Norwegian Tarts

This recipe makes four dozen small 2-inch tart shells. The dough can be made ahead and stored in the freezer to use as needed. The tart shells can be filled with pie filling, fresh seasonal fruit and/or custards. Fill shells right before serving to prevent shells from getting soft. A standard-size muffin pan or 2-inch fluted tart tins can be used. If using a muffin pan, press dough to the bottom and about 1 ½ inches up the side. The recipe is from family friend Shirley Masters.

Norwegian Tarts

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • ½

    pound solid vegetable shortening

  • 1

    cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 2

    cups granulated sugar

  • 2


  • 1

    teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

  • 5

    cups flour

  • Fillings such as custard and fruit (see note)

  • Whipped cream for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven 350 degrees. In mixing bowl, beat vegetable shortening and butter until fluffy and light in color. Add sugar and eggs and cream together. A extract and mix to combine. Add flour 1 cup at a time, incorporating after each addition. Dough will have the consistency of piecrust. Wrap dough and chill at least 1 hour. Place about a walnut-size piece of chilled dough into ungreased tart tin or muffin cup. With thumbs, press dough to the bottom and up side of tin just to the rim. Smooth off rim with a knife to give the tart a clean edge. (Don’t make the tart too thick, as it will puff up in baking.) Place tarts on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes. Check for color. Tarts should be a light golden brown. Cool 2 to 3 minutes. To remove tart shell from tin, hold tart tin upside down in your hand and tap the bottom with the handle of a butter knife. The shell will fall into your hand. Finish cooling on cooling rack. Fill just before serving. Baked shells can be stored for a day or two in a loosely covered container. (Airtight container will soften the shells.) Do not freeze baked shells. They will soften when thawed. Note: Tart shells can be filled with custard and seasonal fruit and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. One possibility: Make a large package of cooked vanilla pudding according to package directions. Each shell will take about a tablespoon (for 48 tarts, that would be 3 cups of pudding or custard). Another option: Line the inside of the shell with melted chocolate. Swirl melted chocolate to cover the bottom and sides. Refrigerate to set. Once the chocolate is set, fill with fresh berries and top with whipped cream.


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