Tartlet : Small individual preparation of pastry, round or oval, of brisée , puff pastry or sablée , served as a dessert, with sweet elements, or as a hot starter, with salty elements. Tartlets are sometimes bite-sized, and in this case they serve as fresh (fruit) petits-fours or hot salty bites ( miniature pizza or quiche ). They are usually made with dry legumes that concave the dough.


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  • 1 Origin
  • 2 Types of dough for tartlets
    • 1 Shortcrust or shortcrust pastry, sweet or salty
    • 2 Dough sabléé, the sweetest
    • 3 Puff pastry, crispy to taste
  • 3 tartlets recipes
    • 1 Sweet lemon tartlet
      • 1.1 Ingredients
      • 1.2 Preparation
    • 2 Salty, ham and egg tartlet
      • 2.1 Ingredients
      • 2.2 Preparation
    • 4 See also
    • 5 Sources


The origin of the tarts dates back to ancient Egypt. There the idea arises to fill a pasta mold with meat or fish. In Greece, a minced meat pie with only a crust of inferior bread, was popular for several centuries. Two characteristics distinguished these early tarts or empanadas: they had no upper pasta layer, and the filling never consisted of fruit or cream, but only meat or fish.

The first two-story cakes were made by the Romans. Cato the Censor, a second-century Roman statesman and author of the Treaty of Agriculture, was very greedy and recorded a recipe for the most popular pie of his time: the so-called placenta. Rye and wheat flour were used for the crust, and the thick, sweet filling consisted of honey, spices, and pecorino cheese. Finally, the tart was smeared with oil and baked on bay leaves.

The first western reference to a fruit tart, and also an authentic dessert tart, appears in history with a surprisingly late date: in the reign of Elizabeth I of England, that is, in the sixteenth century. Although possibly the homemade pastry used fruits such as peaches and apples, it is known that the queen demanded pitted and candied cherries as substitutes for traditional meat or fish fillings.

Once the fruit cake as a dessert made its appearance, its references and fillings proliferated, but it is interesting to note that at first, and perhaps following the whim of the queen, in England the favorite cakes were those made with wild berries, with preference over cut fruit.

Already in the 20th century, in China, a theory suggests that tartlets are an adaptation of English cream tartlets. Guangdong has long been the region of China with the most frequent contact with the West, in particular with the United Kingdom. As a former British colony, Hong Kong adopted part of British cuisine. Another theory suggests that they evolved from a very similar Portuguese cake, the Belém cake.

Types of dough for tartlets

The tartlet is a very versatile preparation, and depending on the dish you intend to make with them and the filling that is intended, one or another type of dough is preferred.

Shortcrust or shortcrust pastry, sweet or salty

This type of dough is the most used on a daily basis, either for sweet or savory recipes. It adapts well to the mold and is very easy to work with. Widely used for the preparation of quiches and fruit tartlets, as it is a waterproof dough.

Masa sabléé , the sweetest

This preparation has additional complications. If the dough is overworked, the gluten it contains will develop, leaving the dough much more aerial, which is not appropriate in this case. It is therefore necessary to stretch it carefully and store it in the refrigerator between each stage so that it takes on body and does not stick to the hands. When removing it from the oven, care must be taken and wait to unmold it, since there is a risk that it will crack. Thanks to its slightly sweet flavor, it is preferred for desserts.

Puff pastry , crispy to taste

Rich in butter, its layers turn golden with the baked, airy and crisp. It serves both sweet and savory recipes. Generally, fillings are cooked before, but you can also use fillings that are not cooked, or that are moist. It will only be necessary to slightly pre-bake the dough. Normally, sulfurized paper is placed on top of the dough, and it is covered with legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans …) so that it weighs and the puff pastry is not inflated.

Tartlet recipes

Sweet lemon tartlet



  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 cdts salt


  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • Lemon juice



  • It binds all and when the mass and makes a ball is done, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • Once the dough has cooled, make balls of the same size. In greased muffin molds, put the ball in and crush and cover the walls with a glass, bake for a few minutes, taking care not to burn them, over medium heat.


  • We put everything together and put it in a bain-marie moving with a wooden spoon for 3 to 5 minutes, when it reaches the consistency of a custard , we fill the pastries.

Salty, ham and egg tartlet


  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 3 slices of leg ham
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp. curry
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley or chives
  • Garlic
  • shortbread tartlets


  • Bake the tartlets
  • In a bowl place the chopped egg, the finely chopped ham, the curry, the garlic and the finely chopped parsley or chives and the tbsp. mayonnaise
  • Season to taste.
  • Mix everything until it is a uniform paste.
  • Distribute by teaspoons on the tartlets.
  • Decorate to taste.

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