Good news readers! Rebecca of First Mate Photo has agreed to join us monthly to share her baking skills. This lemon tart would be perfect for summer festivities.
There is nothing more summery to me than a lemon tart. They’re so bright and cheery. While this isn’t the quickest dessert to throw together in a snap, it IS really beautiful and will impress your guests. It’s fairly simple to make, it just involves lots of chilling. Make sure to leave plenty of time for chilling the dough and cooling the crust.
Gather your tools gals! Here’s what you’ll need:
– tart pan with removable bottom
– pie weights (or dry beans or rice)
– parchment paper
– 2 1/2 cups flour
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup butter
– 2 large egg yolks beaten
– 2-4 tablespoons of cream or cold water
Put your FLOUR, SUGAR, and SALT in a food processor until it’s combined (or if your food processor is tiny like mine, a large bowl, then mix with a fork.) Add butter and pulse until it makes a coarse meal. Add the yolks and 2 tablespoons of your cream or water, mix just until the dough comes together. Add the remaining cream if the dough is too dry. Divide your dough in half and wrap up in plastic. Put it in the fridge for 1 hour. Dough accomplished! Easy right?
Preheat oven to 375. Once your dough is chilled roll it to a thickness of 1/8 inch on a floured surface. Press it into a 9 inch tart pan and up the sides. Pierce the bottom with a fork and trip the edges. Refrigerate or freeze until it’s firm, about 30 minutes. Line your pie shell with parchment and fill it with your pie weights of beans. Bake until the edges just barely turn golden, 15 minutes. Then remove the weights and paper and finish baking, about 10 minutes more. Let it cool completely.
Lemon filling (lemon curd)
– 6 large egg yolks
– 1 tablespoon lemon zest
– 1/2 cup lemon juice (this will probably use 2-3 lemons)
– 3/4 cup sugar
– pinch of salt
– 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
In a saucepan whisk together the YOLKS, ZEST, JUICE, SUGAR, and SALT. Bring to a simmer on medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook this until it’s thickened, which should take about 8-10 minutes. And by thick I mean it should be almost the consistency of pudding. Once that’s thick strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Immediately whisk in your pieces of BUTTER, one at a time. It’s important to wait until each piece is melted or you’ll cool your curd down too fast and the rest won’t melt. Press some plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate for at least an hour. (more is preferable)
Candied lemon slices
– 1 lemon (or citrus of choice)
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 3/4 cup water
I would make these the day before or first thing before you make the rest of the tart, since they take a little while to cool and dry.
You can candy any citrus you like to put on the top, this method will work with lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruit. Some pink grapefruit and limes would look especially beautiful on top!
Stir together sugar and water in a saucepan on medium heat, until water comes to a boil and sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low; add lemon slices. Cover with a circle of parchment paper (this keeps the lemons submerged. Gently simmer until translucent and lemons are candied about 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat to cool, but keep lemons in the syrup. When the lemons are cool remove them from the pan and let them dry on a wire rack.
When everything is FINALLY cool, and you’re kids have grown, spread the lemon tart in the shell and arrange your lemon slices however you like on top.
If candying fruit isn’t your thing, good news, lemon tarts are a very versatile dessert! They look and taste just as lovely with almost any other kind of fresh fruit on top. Raspberries are one of my favorites.