based saucepan then pour egg mixture into this.

  3. Cook on a low heat stirring constantly with silicon spatula until it thickens, 3 to 4 minutes.

  4. Add butter and cook for another minute until it's melted and incorporated. The curd should be gelatinous and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.

  5. Strain the lemon curd through the sieve to get rid of any egg lumps and lemon zest and leave to cool.

  6.  FOR THE TARTS: Preheat oven to 190°C/374°F. Line the baking sheet with baking paper.

  7. Cut the puff pastry  dough into 6 rectangles, approximately 10x6cm each.

  8. Place rectangles on prepared baking sheet. Cut each pastry with a sharp knife about 1cm from the outer edge, making a rectangles inside the rectangle. Prick the center or each pastry with a fork. Brush the edges of each pastry with egg wash.

  9. Bake them for 18-20 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown. Remove the sheet from the oven and leave the pastries to cool. Press the center of each pastry lightly to create an indentation.

  10. Add mascarpone cheese into the lemon curd and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until silky cream forms.

  11. Top each pastry with lemon cream then sprinkle with toasted almond flakes. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

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