(Preparation 45 minutes, cooking time 10 to 12 minutes)
For the dough:
2 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the lemon custard filling:
3 egg yolks
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
3/4 cup unsifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
For decoration:
3 dozen fresh mint leaves
1 pint fresh raspberries
To make the dough: Put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor bowl. Process just to blend the ingredients. Scatter all the butter slices over the flour mixture, and process with on-off bursts until the mixture has the consistency of cornmeal.
Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. With the motor on, pour the egg mixture down the feed tube. Process until the ingredients form a ball. Remove the dough to the work surface, and with the heel of your hand press dough together until it is smooth and cohesive.
(You will only use half of the dough for this recipe. Reserve the other half for another time or another use. Shape unused portion into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, then overwrap in aluminum foil and freeze up to 1 month. Label and date package.)
Adjust rack to lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350 F. Set 12 miniature-muffin cup pans nearby. (Each muffin cup measures 1 and 7/8 inches across and 3/4 inch deep.) You don't need to grease the muffin cups.
Using 1 level measuring teaspoon plus 1/8 level measuring teaspoon of dough for each tart, roll this portion of dough between the palms of your hands to form a smooth ball. With index finger, press center of dough ball into the mini-muffin cup, then press dough up the sides to distribute the dough evenly.
To make lemon custard filling: In a small bowl, lightly whisk together all the filling ingredients just until blended. Spoon 1 measuring teaspoonful into each tartlet.
Bake for about 15 to 17 minutes or until the tarts are pale golden. Remove pans to wire racks to cool. When the tarts are cool enough to touch, they can be lifted out with the tip of a thin-bladed paring knife. When completely cool, set a fresh mint leaf on top of each tartlet, then place a raspberry on each leaf, letting the leaf peek from under the berry.
Freeze undecorated tartlets in airtight sturdy plastic containers up to 10 days. Serve decorated tartlets the same day.
Makes 3 dozen 1 1/2-inch round tartlets.
Nutritional information per serving: 353 cal., 21.3 g total fat, 106 mg chol., 34.2 mg sodium, 2.2 g fiber, 4.1 g pro.