Cream Cheese Filling:
In your food processor or electric mixer, beat the
cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon
zest, and vanilla and process just until smooth.
(Do not over process or the filling will be too runny.) Transfer
the filling to a bowl,
cover, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or preferably overnight. Can be covered
and stored in the refrigerator for about a week.
Lightly butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, 36 miniature muffin tins (approximately
2 inch (5 cm) in diameter).
bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar
together (1-2 minutes) until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour,
cornstarch and salt and mix just until incorporated. If the shortbread dough is
too soft to roll into balls, cover and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.
scant 1 tablespoon of shortbread dough (about 15 grams) and
place in the center of each muffin tin. With your
fingertips, press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the individual muffin tin. Once filled,
cover and place the tart pan, with the unbaked shells, in
the freezer for about 15 minutes so the shortbread can become firm. (This
will help to prevent the shortbread from puffing up during baking.)
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) and place
rack in the center of the oven.
Bake for approximately
20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. About halfway
through the baking time, if the shortbread has puffed up, lightly prick the bottom of each shortbread with the tines of a fork.
Once they are
fully baked, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove
the tarts from the pan. (They can be frozen.)
To serve: Using two small spoons, fill the tart shells with
a dollop of the cream cheese filling. (Can also place the filling in a piping
bag, fitted with a small plain tip.) The filled tart shells can be made several hours
in advance and refrigerated. Just before serving top with fresh berries or cut up fruit.
Makes about 36 - 2 inch
(5 cm) shortbread tarts.