I really do love miniature desserts. They are fun to make and eat, and for some reason feel less intimidating than making one large cake. Each one does not need to be perfect, when grouped together they will look great.
Spelt has a beautiful nutty flavor that works particularly well in a crust. Spelt flour is low in gluten, which makes for a tender crust, although it also can be a bit crumbly. I threw in some almonds for some extra nutrition and texture. The shortbread behaves similar to a graham cracker crust.
The smooth creamy filling is nice and light, allowing you to go back for seconds, and thirds…
**Please note I would highly recommend silicone tart pans or a pan with a removable bottom (like mini cheesecake or tart pans). The crust is delicate.**
Spelt Shortbread Crust:
- 2 Cups (8oz) Spelt Flour
- 1/3 Cup (2.33oz) Sugar or Sucanat
- 1/2 Tsp. Salt
- 1/4 Cup Almonds
- 12 Tbsp (6 oz) Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
Cream Cheese Filling:
- 4 oz Cream Cheese
- 1/2 Cup (4oz) Heavy Cream
- 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
- 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- Small Strawberries (about 15) for Topping
Place flour, sugar, salt and nuts into food processor bowl and process until nuts are finely ground.
Add in butter.
Process again until dough looks like sand and all the butter is evenly distributed. If you squeeze a bit of dough with your hand it should hold together. (legal disclaimer: make sure the machine is off before grabbing dough).
The amount of dough you will need for each tart will depend on your pan. For this silicone tart pan, I used about a tablespoon and one half each. Press down the dough firmly on the bottom and up the sides. Make sure you have a nice solid layer of dough, remember these will need to be unmolded and hold a filling!
Bake at 350° for 17 minutes. Since these are already pretty dark, you won’t be able to use color as a guide to see if they are done. The dough should feel dry to the touch, and a bit firm, although they will continue to harden when removed from the oven. Allow to cool and then unmold carefully.
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. In a second bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the two together.
At this point you can employ a pastry bag to fill the tartelettes, or you may just spoon the filling into the shells. Wash and thoroughly dry your strawberries. Slice each one in half and pop on top of a tartelette.
Makes approximately 25 2″ tarts. Or (1) 9-10 inch tart with some crust dough left over.
Tips and Substitutions:
- Spelt can be replaced by part barley or white flour.
- Any nut can replace the almonds.
- Shells can be made in advance and stored at room temperature tightly covered.