Lemon Cheesecake Tarts
Lemon Cheesecake Tarts: with a tender, buttery shortbread crust, a fluffy layer of no-bake cheesecake, and a bright and tangy lemon curd topping!
This is a sponsored post, written by me and created in partnership with MacKenzie-Childs. All opinions expressed herein are straight from my heart.
Hey there! I’m so excited to share this post with you today, because a) my husband says these lemon cheesecake tarts might be the best dessert I’ve ever made, b) I think they look beyond gorgeous on these MacKenzie-Childs plates, and c) I want to tell you all about my recent trip to Aurora, NY!
There are going to be a lot of fun pics in this post, but if you’re just here for the recipe, click *this link* to jump right down to it.
The town of Aurora, NY
Aurora! The sweet people at MacKenzie-Childs invited me to visit this charming little town a few weeks back, and I couldn’t help but fall completely in love with it.
E.B. Morgan House
Here’s a few pics of E. B. Morgan House, the beautiful little lake-front Inn at which I stayed:
exterior image source: Trip Advisor
After settling in to this comfy space, I was given a tour of the other local inns (and a little history lesson) as well.
This is Rowland House, my favorite. I just loved the color scheme, and the mix of traditional and modern decor. Can you get over that dining room?
Aurora is home to Wells College, and after the town fell into disrepair, Pleasant Rowland (the founder of the American Girl doll/book series and an alum of the school) stepped in and restored it to its former glory. All of these inns have been lovingly renovated and decorated by Pleasant. I think she did a phenomenal job.
exterior image source: Architectural Digest
This is Wallcourt Hall. It used to be a dormitory but it’s been converted into the sleek, modern hotel we see now.
The MacKenzie-Childs Workshop
After seeing the inns, we were allowed a sneak peek into the inner workings of the MacKenzie-Childs workshop. This is where all the pottery and furniture pieces are handmade and decorated.
You really get a sense of their fun and whimsical signature style, and it’s so cool to see how much love and care goes into every piece they create. I was even allowed to try my hand at forming and handpainting!
From the workshop, we moved on to the farmhouse. Every corner of this house is dressed to the nines in MacKenzie-Childs. So many beautiful colors and lively patterns. There’s tons to look at and it can’t help but put you in a happy mood.
Just look at the gorgeous dining table they set! I got to eat lunch (and lemon tarts!) in this space!
After lunch there was a tour of the grounds, and just wow. How gorgeous?? I couldn’t get over how lush the gardens were, and all the outbuildings were so incredibly charming.
I’m sending out a huge thank-you to all the people at MacKenzie-Childs, who gave me such a warm welcome. It was such a great trip and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to see and learn all about the town of Aurora, NY!
Lemon Cheesecake Tarts
And now for the recipe. I was treated to a gorgeous lemon dessert on the last night of my stay in Aurora, and it inspired these lemon cheesecake tarts.
Actually, I was served lemon tart twice: at two different meals in Aurora. After my lunch at the farmhouse, I was given the loveliest lemon tart with a shortbread crust and a layer of fluffy cream under the tart lemon curd. The second tart had the same shortbread crust and lemon curd, but instead of fluffy cream it was served over blueberry sauce with a little sprinkling of dried mint on top. Both were so delicious, I couldn’t pick a favorite, so I just decided to combine the two!
I’m so happy with the result! The crust is buttery and so tender. The filling is light as air, creamy, and practically melts in your mouth. And the lemon curd on top is the star of the show! So tangy and bright, and perfect for this time of year. The blueberries and mint are an optional garnish, but they add so much incredible flavor. I hope you have a chance to make these lemon cheesecake tarts- you will love them!
And I just don’t think they could look any prettier than they do on these MacKenzie-Childs plates! How do you like that contrast? And the blues and greens tie in so beautifully with the blueberries and mint. This pattern is called Flower Market – Black, and even though MacKenzie-Childs is famous for their Courtly Check, this is my personal favorite. Click the link below to shop for it, as well as the Tic-Tac Posie napkins (also pictured), and get free shipping on your order of $150 or more!
More great tart recipes on my “Pies & Tarts” Pinterest board!
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Lemon Cheesecake Tarts
For the crust
To make the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of a food processor, stand mixer, or in a medium mixing bowl.
- Pulse/stir/cut in the butter with a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla, and process/mix/stir until the dough gathers itself into a ball and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.
- Divide the chilled dough into 6 equal portions, and roll each to a thickness of 1/8-inch on a lightly floured surface.
- Press the dough gently into 6 mini tart pans, trimming away any excess.
- Prick the bottoms with the times of a fork, to allow steam to escape during baking.
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until set in the middle and slightly golden around the edges.
- Cool completely before filling.
To make the filling:
- Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium mixing bowl, and whip on medium speed until smooth.
- In a thin, slow stream, pour the heavy cream down the side of the bowl, while continuing to whip.
- When all the cream has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed, and continue to whip until the filling can hold stiff peaks.
- Divide the cheesecake filling equally between all 6 tart shells. Spread in an even layer.
- Top each tart with about 3 tablespoons lemon curd.
- Garnish with fresh mint and blueberries.