Easy Fruit Tarts

Sometimes you just want to kick back and watch the sun set while you sip a frosty drink. July 4th is that kind of day. Vacation rental kitchens are rarely well equipped. Of course, it's vacation, so a store bought blueberry pie and ice cream might just do the trick. But when I saw these cute little pre-baked phyllo dough cups in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, I thought they'd make a very elegant and almost effortless dessert.

I made a blueberry filling and a lemon filling. Quite honestly, though, you could fill the phyllo shells with canned pie filling or your favorite lemon curd, which would really reduce the amount of cooking involved. How easy is that? No baking, oven, or pans required!

There are 15 little phyllo cups in a package, so I made very small amounts of filling. There was just enough left over of each to lick the pan. If you only make one flavor, double the recipe.

1 package 15 mini-phyllo cups

Blueberry Filling

1 cup fresh blueberries, washed but not dried

1 tablespoon minute tapioca

1/4 cup sugar

splash of lemon juice

dash of cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in a small pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. At first it won't look like much is happening, but after a couple of minutes, the blueberries will turn very dark, the sugar will melt and it will all cook together. Stir constantly for about five minutes while it cooks (gentle boil). Set aside and let cool. Spoon into the phyllo cups.

Lemon Filling

3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons water

dash of salt

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold water

1 egg yolk

2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine the sugar, water, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Stir the cornstarch into the cold water to dissolve. Add to the sugar mixture and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. It should become thick and almost clear. Remove from heat.

Whisk the egg yolk with the lemon juice. Add to the mixture in the pot and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and letting it boil gently for one minute. Remove from heat. Spoon into the phyllo cups while still warm.

Creme Fraiche Topping

1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

splash of vanilla

1/4 cup creme fraiche

Whip the cream, adding the sugar and vanilla. When it holds a soft peak, mix in the creme fraiche. Add a dollop on top of the filling of each phyllo cup. If you're at home, you can take the time to pipe it on, but be sure to let a little bit of the bright lemon and blueberry colors show on the sides. In the photo below, I used dollops on two and piped the others.

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