Lemon Lime Tartlets & Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tartlets — A {ModBak} Twofer

With two weeks left to go in the Sweet Tarts & Pies section of the Modern Baker Challenge, I found myself with four recipes remaining. The kids are out of town, and we decided to have a low-key day today, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to play a little catch-up. I decided to knock out three recipes at once. The lemon lime tartlet and chocolate caramel pecan tartlet recipes each make 24 tartlets, way too many to have around with just J and me to eat them. Since each recipe calls for the tart shells to be prebaked, I figured I would bake the shells together and then fill them.

As for the third recipe, well, that’s the tartlet shells for the chocolate caramel pecan tartlets. The recipe calls for shells made with chocolate nut dough, and since this is the first recipe to use that dough, I hadn’t made it yet. The lemon lime tartlets are made with sweet tart dough, which I’ve made for many of the recipes in this section.

I mixed up both doughs early in the day and let them chill in the fridge for a few hours. For the lemon lime tartlets, I rolled out the sweet tart dough, cut it into circles, and pressed each disk into a mini muffin pan. Then I did the same with the chocolate nut dough.

I chilled the dough in the pans for about an hour, then baked the shells in a 350°F oven for 12 minutes. Although I pricked the dough well with a fork before baking, the shells puffed up to the point where there was no room for filling. While the shells were still hot, I pressed the center of each one with a small ladle to make room for the filling. I cooled the crusts in the pan for a few minutes, then removed them to a cooling rack. A few of the bakers in the Challenge noted that their tartlet shells stuck when they baked them in mini muffin pans. Knowing this, I had sprayed my pan lightly with spray oil, and my shells came out beautifully.

While the tart shells were cooling, I toasted coconut for the lemon lime tartlets, then made the filling for the chocolate caramel pecan tartlets. (I didn’t have to make the lemon lime filling, as I had leftover lemon and lime curds in the fridge from making ice cream.) The chocolate filling isn’t particularly difficult, although it does require quite a few steps and dirties a lot of pans and bowls. The caramel is made in one pan while the cream is heated in another. These are combined, then scraped into a bowl to cool. Chocolate, which has been melted and cooled in another bowl, is then added to the caramel-cream mixture, and butter and nuts (which have been toasted in a separate pan) are added last.

After making the filling and shells, assembling the tartlets was a breeze. I spooned the chocolate caramel pecan tartlet filling into the shells and topped each one with a toasted pecan.

For the lemon lime tartlets, I had planned to mix my lemon and lime curds, which I had made and stored separately, but Nick cautions against overstirring the curd, lest it become too liquid. I tested this by putting a spoonful of each into a bowl and mixing them. Sure enough, the curd broke down and become too watery to hold up in the tart shells. So I filled half the shells with lemon curd and the other half with lime curd, then topped them with toasted coconut.

My wife and I enjoyed these tartlets for a late-evening snack. We loved the flavor of all three of the tartlets, although we did discover that it was best to eat the chocolate ones first, as they tended to taste a little bitter after eating the curd-filled tartlets.

These were delicious tarts, and I will definitely make them again. However, unless I’m making them for a finger-food event, I would be inclined to do them as full size tarts, rather than tartlets.

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9 Comments

  1. Pamela said,

    July 27, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Wow…those chocolate caramel one has me droolig over here!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      Thanks. I was really pleased with how they came out.

  2. July 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

    […] made the crust the day before to use for lemon lime tartlets, all I had to do was roll it out, cut it, and fit it into the mini muffin […]

  3. Renee said,

    July 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I loved both of these tartlets! Total hits both of them. My mouth is watering right now remembering that delicious lemon curd.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      I still have lemon and lime curds in the fridge. I periodically just grab an spoon and eat a few bites of one of them. So good!

  4. Kayte said,

    July 18, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Eat the chocolate ones first…yeah, right, got it. lol Those all look really cute…I am not much of a fusser as the guys tend to take things like this and pop them in their mouths like popcorn kernels and really is my time worth more than that? Probably. That said, I will make a few for the MB challenge…and fuss a bit. I am dizzy reading all that you did in your post. I will do these one day at a time as I am not as good at multitasking as you are! They all look wonderful. Guys are gonna love these!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      I keep sampling all four — chocolate pecan, lemon, lime, and raspberry almond — and trying to decide which I like the best. They’re all really good.

  5. teaandscones said,

    July 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Bet those little tartlettes were fun to make. I love making little desserts. Those should hold y’all for a while unless you give them away.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      You’re right, they *should* hold us for a while. So, why am I making a full recipe of raspberry almond tartlets today?!?


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