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Lemon Strawberry Shortcake Cup at FoodApparel.com (@driscollsberry #StrawShortcake)

Lemon Strawberry Shortcake Cups (with Sweet Ricotta and Minted Lemon Curd)

Course Dessert
Cuisine Gourmet
Servings 12 -16 muffin-sized shortcake cups
Author Christina Lakey

Ingredients

For the Lemon Shortcake Cup:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest about 2 small lemons
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter use a cheese grater, cubed or grated
  • 1 egg yolk

For the Sweet Ricotta Filling:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Minted Lemon Curd:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 20 leaves mint about 2 tablespoons, packed

For Topping/Garnishment:

  • Strawberries
  • leaves Mint

Instructions

For the Lemon Shortcake Cup:

  1. Mix together flour sugar, and zest.
  2. Add butter and, using hands or a pastry blender, toss and blend until mixture forms about pea-sized clumps.
  3. Add yolk, and mix until the dough forms a ball.
  4. Wrap in plastic and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. At cook time, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Generously flour a flat surface.
  7. Divide dough into two (easier to work with). Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch. Cut out your desired size to fill tins. (For a regular sized muffin tin, you want about 4 inches diameter).
  8. Press each disk into lightly sprayed tin.
  9. Cook for 10-13 minutes, or until shells are set and starting to turn golden brown.

For the Sweet Ricotta Filling:

  1. In a bowl, mix together ricotta with sugar and vanilla until well blended. Place in refrigerator until time to assemble.

For the Minted Lemon Curd:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with a mixer for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and the yolk, and beat slowly for one minute.
  3. Mix in the lemon juice.
  4. Pour mixture into medium saucepan, and start to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until it starts to look smooth.
  5. Meanwhile, while mixture is starting to smooth out, get mint leaves, and tear them into slightly smaller pieces and squeeze so that they are slightly bruised. Place in small bowl.
  6. Get a couple tablespoons of the smooth lemon mixture and add to the mint leaves.
  7. Stir, to pick up any oils left in the bowl, and then pour everything back into the curd mixture, including the leaves.
  8. Increase the heat to medium low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly. DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL.
  9. The curd can be done anywhere from 160 degrees F to 170 degrees F (with the higher being a little thicker and more set). It will leave a path on the back of a spoon and it will set more as it cools.
  10. Remove the curd from the heat. While still warm, get a fine mesh strainer and strain out the mint leaves, transferring the curd to a bowl. Set aside to cool.
  11. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top surface and place in the refrigerator to prevent curd from getting a skin (although I've never had a problem with this).
  12. You may make this in advance - it will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Assembly:

  1. Place a heaping tablespoon of sweetened ricotta filling in each of your cooled lemon shortcake cups.
  2. Top with a layer of curd. (If curd is thick because it's been chilled, you can reheat it just slightly in the microwave for about 15 seconds at about 20% power level so that it will be easier to spread).
  3. Refrigerate until time to serve.
  4. Right before serving, garnish with sliced/diced/decorated strawberries and mint leaves.

Recipe Notes

Change It Up:
Instead of sweetened ricotta, substitute and equal amount of mascarpone. Use powdered sugar in place of granulated. Whip the mascarpone with a beater to make it light and fluffy and to combine your sweetener well.
For either the ricotta or mascarpone, use 3 tablespoons honey in place of the sugar and vanilla for a little different taste.
Make a thick lemon curd whipped cream by beating 2 cups whipping cream and then folding in 1 cup lemon curd in a few additions.
Dress it Down:
Don't want minted lemon curd? Easily eliminate the mint for a classic taste.
Keep things really simple by simply using 2 cups cream, whipped to stiff peaks. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1-2 teaspoons vanilla for some flavor, and load your shortcake cups with this and the strawberries on top!