4 mini tarts displayed on a plate all decorated

Mini Tart Desserts

Tarts-Miniature Style

4 mini fruit decorated tarts on a board

Tarts are similar to pies differing by a few ways, one being the type of dough that is used. Typically, tart dough is much sweeter and usually contains eggs. Having some fun, I got back in the kitchen to make some miniature tarts that vary in flavor and texture.

What’s a Tart?

4 mini tarts displayed

Tarts are a sweet pastry typically filled with sweet ingredients such as fruits, custards, mousses, and curds. They are very similar to pies. The one easy aspect of a tart is they are usually open faced and require no top crust.

Some characteristics of tarts:

  • Made with a sweet dough (pate sucree)
  • Non flaky dough
  • Usually made in a fluted edge pan, but not always
  • Served open faced

Tart Resource

Two of my favorite tart cookbooks for methodology and ideas are:

cookbooks specializing tarts sitting on a table
  • The Pie and Pastry Bible: Everything you ever need to know about pie and pastry is in this amazing book. This was one of the first cookbooks I purchased many years ago and still use it as a great resource!
  • Litte Tarts: This is such a fun book full of great graphics, ideas, and inspiration! Also, some of the best photographs ever in a cookbook!

Tart Dough-Pate Sucree

(Sweet Pastry)

Tart dough is sweet and rich, much like an enriched bread dough. These are signature ingredients found in Pate Sucree

  • Soft butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Egg yolks
  • Eggs
  • All Purpose Flour
  • * Almond Flour also can be used

Tart dough usually is rolled out to about 1/8″ thick before placing in tart pans and tart rings.

When making tarts that will be filled with items such as custards and creams that don’t require baking, these are “blind baked” and cooled. These can stay at room temperature a few days to use.

Blind Baking is just baking off the crust in the oven before filling. You can use rice, dried beans, or pie weights when blind baking.

Making and Baking Tarts

First, I start making the dough in my stand mixer but stop the mixer just when it comes together. I shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap for an hour to chill.

tart dough
Mix just till crumbly and press into a disc

Second, the dough is rolled out to 1/8″ thick and cut with a 4 1/2″ round cutter.

Cutting tart dough with a round cutter

Third, the dough is gently placed into the tart rings

tarts rings filled with dough ready to bake

Fourth, I place a cupcake liner into each tart, add the baking weights, then bake 350 degrees 23-25 min till lightly golden brown.

Baking tarts with pie weights

Miniature Tarts

These miniature versions use what is called tart rings. Usually, they are about 3″ wide and thin round rings used to place the dough in and stabilize them while they bake into perfect small rounds. They form the perfect shell to fill with what your heart’s desire.

mini tart rings

Today, I made four different tarts with four different textures and fillings. Three of which were filled after baking, the other one partially baked.

Strawberry Vanilla Tarts

Vanilla Raspberry Tart with powdered sugar

Components for this tarts:

  • Baked and cooled tart
  • Homemade vanilla pudding
  • Fresh Strawberries

Orange Meringue Tarts

Orange Meringue Tarts on a table
  • Baked and cooled tart shell
  • Orange Curd
  • Italian Meringue

Strawberry Chocolate Tarts

Chocolate Strawberry Mini Tarts on a plate
  • Baked and cooled tart shell
  • Easy chocolate mousse
  • Fresh Strawberries

Blueberry Crumb Tarts

Blueberry Crumble Tart on a tray
  • Partially baked tart shell, filled and baked till bubbly
  • Homemade blueberry jam
  • Crumble topping

Sky is the limit of possibilities what you can do with a simple tart shell. Inspire yourself to come up with your own creative creations!

Love working with pastry? Check out these other posts:

The Art of Pie Dough

Pie Fillings

Apple Turnovers

Blueberry Crostata

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