No Bake Cheesecake Filling:
In your food processor or electric
stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the
cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon
zest, and vanilla extract, and process just until smooth. Transfer
the filling to a bowl,
cover, and refrigerate for at least eight hours, or preferably overnight. Can be covered
and stored in the refrigerator for about a week.
Shortbread Tarts: Lightly butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, 48 miniature muffin tins (approximately
2 inches (5 cm) in diameter).
In the bowl of your
electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter
until smooth. Add the sugar and beat, on medium speed, until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape
down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. 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 until firm (30-60 minutes).
Then take about 1
tablespoon of shortbread dough (about 15 grams) and
roll it into a ball. Place in the center of each muffin tin. With your
fingertips, press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides. 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 your oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place
the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Bake for approximately
20 minutes or until
golden brown around the edges. About halfway
through the baking time, if the shortbread has puffed up, lightly prick the
center 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
the cream 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
48 - 2 inch
(5 cm) shortbread tarts.