Derby Day Tassies Recipe

Derby Day Tassies Recipe

Adapted from Three Hundred Years of Carolina Cooking

Note: My mother insists that margarine is essential to the texture of the tassie shell. You can replace margarine with butter, but you'll need to add 1/4 cup extra flour. Make dough one recipe at a time instead of doubling. Please note that the baking temperatures and times for the Lemon and Pecan Tassies vary.

  • Yield:Makes 2 dozen per recipe


  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick margarine or butter, softened (see headnote)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour; sifted
  • Pecan Filling:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  • Dash salt
  • Lemon Filling:
  • 1/4 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • Juice of two small lemons


  1. 1.

    For Pastry: Blend cream cheese and margarine and add flour; blend until fully incorporated. Chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator or for an hour in the freezer.

  2. 2.

    Divide and shape into 2 dozen balls. Place in ungreased 1 3/4” muffin tin. Press dough in bottom and side of cup.

  3. 3.

    Refrigerate pans while making the filling.

  4. 4.

    For Pecan Filling: Beat together egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt.

  5. 5.

    Divide half of the nuts among cups. Add 1 teaspoon of filling on top of pecans. Top with remaining pecans. The pastry puffs so don’t get the shells too full.

  6. 6.

    Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes or until filling has set. Let tassies cool in the pan and remove.

  7. 7.

    For Lemon Filling: Cream sugar and butter. Add lemon rind and beaten eggs to the mixture. Stir in lemon juice.

  8. 8.

    Divide the filling between the shells, being careful not to over fill them.

  9. 9.

    Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.