Sometimes smaller is better! These adorable sweet and tangy tarts are a mini-version of my Blackberry Lemonade Pie. I love it when an easy recipe can be made in multiple ways. In this case it’s exactly the same recipe made in one-serving portions instead of a pie. This idea came to me when I was asked to bring a dessert to a summer cook-out. I wanted to make my favorite no-cook pie with the lemonade pucker power and fresh berry garnish, but serving pie was was just not going to be practical in this buffet situation. That’s when I had my “ta-da” moment and turned my pie into 12 individual tarts. No pie server needed!
Making tarts has never been easier with the convenience of store-bought of mini-pie crusts. I’m a huge fan of the graham cracker variety. (There are 6 in a package – buy two.) The other ingredients include cream cheese, lemon juice, optional lemon zest, sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream, and blackberry jam. Garnish the tarts with fresh blackberries and fresh mint leaves for a show-stopping presentation!
If you have a fresh lemon, use it! The fresh lemon will provide both the optional zest (which enhances the lemony tang) and some lemon juice. Squeezing a lemon will yield between a quarter to a third cup of juice. This recipe requires ¾ cup; use bottled lemon juice to top off the fresh juice. If you don’t have a fresh lemon, just use bottled lemon juice and forget about the zest.
Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and add the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and, if using, the lemon zest.
I opted for making my own whipped cream. However, if you want to make this pie super easy – substitute the pint of heavy whipping cream for a tub of whipped topping, like Cool Whip eliminating the need for the added sugar and the time it takes to whip the cream. If you want the freshness of using real cream, as I used, beat the cream and sugar into stiff peaks.
Fold the whipped cream (or whipped topping) into the cream cheese mixture. Folding is a culinary term for gently combining two different weights into one smooth mixture. First, the lighter mixture (the whipped cream) is placed on the heavier (cream cheese) mixture. Then combine them by passing a spatula down through the mixture, across the bottom, and over the top. This motion traps air into bubbles to keep the blend fluffy.
Spoon the combined mixture into the mini-crusts. In a microwave-safe bowl or Pyrex measure cup, melt the blackberry jam in 30-second increments.
Allow to cool and drizzle on top of the pie. Use a table knife to create swirls in the cream filling. Decorate with fresh blackberries. If you have fresh mint, the green adds a pop of color.
The beauty of this recipe is that the lemonade filling will work with any berry – blueberries, raspberries, or even sliced strawberries. Simply use the corresponding flavor of jam. Too easy! Enjoy this delicious pie all summer long.
Blackberry Lemonade TartsCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Make no-bake tangy-sweet blackberry lemonade summer tarts in less than 15 minutes with store-bought mini-crusts and fruit-flavored preserves. These individual mini pies are perfect for cook-outs and potlucks!
12 mini graham cracker crusts
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup seedless blackberry jam, melted and cooled
Optional Garnish: Fresh blackberries and mint leaves
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat for one minute. Mix in the lemon juice and zest and beat until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, beat the cream and sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Scoop the mixture into the mini crusts.
- Spoon the blackberry preserves over the lemon filling. Swirl gently with a sharp knife. Cover and refrigerate until firm, 4-6 hours. If desired, garnish with fresh blackberries and mint leaves
- Blackberries: Substitute blueberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries with the corresponding flavored jam.
- Lemon juice: A fresh lemon will only yield about ¼ – 1/3 cup juice. Use bottled lemon juice to top off to ¾ cup.
- Shortcut: Substitute whipped topping (Cool Whip) for the whipping cream and sugar. No need to whip, just stir into cream cheese mixture.