raspberry shortbread tarts

Today is kind of a big day… it’s my thirtieth birthday! I still can’t quite wrap my mind around that! Yikes. Thirty sounds so old. I keep thinking that at some point I’ll feel like a grown up, but I still feel like a giggly sixteen year old most of the time. The older I get, the more I realize that nobody ever really feels like a grown up. We’re all pretty much just flying by the seat of our pants. 🙂

Anyway, the best way to celebrate a birthday is with an awesome treat, and I have one for you today! I got the idea for these tarts when my mom came home from her annual trip to visit my great aunt in California. She brought home with her an assortment of awesome baking supplies, including these adorable tartlet tins:

I’ve never made any sort of tart before, but those tiny little tins were just calling to me. I adore anything in miniature! I have no idea when or where my great aunt purchased them, but I found some similar tins here on Amazon, in case you want to snag a set for yourself. If you don’t have them, though, I’m sure this recipe would work great in a large tart pan, or even in a mini muffin tin. Feel free to experiment, though, and let me know how it goes! I’m excited about the new world that making tarts has opened up to me… I can’t wait to try them with a chocolate custard filling, or whipped cream and strawberries! This crust is a good base for pretty much any filling.

To assemble the tarts, I made a batch of this vanilla custard, and piped it into the cooled shortbread shells. I then topped each with a fresh raspberry and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. I love how pretty they are, and they tasted amazing too!

Shortbread Crust 
adapted from A Hint of Honey

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
9 tablespoons very cold butter (1 stick plus 1 Tbsp.), cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 375. Mix flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix egg yolk and water, and add to dry mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Kneading as little as possible, pat the dough into a disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.
When the dough has chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface or silicone mat to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter that is appropriate to the size of your tart tins or muffin cups, cut out circles of dough (I used a 1 1/2 inch cutter for my size tins). Press dough into tins or muffin cups. Poke the bottom of each piece of dough with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool for 10-15 minutes in tins before removing to a cooling rack. Cool completely before filling. 

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  1. I made these for work a few days ago and I'd just like to say, they were AMAZING and a huge hit!! Melt in the mouth buttery tart shells! I doubled the recipe and also tried the suggested vanilla custard recipe. They were brilliant! My mum started with the shells before I could even fill them haha!

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