My two favourite Christmas baking recipes this year are shortbread with a little orange zest added for a citrussy flavour, and tiny lemon curd tarts.
Both the shortbread and tartlet cases can be made well beforehand and stored in an airtight tin.
The sweet pastry recipe for the tartlets comes from "Treats from Little and Friday" a great cookbook by Kim Evans. It's a pliable dough which is easy to roll out between sheets of glad wrap and bakes up nice and crisp. I do use ordinary rather than unsalted butter and leave out the pinch of salt.
The filling for the tartlets is simply a mixture of lemon curd, crème fraiche and yoghurt. Once made this can also be kept in the fridge for a few days. Then I fill the little tarts just before serving.
Kim Evan'sSweet Pastry: ( slightly adapted)
2 3/4 cups of flour
1 cup of icing sugar
250 grams of butter
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
vanilla essence or paste to taste.
In a food processor , combine flour, icing sugar and salt and pulse in 2 second bursts to aerate and combine.
Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles light breadcrumbs.
Add egg, lemon juice, zest and vanilla and pulse 10 times. The mixture should look dry and crumbly.
Turn out on clean work surface and gather mixture together.
Gently shape the mixture into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for two hours before using.
I baked the little tarts in patty pans and for the first batch very lightly greased them, I didn't grease them for the subsequent batches but they released easily.