‘Sunshine’ Curd Tartlettes

In cold, damp, dark November, we all crave a treat bursting with citrus flavours to remind us of summer. These GF tartlettes have lemon, lime, and orange so will really lift your spirits.

The filling is adapted from BBC Good Food. There are multiple garnish suggestions in the footnote so you can unleash your creativity.

Makes: 30 canapé-sized tartlettes


For the crust:

  • 100g gluten-free plain flour, plus additional for crustlette insertion
  • 40g porridge oats
  • 65g ground almonds
  • 65g skinned/unsalted hazelnuts, very finely chopped -they should be as sandy as the ground almonds
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons maple, agave, or golden syrup; runny honey will do as well

For the filling and garnish:

  • 1 large orange, largely grated zest only (use a citrus grater to get small, thin strips)
  • 125ml lemon & lime juice (approx. 3 limes and 1 lemon, all unwaxed) plus pulp, and finely grated zest
  • 125g white caster sugar, plus 2 extra pinches for dried zest garnish
  • 135g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (they should be 62-66g each when weighed in the shell)
  • Whipped cream, coconut nibs, mint leaves, icing sugar, etc for additional garnish (optional; see Garnish footnote)


  • A 24-hole non-stick canapé tin with 1″ diameter holes (see Kit footnote for other tins)
  • A chopping board and sharp knife (it’s much faster, though, to use a nut/coffee grinder or food processor if you have it, for the nuts)
  • 2 small bowls
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • A citrus grater plus a fine grater
  • An oven-safe plate
  • 1 saucepan that fits a mixing bowl over
  • A manual whisk
  • A teaspoon
  • Cooling rack

Making the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Put some flour in a small bowl for your fingers / dowel.
  2. Mix all crust ingredients together manually in a mixing bowl until fully moistened and combined. Roll up/squeeze 30 small balls, 12g each. Put 6 into the fridge for later.
  3. Take 24 balls and press each into the tin holes using lightly-floured fingertips (or a lightly-floured dowel, but this does require using your fingers as well), ensuring the crust goes all the way up the sides and is evenly thin all over. Leave a bit of a ‘lip’ at the top of each.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned and a light finger tap in the base of a few feels firm. Remove the tin, and after 5 minutes remove the crustlettes to a cooling rack.
  5. Wipe out the tin, ensure it’s fully cool, then load up with the remaining 6 crust balls and bake them.

Making the Filling

  1. When the last crustlettes have baked, turn the oven off. Spread the orange zest plus 1/2 the mixed lemon-lime zests on an oven-safe plate, breaking up any clumps, and leave in the oven – door ajar – to dry out as the oven cools.
  2. Put the lemon and lime pulp & juice, plus the rest of the lemon-lime zests, with 125g sugar, the butter, and vanilla in a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water (ensure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Take the bowl off the pot, and slowly add the beaten eggs, whisking madly all the while to avoid scrambling. Put the bowl back over the pot and cook, whisking gently at frequent intervals, until you have a custard-like consistency (about 15 minutes).
  4. Spoon the curd into the crustlettes with a teaspoon. It should be 3-4 tsp or so per each, and you should have very little – if any – filling left. Leave to set for 1 hour (longer for larger tart sizes).
  5. Sprinkle 2 pinches of caster sugar over the dried mixed zests and mix with your fingers to coat all strands. Sprinkle over the tartlettes to garnish.

Different Kit
This recipe as written does require specialised kit, but it could easily be adapted for a standard non-stick 12-hole muffin or bun tin – simply increase the baking time to suit the larger tart size. (Also, prick each crust lightly with a fork before baking so it doesn’t puff up, which it will do even with plain flour.) You should get 10-12 larger tarts from this recipe.

Alternate Garnish Suggestions
A) You could juice the orange, add 2 tablespoons to 100ml double cream, whip to soft peaks, and spoon/pipe over each tartlette. If doing so, sprinkle the dried zest over the top of that.
B) Tiny fresh mint leaves would work a treat as a garnish. You could put some on after the dried zest, or on top of the whipped cream.
C) Two larges pinches of coconut nibs mixed with the dried zest is also a good idea, and adds to the ‘tropical’ taste.
D) A simple, light dusting of icing sugar would be great – and would work with the cream, the mint, the coconut nibs, or just the dried zest as you prefer.

Nut Crust
This is another variation of my gluten-free and dairy-free nut crust. The standard pecan version is used in my Sharon Fruit Pie, Mini Baked Custard Tarts, Coconut & Cherry Cheesecake, and more; the walnut version is used in my Coffee Mousse in Walnut Cups.


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