Light, crispy and flaky phyllo tartlets paired with a perfectly balanced tart/sweet lemon filling and topped with summer’s best berries. All enhanced with a drizzle (or pool) of deeply flavorful raspberry purée. An easy and attractive summertime treat. Throughout the summer, top the tartlets with other ripe summer fruits. Fresh blueberries, cherries, mangoes or thinly sliced stone fruits such as apricots peaches and nectarines all make luscious and colorful tartlets.
Creating these appealing phyllo tartlets was an afterthought. I had planned on bringing half a watermelon as a treat to a gathering at a friend’s home. Obviously I hadn’t let my husband in on my plan. He ate that half a watermelon for breakfast. 😉
How fortunate I’d just taught a cooking class two days earlier that included Phyllo Napoleons with berries and lemon cream. I still had the components in the fridge. Okay, time to experiment. I’d never made tartlet shells out of phyllo (or filo) pastry before. Wow, they were so quickly and easily made. And, they only took 10 minutes in the oven. In a short time, I had a lovely treat to share with my friends.
9 tips for phyllo pastry success
Have no fear. In spite of what you may have heard, delicate, paper-thin phyllo pastry is pretty straightforward to work with. Here are my 9 tips for phyllo pastry success.
- Allow frozen phyllo pastry to defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Or, if time is short, for about five hours at room temperature. Only work with completely thawed phyllo pastry.
- Prepare your work surface and all ingredients before opening the package of phyllo.
- Work with dry hands.
- Work gently and quickly.
- Carefully unroll the phyllo pastry. The thin sheets of pastry tend to dry out quickly. Always keep the unused sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel.
- Gently lift a sheet of phyllo pastry onto your clean, dry work surface. If two sheets won’t separate, leave them together and treat them as one sheet.
- Brush lightly with melted butter, a combination of butter and olive oil, olive oil or even coconut oil, depending on how you’ll use the finished pastry. Brush the entire surface of the pastry sheet, especially the edges to keep them from cracking.
- When filling unbaked pastry, have the filling at room temperature.
- Reroll any unused phyllo pastry and enclose it in plastic wrap and store it in its original box. Refrigerate for up to a month or refreeze for up to two months.
Leftover phyllo pastry?
Here are a few suggestions for your leftover pastry from some of my favorite food sites.
A very few photos from our summer garden
Just because. . . I’ve sprinkled in a few photos of some of the flowers currently blooming in our front garden.
A fresh, light and flavorful summer dessert. Tartlet shells are so easy to create with phyllo pastry. Enhance the Phyllo Tartlets with a drizzle or a pool of Raspberry Purée. Top the tartlets with other summer fruits such as blueberries, cherries, mangoes and thinly sliced stone fruits such as apricots, peaches and nectarines.
Be sure to prepare the Lemon Curd about 1½ hours (and up to a few days) in advance. This allows time for it to cool before filling the phyllo tartlets.
Makes 12 tartlets
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes plus time for the Lemon Curd to cool
Phyllo Tartlet Shells
3 sheets phyllo pastry (13 x 18 inches), thawed if frozen
1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon organic sugar, optional
½ cup chilled Lemon Curd
1 pint each blackberries and raspberries
Raspberry Purée, optional
Phyllo Tartlet Shells
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Place 1 sheet of phyllo pastry on your work surface. Cover the remaining phyllo pastry with a damp kitchen towel.
- Brush the phyllo sheet lightly with melted butter or coconut oil.
- Repeat with 2 more sheets of phyllo pastry. Sprinkle the top sheet with the optional 1 teaspoon of sugar.
- Use a 4 ½ inch round template to cut 12 equal circles of phyllo pastry. (Such as a jar lid, a tart pan, a cookie cutter, etc.)
- One at a time, place a round of pastry over one of the muffin cups.
- Use your fingers to press the pastry into the muffin cup. Repeat with each of the remaining circles.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 8-10 minutes. Turning 180 degrees after 6 minutes. When the shells are golden brown remove them from the oven to a wire rack to cool.
- Place the berries on a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Shake the pan back and forth to “clean” the berries.
- Fresh raspberries and blackberries are so fragile that it is best to avoid putting them in water. If your berries seem dirty, dip them in water, just before using them, for a few seconds. Then place them on the paper-towel lined baking sheet. Shake the pan to dry them.
- Whisk the lemon curd smooth.
- Use a spoon to place ¾-1 tablespoon of lemon curd in the bottom of each phyllo tartlet shell.
- Decoratively top with the blackberries and raspberries.
- Optional: serve with Raspberry Purée.