This apricot tart features a shortbread shell filled with apricot jam, topped off with a tenderly soft souffle. I guarantee you’ve never had anything like this!
Mini Tart Recipe
This mini tart recipe is a spin on a classic tart. It’s made with a shortbread cookie type crust and filled with tart jam. Then, the tarts are topped with a rich, creamy souffle topping, or what we would call in Russian, ‘Bird’s Milk’ or ptich’e moloko (ptee-chee-yeh moh-loh-koh)
My mom used to make this kind of mini tart recipe when I was a kid. She still says it’s her favorite type of tart and every year when she makes a batch of apricot jam, she says she will use it to make tarts. I don’t blame her—this mini tart recipe is fantastic!
The smaller size of these tarts makes them perfect for parties, baby showers, potlucks, and other events. This mini tart recipe always gets rave reviews and will make you look like a total pro.
If you’re doing a kids party, you can add a drop of coloring to the souffle as you’re whipping it to add a little bit of fun color to it. Or, you can add some color to the top of them as I did below. it just adds a little something extra!
How to Make Mini Tart Shells
These mini tart shells are made of the same basic tart dough that I love to use for filing with fruits, jams, custards, and meringues. It creates a tender crust that melts in your mouth once combined with the filling. The texture of these mini tart shells is much preferred to the brittle and tough version like some store-bought tart crusts can be.
You can use this mini tart shell recipe to fill with apricot jam as I do in this apricot tart recipe or fill it with any other flavored jam you like. I recommend using a jam that has a bit of tartness within it—it balances the flavor of the sweet shortbread shell.
While the tart shells are not that hard to create, the souffle, which has several components to it will need a bit of finesse on your part. But, if you’re a brave soul and wish to try it, go for it! I always try to give thorough and precise instructions for the best potential for success, so just read and follow the instructions carefully. But, if you’re not too familiar with baking and gelatin-based desserts maybe skip this one and try this simple puff pastry tart.
What is the souffle taste like?
The souffle tastes just like the most gentle, tender, and soft cloud of creaminess and fluff. It’s got a buttery note and the condensed milk just makes it oh-so-delicious.
What kind of tartlet mold to use?
How to Make this Apricot Tart
*For detailed recipe instructions see the recipe card bottom of the post.
Make the Mini Tart Shells
- Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs.
- Add flour and baking powder and mix together until it comes into a dough.
- Split the dough into 2 balls. Roll each one flat.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles.
- Add the circles of dough into each mini tart mold and press in.
- Bake, cool, and fill with apricot jam.
Make the Souffle
- Whip together the butter and condensed milk.
- Create the gelatin mixture.
- Whip egg whites then add the gelatin in.
- Add buttercream and stir on low until it is firm.
- Transfer the souffle to a piping bag and top each mini tart with it.
- Place the apricot tarts in a fridge until set – about two hours.
Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and with precise ingredient amounts.
Amazing recipe for Shortbread Tart shell filled with Plum Butter and tenderly Soft Souffle.
For the Soufflé
- 3/4 cup Apricot Jam or any other favorite tart jam
How to make the Tarts
Make the dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 1/2 cup butter and 6 TBSP sugar until well mixed, then add 1 egg yolk and 1 egg minimally mixing after each egg.
Add 1 ½ CUPS flour and ½ tsp baking powder and mix until the dough starts to come together. Gather the dough into a ball (it should not stick to your hands, if it does add a little bit more flour) and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll it out: Divide the dough in 2. Keep the piece you're not working with covered. On a lightly floured surface or between two sheets or parchment paper roll 1 piece of dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut it out: Using a cookie cutter that's 1/4 larger than your tarlet mold's diameter cut out circles. Collect the scraps between the cutouts and add them to the other piece of the dough. With a small offset spatula lift the rolled out cutouts and fit them inside the molds. Then press them in with your finger into the mold, scraping off the excess overhang.
Bake: Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F with the baking rack centered.
Transfer the filled tartlet molds to a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until they just start to become golden around the edges. Remove from the oven, and while wearing mittens tap the edge of each mold on a hard surface to gently knock the baked tartlets out. Doing so while they're warm helps them to come out easier. Set them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Fill each cooled tart with 1 tsp of apricot jam or any tart jam and set aside as you work on the souffle.
To make Souffle and Fill Tarts
Whip the buttercream: Whip together the butter and condensed milk for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides often or until the mixture is nice and fluffy. Set aside.
Gelatin mixture: Sprinkle 1 TBSP of unflavored gelatin over 2 TBSP of cold water and let sit for 2-3 minutes to bloom. Then, heat until the gelatin is dissolved (I use the microwave). Do not boil.
Next, add 1/4 cup of sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. The mixture can be heated again to help the sugar dissolve. Do not boil. The heating can be done in either the microwave or a very small sauce pot. Keep warm.
Whip egg whites: In a thoroughly clean and dry mixer bowl whip 4 egg whites on medium speed, slowly adding 1/2 cup sugar until the meringue is nice and fluffy, with a lustrous sheen/gloss, ~5-7 minutes. Stir in 1 TBSP of lemon juice or 1/8th tsp of citric acid.
Add gelatin: With the mixer running, carefully pour in the warm liquid gelatin mixture between the bowl and the whip and continue whipping for about a minute until all gelatin is incorporated. Once the gelatin is added you will need to work quickly before the gelatin starts to set.
Add buttercream: Add the buttercream into the whipping egg whites in halves, whipping after each addition until the mixture is homogenous. If the souffle is still "soupy" just continue to slowly mix it on low speed until it starts to thicken enough to be able to pipe or spoon it into the tarts. Do not walk away from this mixture as it can become too thick quickly and you will not be able to pipe or spoon it into the tarts.
Pipe or fill: Once thick enough, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe the soufle into the tarts. Alternatively, you can just use a spoon to fill the tarts.
Transfer to a covered container (without touching the tops of the tarts) and refrigerate until the souffle is set up fully and the tarts are cold (~2 hours).