Mini Clementine Cream Tartlets

mini clementine tartlets


Something about Manhattan only being three and a half short hours away from Boston made me sure I wasn’t moving far away from home. It wasn’t Seattle, like last time. It wasn’t even Philadelphia, like the time before. Or Rome, like that other time.


In November, when I hammered my thumb to the wall for the final time in the move-in process, I told my mom I’d be home soon. And I was, for Christmas. But then I wasn’t anymore. Three months and change isn’t that long, I’ve reasoned since, but just recently I found this online calculator — See Your Folks. It’s tagline is, “We’re so busy growing up we sometimes forget that they are also growing older.” You enter where your parents live, their ages, and how many times, on average, you see them per year, and — brace yourself — it calculates roughly how many times you’ll see them before they die. It does this by using World Health Organization data on life expectancy rates. Now, at first thought, it’s incredibly morbid and yes, jarring. I get it. It’s not for everyone.

mini clementine tartlets


When I calculated it for my mom and stepdad, two of the most vital sources of love in my life, the number was something like 112, and that, my friends, just seems shockingly low. The feeling I’m left with, whether or not the number is rubbish, isn’t one of morbid fascination, no, it’s a clarity, perspective. It’s a recognition of how terribly easy it is for me to put my parents off on my list of things to do, to see.


Sometimes, these strange little websites come along and serve as a gentle reminder that all those things I think are so wickedly important? All those meetings I have to take or I’ll just shrivel up and become irrelevant? All those people on social media who may or may not have made a cake that I need to eat with my eyeballs? They’re not the loves of my life.

mini clementine tartlets


I don’t know if it’s a product of having lost someone already, but that certainly helps to make the rush of time feel more whooshing, more real. When Dad died seventeen years ago, I started with the dreams that Mom’d go too. I slept in her bed. I felt a homesickness for her when I wasn’t away, a real fear that I couldn’t tell her I loved her as much as I did — not with simple, stupid language, anyway. And it plagued me, especially in college. I’d go through bouts of wondering if I should move home — even though I was only two hours away. I was sure she’d get sick and not tell me because that’s just the type of woman she is, always wanting to spare me worry, and then I was consumed with a sense that in eighteen years, I just hadn’t had enough time with her.


I’m better about it now. Better in the way of knowing that I can’t ever tell her how much I love her, nor can she tell me. There just aren’t words big enough for that kind of thing. It’s a part of growing up. As you get older you realize that you need to say less and simply be more. Do more. You find you need to tell people who you are far less frequently than you need to just be that very person and let your actions naturally reflect you. Love is much the same.

mini clementine tartlets


So this week, for Easter, I’m going home. I’m making it a point to do it more. More phone calls to friends and family, more letters mailed, more spontaneous weekend trips, more hugs so hard that I hurt the other person, more kisses like the one between Danny and Mindy in the airplane scene on the Mindy Project.


The recipe I’ve chosen for the holiday, and all of the spring, is one that’s sweet and special, but pleasantly unfussy. It’ll free you up to spend more time with the ones who matter. I used clementines because there’s quite the serious overabundance of them in my home and I’m scared of what will happen if they linger much longer, frankly. The homemade clementine curd takes all of ten minutes to whip together and just a little over an hour to chill. It’s tart and refreshingly zingy, which makes it all the more reasonable to pair with whipped cream. For the tart shells, I chose to buy those mini frozen phyllo dough cups you see in the freezer case at the market, just to keep things easy (try Athens brand). The phyllo is crisp and light — almost undetectable in taste, which lets the clementine and cream flavor shine.

