Shortbread tarts one of those go-to recipes
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Shortbread tarts one of those go-to recipes

I love the recipes I stored away on my cookbook shelf or in the back of my mind that I can pull out once in a long while, and I know they will work! This recipe for Shortbread Tarts with Cheese and Fruit is one of those.

The first time I made them was in 1993 (it was so long ago, I can’t remember who they were for) and then again last year for a ladies’ afternoon tea. So when I was planning a Christmas lunch for my good friends Irene and Rosemary, I finally settled on these tarts because they are light and impressive.

I make these tarts in a mini muffin pan, but you could use a regular sized muffin pan if you want. The dough is quite easy to work with: you just pat it into the pan. I tried using one of those wooden gadget things used for making tart shells, but I have no patience with gadgets so I used my fingers. Also you can top them with any kind of fruit – today I used fresh raspberries, blueberries, kiwi and clementines. Think colour when you plan your toppings. When fresh mint is in season I use that for garnish, but today I dusted them with white chocolate, using a fine grater.

With the Christmas season fast approaching, this would be a welcome addition to any buffet table.

Shortbread Tarts with Cheese and Fruit

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Mix ingredients with a mixer just until combined.

Pat dough into mini muffin pans, not too thick and not too thin. If they are too thin, they will break when you try to remove them from the pan.

Prick bottoms with a fork.

Bake about 20 minutes at 300º. Halfway through baking time, prick bottoms again with a fork so they don’t puff up too much.

Bake until barely starting to brown on the outside. If you are using a dark pan, watch them carefully.

Let them cool slightly, then carefully remove them from the pan. I used a very thin paring knife to lift them from the pan.

Cool them completely, then store them in an  airtight container until you are ready to fill them.

Filling:

  • 4 oz. (125gr.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar.
  • 1/2 tsp. white vanilla
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Whip whipping cream until soft peaks form.

In another bowl, whip cream cheese, icing sugar and white vanilla until light.

Carefully fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.

Fill tarts with whipped cream mixture. I used a pastry bag, but you could use a spoon.

Top with fresh fruit in attractive colour combinations or make them all the same.

Garnish as desired.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes about 3 dozen mini tarts.

 

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