Summer Raspberry and Saffron Lemon Curd Tartlets

“I was inspired to make these tartlets because I love having a dessert hors d’oeuvre at a gathering, similar to a French petit fours. Lemon curd is so simple and delicious, I feel it is a “pudding” that truly showcases the egg for its richness and ability to meld flavours and create a divine mouthfeel. Raspberries from our summer fields is just the perfect accompaniment here.” - Chef Craig Flinn

Prep Time:
2 hours
Cook Time:
60 min


Sweet Pastry

  • 3 cups ( 750 mL ) Unbleached flour
  • ½ tsp ( 2.5 mL ) Salt
  • ½ cup ( 125 mL ) White sugar
  • 1 cup ( 250 mL ) Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp ( 5 mL ) Vanilla extract
  • 2 Large eggs, just beaten

Lemon Curd

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • ½ cup ( 125 mL ) Sugar
  • 2 Lemons, zested
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup ( 125 mL ) Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp ( 90 mL ) Unsalted butter cut in cubes

To assemble the tart

  • 1 quart Fresh raspberries
  • Mint leaves (optional)


Sweet Pastry

  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and creamy in appearance, then add the vanilla extract and slowly add the beaten eggs until just smooth.
  3. Add the flour and fold together just until dough forms; do not overwork the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 or 20 minutes before rolling.
  4. Roll the pastry to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into 3 inch rounds using a cookie cutter. Press the rounds into a greased, non-stick mini muffin pan or into 2-inch fluted tartlet moulds (there should be enough dough and curd for about 18 tartlets. Freeze any leftover pastry).
  5. Bake the shells in a pre-heated 350˚F oven for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Allow to cool, then remove them from the pan before filling with curd.

Lemon Curd

  1. Beat the eggs and egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, and saffron in a mixing bowl until it becomes smooth and pale yellow in colour. Add the salt and lemon juice and mix well.
  2. Bring a large pot with about a litre of water in the bottom to a simmer. The mixing bowl should be able to sit in the top of the pot without touching the simmering water. Using a rubber spatula, cook the curd for about 20 minutes until it begins to thicken and coat the back of a spoon. When it does, remove it from the heat and begin to stir in the butter one piece at a time until each one is incorporated. Place the finished curd in a bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd; this will prevent a skin from forming as it refrigerates.
  3. Note: Lemon curd is commonly passed through a fine meshed sieve to remove any coagulated egg and to ensure it is smooth. You can certainly do this here, but I like to leave the threads of saffron in the curd if I can for visual appeal.


  1. Fill a piping bag fitted with a ¼ inch round tip with the lemon curd. Fill the shells just to the top edge of the crust with the filling.
  2. Place 3 raspberries on top of each one (you may be able to get 4 or 5 on each one if your berries are very small). Garnish with a mint leaf if desired before serving.