So simple, but so lovely and delicious. These tarts are perfect as a little something to take to a potluck, or to share with the office, or to give as a thank you gift.
Make as many or as few as you need; taking into account their nibble-bility factor!
Choose your favorite, most flavorful preserves and prebaked, ready-to-use tart shells.
Combine two parts preserves to one part confectioner’s sugar, adjust as needed until thickened. Add two teaspoons almond extract. mix well.
Spoon into prepared tart shells.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Add a touch of whipped cream or frosting.
What began as an early morning making proper Lemon Squares became a later morning of tossing together Lemon Speedies.
Yes, I admit that I made the recipe up as I went along – but sometimes that works out pretty well.
1 pkg cake mix
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 dollop (or two) vanilla extract
2 10-oz jars lemon curd
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Spray two 8X8 square baking pans with Bakers Joy, or other non-stick spray.
- Combine cake mix, melted butter, egg and vanilla in large bowl and mix until well blended. It should form a soft dough.
- Halve dough and roll out between two sheets of waxed paper or press evenly into pan. repeat with the second pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.
- Remove from oven, allow ample time to cool. When cool, spread one jar lemon curd (or peach, strawberry, cherry preserves?) per pan of baked dough.
- Return to oven for 15-20 minutes, or until edges of dough become golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting into squares and generously dusting with powdered sugar.
- Store in fridge.
As you can see, I opted to make one 8X8 pan with lemon curd – but used homemade peach preserves on the second pan. I will be delivering each dessert to different places, so thought it might be nice if everyone had some variety.
Although the berries are ripening a little slower this year than last, I still intend to stock up on some mouth watering South Carolina strawberries in a few weeks. In my experience, there is simply no comparison to other berry sources; when it comes to sun warmed deliciousness – it is well worth an eight-plus hour drive for the best fruit – for the best jam, ideally!
Rather than provide the step-by-step directions for making jam, I am going to suggest only three key points:
- Preparation is 89.5% of the work – completely clear your work area, super-clean your jars, rings, lids, tools, everything. Read the recipe at least three times – every year, every time.
- Get the freshest fruit possible. Picked-that-morning-fresh, if you can manage it. Your fruit is the flavor, but also the consistency and the safety of the finished product – fruit even in the early stages of decay can result in ruined jam and wasted effort – and very ill humans!
- And finally – Ball. Yup – the pectin, the Blue Book, the jars, the brand new rings and lids every single year (no skimping here!). I am not usually loyal to any one brand, but after canning for more years than I had realized until right this minute, I trust Ball.
So, begin by opening just one box of fresh pectin at least a few days before you intend to can anything, and pull out that folded up wad of paper inside. Read and read and make a list and head to the farm or the orchard or the grocery store – and have SO MUCH FUN!