Mini Party Tarts

Mini Party Tarts with strawberry filling

This is an easy one! Just whip up some homemade pie crust dough first. I hate store bought dough, it has too many weird ingredients in it! Then open a can of pie filling…I know, I know that should be homemade too! But I didn’t have time and I have a couple cans kicking around that need using up. You can use jam too, I did for a bunch too.

Oh yummy, a sea of tarts waiting to be eaten!

You roll out your dough, cut circles, push them into mini muffin tins and fill (not too full!) and bake! Easy! See my directions below with the photos. At the end I included pictures of tarts ‘not so mini’ made with regular size muffin tins too.

Big muffin size tarts!! Oh wow, more yummyness!

The picture above shows larger tarts you can make using a regular muffin tin. This makes nice big tarts that when you put a swirl of whipped cream on top they look really marvelous. Um…yes, I ate one warm from the oven…then later had some vanilla ice cream with one! haha…gotta enjoy what you do!

Mini Party Tarts

Easy Flaky Pastry (my usual pie crust recipe, enough for two crusts)
2 1/4 c flour (I don’t pre-sift, just fluff it up before you measure)
1 t salt
3/4 c shortening
5 T cold water

Filling = one can pie filling or some jam.

1. Mix flour and salt in bowl with whisk.

2. Cut in shortening with hand pastry blender.

3. Sprinkle very cold water on top quickly. Toss lightly with a fork before you start to push it together. Or you can use a bowl scraper and toss it then start to push it together to form dough.

4. Roll it into a ball then on counter cut in half. Pat each out into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

5. When ready to use, roll out one half on floured counter, rolling a few strokes then take edge of dough and give it a twist to turn it…add flour to table and pull dough back onto it. Keep repeating and rolling always making sure you can move the dough on the table. You’ll know it’s about to stick when it doesn’t freely spread as you roll it. OR you can put some between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll it, I tried it when the scraps got smaller, it kept it from getting tough with too much flour.

6. Cut circles, mason jar lid was perfect size, and push into mini muffin pan cups. (ungreased) Pat sides to make even and it helps to use my wooden tart mold thingy to push bottom and sides to make it thinner and even.

7. Put a bit of jelly or canned pie filling in each, fill NO MORE THAN HALF WAY! Maybe even less, it will bubble up and over if too full. I also noticed that if you cut a small decorative piece of pastry to put on top, it seems to make it bubble up over edges worse. Nothing on top and they didn’t boil over, look at the pictures and see what I mean.

8. Bake 425 for 10 or more minutes. Watch them, I forget if it’s more. They won’t really get golden, the filling would get too hot if they do. I could try baking them at 375 and see how it goes too?

A few pictures of my steps and finished tarts.

Lay dough on top then gently push it down into tin with finger tips.

Large muffin tin with some filled and dough waiting to be pushed in.

Use your fingers to press sides and bottom, watch out for tears with your fingernails!

You can use your fingers and if you have a wooden dough press thingy…(I need a picture of mine!)…then that works great at smooshing the dough up the sides and into bottom.

We're getting there!

Experimenting with tops…Don’t overfill them, they bubble up over the edges.

Muffin cup sized tarts...I want one now.

When they were done I sprinkled them with confectioners sugar and they looked a real treat! Sorry no pics of that. I can’t wait to try more varieties.

  • To take with you, just put cooled, sugar dusted tarts on a jelly roll pan or any pan with sides. If sides are low use a sheet of waxed paper on them then cling wrap. They keep really well in the fridge a few days too, just not as crispy.

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Spiced Fruit Scones

Cranberry Spice Scones hot from the oven!

This is a great simple scone recipe that I got from the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland website; I guess it was so popular in their cafe that people asked for the recipe.

A plateful of hot scones waiting for butter

I don’t know, to me they look like just a basic recipe but they are very good!

Golden brown on top

You can make them with dried cranberries as I did, or use the ‘usual’ raisins which would be just as nice!

I can't wait to tuck into these, the tea is ready!

A very easy recipe to make, I added the measurements in parenthesis to make it easier for those who like to use ounces.

225g self raising flour (8 oz)
55g butter, softened (2 oz)
25g caster sugar (1 oz or 1 ½ T)
125g sultanas, raisins or dried cranberries (scant 1 c)
1 teaspoon mixed spice (this is what made them different, I guess you could use cinnamon but mixed spice was marvelous!)
150ml milk (5 oz or between 2/3 – ¾ c)
pinch of salt

Preparation method
1.    Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2.    Mix together the flour, mixed spice, salt and rub in the butter.
3.    Stir in the sugar & sultanas or dried cranberries and then the milk to get a soft dough.
4.    Turn on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly. (** see notes below) Pat out to a round 2cm thick.  Use a cutter to stamp out shapes and place on a baking sheet. Lightly knead together the rest of the dough and stamp out more scones to use it all up.
5.    Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. (or just do like me, put a tiny bit of milk in a cup and just use your fingers to pat the milk on the tops, it’s so easy and quick.) Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.
6.    Cool on a wire rack

** If your dough seems too wet and sticky, just sprinkle a liberal amount of flour on the counter, dust the dough in the bowl with flour and gather it into a ball lightly. Put on the counter and with floured hands pat it out a bit.

** Knead it by folding it over and patting it out and repeat a few times. Don’t let it stick to the counter, just lift it up and flour the counter more. It should only take you a couple minutes to do this, make them often and you’ll get to be a real expert!

** DO NOT TWIST your cutter when you cut them out, just push straight down. If you have a good cutter it should be sharp and solid, I can tell the difference now that I have a ‘proper’ one!

** oh yes another tip, scones like to be near their neighbor while baking, put them about 1″ apart on the greased sheet.

** I also think these would be marvelous with dried Apricots!  Next time…

Ready and waiting for butter!

They’re great served warm with soft butter, honey or jam and clotted cream if you’ve got it!

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