Must Try Mini Pies and Tarts

I have a sweet tooth. I love all things sweet, especially pies and tarts! Just give me a pie and a fork please, a plate is not necessary! But, in my attempt to reduce my sweet treat intake, before I go into a sweetness overload, I have come across an ingenious idea! Mini pies and tarts. Yes, that’s right. The same delicious pies and tarts we all love, in Must Try Mini Pies and Tarts size. This way I can bake extra and share some of the delicious, beautiful little pieces of sweet ‘art’ with friends and family. Trust me when I say that these are definitely ‘must try’ mini pies and tarts. They’re so delicious, you’ll want to try them all!

A lot of great ideas for tarts involve berries. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries. They’re all perfect additions to mini tarts. Dainty little Berry Tartlets don’t just look delicious, they are delicious! Then there are the Summer Berry Tartlets where the choice of berry is yours, and every bite will give you that same delicious berry taste (they seem to be exceptionally good with raspberries and blackberries). These mini tarts and tartlets all vary in taste, in large part due to their bases. Some are Graham Cracker bases, others are sugar cookie dough bases while others are the traditional shortcrust bases. Really, the possibilities are endless. If you want to lighten up the calories and sweetness, try using low-fat/low sugar whipping cream as an alternative filler for any of the recipes that call for whipped cream. It tastes just as great and actually highlights the berry taste since it isn’t overloaded with sugar.

But how about the chocolate? Not to be outdone by berry tartlets, the Two-Bite Chocolate Cream Pies are to die for! It’s everything you want in a pie – chocolate and cream (really, what else is there?!) – in two delicious bites (maybe one if you’re greedy, like me). Then there are the mini Mocha Cream Pies. This is a real crowd-pleaser and you can definitely impress your guests by serving up individual pies as an after-dinner delight. The heavenly crust is made by crumbling chocolate cookie sandwiches and combining the crumble with a little butter (or margarine if you’re trying to lessen the calories). Some shaved dark chocolate for the top really adds to the decadent look and taste. But if you haven’t got time to bake pies, Chocolate-Hazelnut Tartlets, made from jarred chocolate-hazelnut spread (like Nutella) are the perfect alternative.

A tart is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry. Tarts are basically pies, without a top crust. The pastry is usually shortcrust, although it can be made from many alternatives such as Graham Crackers and crumbled cookies. A tartlet actually refers to a miniature tart (a familiar example would be egg tarts or jam tarts – such as the Bakewell tarts). The categories of ‘tart’, ‘flan’, and ‘pie’ often overlap with no clear distinctions. Tarts can be both savory - such as quiche - and sweet (early medieval tarts generally had meat fillings, but later ones were often based on fruits and custard).

Honestly, whatever pies and tarts you normally love would be just as delicious (and much cuter!) in mini-size. You like cherry pie? No problem. Make a cherry tartlet or mini pie. How about pumpkin pie (one of my personal favorites)? Just add the pumpkin mixture to miniature pie or tart crusts and, voila! A delicious little treat for the holidays. You can be as creative as you like, or try one of these Must Try Mini Pies and Tarts recipes. They’re all so good, the hard part is deciding which one(s) to make first!

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