Are you ready for something sweet? These Raspberry Jam & Lime Mini Tarts are just as delicious as they look. I am sharing the recipe along with some photography tips for how I shot these beauties.
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Food Photography Tips for Raspberry Jam Mini Tarts
For this shoot, I used my Nikon D750 and my 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I love the 24-70mm lens because it’s an incredibly sharp zoom lens that allows me to move around and zoom in and out really easily to find unique angles and viewpoints. I went for a dark and moody look using dark props, surfaces and backdrops so the colors of the food would really stand out.
ADD A HUMAN ELEMENT
Adding a human element – like yourself prepping or just your hands in the scene – can be a really good way to help tell your food story. You can do this even if you’re shooting by yourself. I used my tripod and timer on my camera to shoot the image of me sprinkling the tarts with zest. You can also use a wireless remote shutter release. I also used a black window curtain and hung it on my backdrop stand to keep the background less distracting. It definitely takes a few tries to get images of yourself just right when you’re shooting alone, but it can really add to your food story. Including hands is also a fun way to bring a human element into your images.
FOOD STYLING THE SWIRLS
I love those pretty red swirls, don’t you? The way to create this look is to pour your filling into the tarts and carefully add spaced out, single drops of the raspberry jam on top. Then, use a butter knife and slowly slice through the drops in an “S” shape to bring out the swirls. I got a little “swirl happy” on a couple of the tarts, but oh well! Food styling is a learning process and it’s easy to ‘overdo’ it sometimes.
Read More About: Dark & Moody Food Photography Tips
Recipe Notes for Raspberry Jam & Lime Mini Tarts
MAKE HOMEMADE JAM
First, there’s nothing wrong with using store-bought jam for this recipe. For me, however, a lot of store-bought jams are just way too sweet. It’s also incredibly easy to make your own, so that’s what I did for these mini tarts. My key ingredient for homemade jam is the juice and zest of one lemon. The citrus really brightens up the sweetness from the raspberries and sugar.
Not only is the jam super easy to make, the crust is only two ingredients!
- Crushed graham cracker crumbs
Pretty easy, right? One issue I ran into, however, was that the crust was a bit too crumbly. As I was pressing the crumbs into the bottom of the mini tart pans, they felt too loose and like they wouldn’t stick together to form the crust.
Tips for making the perfect crust
1. Add extra melted butter.
2. Allow the crust to bake on its own in a 350 degree F. oven for about 10 minutes.
The filling is oh-so-good! But, I made a silly mistake when preparing it. I tried to do a dairy-free version by using full fat coconut milk instead of sweetened condensed milk. I figured if substituting the dairy with coconut milk works with my dairy-free soups, it would work with the tarts. Well, I was WRONG. The filling was way too runny and the flavors were… well, let’s just say they were not good.
I ended up using sweetened condensed milk along with some coconut cream and it worked out really well.
There are several dairy-free/vegan lime tart recipes out there. But until I’m more experienced with the ingredients of dairy-free or vegan baking, I will stick to what I know.
Be sure to let me know if you try the recipe. And, if you have any dairy-free or vegan baking recommendations and resources, I’m all ears!
Read More About: Homemade Strawberry Jam
Raspberry Jam & Lime Mini Tarts
For the Raspberry Jam:
- 1 pint Raspberries, rinsed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3-1/2 cup butter
For the Filling:
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 large limes)
- Lime zest for garnish
- 3 egg yolks
- Drops of raspberry jam for swirling
For the Raspberry Jam:
- Place a small plate in the freezer. You'll use this to test the thickness of the jam.
- Combine sugar, lemon juice and zest in a small sauce pan over very low heat and stir until mixture becomes like a thick liquid, about 15 minutes.
- Add the raspberries and continue to cook on low for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- The raspberries will release their juices and the mixture will start to simmer.
- Remove cold plate from freezer and drop some of the jam onto the plate to test the thickness. If you can run your finger through it without the jam falling back into place, it is ready to go.
- Pour the jam into jars and seal them.
- Place the jars in the fridge and allow to completely set for 24 hours. The jam should be good for about two weeks.
For the Crust:
- Set oven to 350 degrees F.
- Blend graham cracker crumbs in a Vitamix or blender.
- Pour crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter.
- Stir to combine and add more melted butter (a little at a time) if crumbs feel too flaky.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom of your mini tart pans or one single tart pan.
- Allow crust to bake in the oven for about 10 minutes to help the crust set before you add the filling.
- Remove from oven and add the filling.
For the Filling:
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup of coconut cream, lime juice and eggs.
- Whisk the ingredients together until well combined. The filling should be thick.
- Pour the filling into your tart pan(s).
- Add small drops of raspberry jam (spaced out) on top of the filling.
- Use a butter knife to carefully slice through the drops of jam to create a raspberry swirl.
- Add tarts to the oven on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place in the fridge for about 2-3 hours so the filling can fully set.
- Before serving garnish with lime zest and extra graham cracker crumbs, if desired.
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All images ©Regan Baroni 2018.