Enjoy them, friends!

mini clementine tartlets


Mini Clementine Cream Tartlets

Yield: 15


    For the Clementine Curd:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated clementine zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed clementine juice (about 2-3 clementines)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • For the Whipped Cream:
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Remaining Ingredients:
  • 1 package Athens Mini Fillo Shells (15 shells), thawed
  • 15 small clementine twists (Peeled clementine skin, cut into thin strips and curled), for garnish


  1. Make the curd: Combine the egg yolks, clementine zest, clementine juice, lemon juice, and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk in the butter. Remove the saucepan from heat and transfer the curd to a small bowl. Let cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make the whipped cream: Combine the heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium high until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  3. Put the thawed phyllo cups on a large plate. Spoon 1 tablespoon of curd into each of the cups followed by a dollop of whipped cream. Garnish each with a clementine twist.
  4. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week.


  1. says

    Thanks for this, Andie. It’s too late for me, but something I immediately shared with all the people I know. Having lost both of my parents–my Daddy at age 6 and my Mama at age 26–I can assure you that there’s never enough time…that every visit is precious and should be savored…that the fights and the grudges–please just stop it. You’ll regret it. I promise you that. Just forgive and love them while they’re here. I was with my mother almost every day of my life, and it doesn’t seem like I ever had enough of her.

  2. says

    Such a thoughtful post – with a sentiment that I always need to keep at the forefront. Can’t wait to make this sweet little dessert! I have so enjoyed watching the relationships in your life grow – and your life blossom.

  3. Sarah says

    Great article Andy – I live in Asia and my parents in New Zealand. Seeing them once a year is hard. Seeing it in a calculated form like that is scary! But a good reality check. Beautiful recipe. Hope the move to New York is going well. Love all your instagram shots of food :)

  4. Sharon D. says

    This tartlet recipe sounds beautifully easy to have ready when friends visit this weekend. Our son & family live clear across the country, and we don’t get to see them very often. What an eyeopener that calculator was! Thank you for sharing this reminder of how important each moment is between loved ones. I immediately sent this to my son! :) Have a blessed Easter, Andy!

  5. says

    I love how your food posts, aren’t just about well, FOOD. Such a wonderful reminder, and seriously your tartlets are way too pretty to eat!

  6. says


    These look beautiful and would be perfect to serve on Easter. I hope you have a good holiday, hug the ‘rents for me. I’ll do the same for you.

  7. says

    That recipe looks so good. I love your comments about your mom and step-dad. I am so ready for my parents to be closer, so I can see them more.

  8. says

    These look so twee and delicious! You’re right about what you said about parents, but I think the same can be applied (even more morbidly, unfortunately) to grandparents. I’ve seen it mean so much more than grandchildren, even adult grandchildren, realize, to see, hug, and chat with their grandparents.

  9. says

    I have the same goal for this year as well. I’d like to reach out more to my friends and family, talk to them more than I did in the past 2 years and just enjoy life in general. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it looks absolutely delicious.

  10. Lisa says

    I tried these today – they are truly to DIE for! YUM. I will say I did not have a gadget to juice my fruit, so I used two tablespoons to mash clementine wedges together to juice them and just squeezed the heck out of my lemon by hand. I think this would take considerably less effort with the right equipment (lol). I also made a mistake in the directions and added the 3 Tb butter at the beginning of whisking my clementine curd, however it still thickened up just fine and ended up tasting great. I used fat free cool whip for the topping because that’s what I had on hand. I can imagine that these little tarts taste even better with the real whipped cream! If anyone is interested, the way I made them I calculated about 65 Cal per tart.

  11. Kelly Cavanaugh says

    I’m struggling with weight loss,but i love sweets so i’m going to make this recipe with “fat free” whipped cream. I think i’ll have it for breakfast in the morning with my Plexus Slim.

  12. Kym says

    ANDI! It’s been a month since your last post – I’m having withdrawal! I have no doubt you are busy, but I’m dying to know what you are up to and what your Mom is up to!!! Throw us a bone – Ribeye or T-Bone will be fine…

  13. Sumera says

    Hey Andi,

    Is everything ok hun? It’s been soo long since a post – just let us know you’re ok! (and probably off enjoying fantastically fun things in your life instead of obsessively checking blogs!)

  14. Sarah says

    I saw on instagram your recent pic of your mom. Are you going to post an update on how her weight loss is going? She looks great!

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