Citrus Dessert Shortbread Winter

Clementine Cream Tarts

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Clementine Cream Tarts are a wonderfully light, citrusy dessert with a buttery walnut shortbread crust.

This is an interesting recipe.  It’s basically a citrus curd that gets whipped up in a blender or food processor until it becomes an ethereally light pastry cream.  The original recipe calls for lemon, but I’ve used clementines because pretty soon we’re going to blink and they’ll be gone for another year.  Any citrus would work, but be warned: don’t try this with pomegranate.  The color turns into a muddy beige when the red pomegranate mixes with the color from the egg yolks.

The flavor of this cream is very much like a Creamsicle.  It’s not nearly as tart as the lemon version would be, so if you love a tart curd-like taste, go for the lemon original, or mix lemon juice with the clementine juice for added tang.

I have to say my batch turned out a little runnier than I anticipated, although the taste, especially with the walnut crust, was very nice.

Recipe slightly adapted from Baking with Dorie

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3.67 from 3 votes

Clementine Cream Tarts


  • 1 cup sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 3 clementines
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed clementine juice
  • 2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons 21 tablespoons; 10 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces


  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces finely ground
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • Set up a double boiler. Get a digital thermometer and a blender or food processor ready.
  • Put the sugar and zest into a saucepan and rub the zest into the sugar to release the oils in the zest and flavor the sugar.
  • Whisk in the eggs, and then the juice. Whisk the mixture over simmering water until it reaches 180F. Whisk constantly so the eggs don't scramble. You will know it's ready when it thickens and turns glossy. This will take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how hot your water is and how close you set your saucepan to it.
  • Take the pan off the heat and strain the mixture into the blender or processor. Discard the solids. Let it cool down to 140F.
  • When it reaches 140F, turn on the machine and let it go while you steadily add the butter. Scrape down the sides of the machine, if necessary.
  • When all the butter has been added, let the machine go for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Pour the cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressed onto the surface of the cream.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Spoon the cream into cooled tart shells, and serve cold. You'll have some extra cream leftover, which is good because you won't be able to resist eating it with a spoon.
  • For the crust, set oven to 325F
  • Whisk the walnut meal, sugar and flour together.
  • Work in the butter until the dough comes together.
  • Press into 4 individual tart pans. Prick all over with a fork.
  • Set the tart pans in the freezer while you clean up, about 10 minutes.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Cool and then remove from the pans before filling.


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    January 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    what a neat recipe! i love the walnut crust and the method for making the filling actually sounds like fun to me! 🙂

  • Reply
    l o v e l y t h i n g s
    January 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    This looks so good! Beautiful! Shortbread crust?! Love the photos!

  • Reply
    Top Cuisine avec Lavi
    January 24, 2013 at 10:27 am

    looks delicious! great recipe!

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    January 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

    beautiful and as usual your photography makes them look even more incredible… I do love a non-lemon curd but i’ve never thought of clementines, I can only but dream of that intoxicating sunshine taste.. gorgeous stuff!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    January 23, 2013 at 4:33 am

    oh my word- that lasts shot got me! the tarts look beyond amazing- delicious and sweet and tart and rich and creamy and must i go on? I LOVE THEM

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    January 23, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Love the idea of clementines but especially liking that walnut pastry – yum yum.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Ah these look awesome. I love a good citrus pastry cream– I think I like how loose it is. It just ends up being a heavy blanket over all that shortbread crust!

  • Reply
    Debby Foodiewife
    January 23, 2013 at 3:47 am

    How easy does this look? The tart crust is perfection. I love clementines, but I love Meyer lemons even more. I think I’ll go for lemons. 🙂

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    January 23, 2013 at 3:16 am

    Oh my darling Clementine, does this ever look good. My son will eat a whole case of Clementines in a day in a half. I’d have to make these tarts in a hurry!!!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 23, 2013 at 2:12 am

    So pretty! You know I love a good crust and this one looks perfect. Little tarts are so adorable.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Looks great cant wait to make this..


  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    January 22, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    That filling – Sue!! I want it. I would pay for a jar(s) of it. Start selling all this stuff! The Carib hot sauce from yesterday, the choc nut butter, this curd, all your other dips and spreads, the balsamic you recently made, the maraschino cherries…I’ll be your best customer!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    January 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    this is how i read your post “oh! mmmm…clementine pastry cream? I’m so in…i think i’ll just make that and stick it in a jar and not even worry about the…WAIT. A. MINUTE. Did she just say walnut crust?!?” I’m making the whole thing now. Sounds amazing.

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    January 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    This is so bright and sunny! I think the cream sounds amazing and I love using clementines – we can’t ever seem to get enough. Delicious!