Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lemony Fresh

If you are looking for a refreshing dessert recipe to make over the holiday season, look no further than this Meyer Lemon Tart recipe. Not every dessert made from November - January has to be a gingerbready-appley-cinnamony confection.

Meyer lemons, a slightly sweet, thin-skinned citrus that taste like a cross between a lemon and a tangerine, are in season from November to March. Check them out! Try them in drinks or in sweet or savory recipes.

I love lemon tarts and this recipe from The Sweet Life doesn't disappoint. It's like a little taste of the Mediterranean in the middle of the winter. I might have accidentally made the wrong dough, and might have had to start all over again with the correct recipe, but that just means that I'll have some tart crust dough waiting for me in the freezer for the next time I need to make a last minute tart.
Because that happens all the time.

Meyer Lemon Curd Tart
(from The Sweet Life by Kate Zuckerman)

One 8-inch prepared sweet tart shell (see recipe below)*
6 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup strained Meyer Lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
Zest of 1 Meyer Lemon
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Make the Lemon Curd
1. In the top bowl of a double boiler (or bain-marie), whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, and sugar. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Whisk briskly until the mixture has thickened, doubled in volume and holds the lines of a whisk, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Remove the curd from the heat and pass through a fine mesh strained into ta bowl. Discard the zest. Place the bowl in an ice bath and let cool until just warm to the touch. Thoroughly whisk in the butter. At this point you can chill or bake the lemon curd.

Bake the Lemon Tart
1. Preheat the oven the 325˚F. Pour the lemon curd into the prepared tart shell*. Place the tart on a cookie sheet and bake until the custard sets, 10 - 15 minutes. Test by gently tapping the tart ring. If the center does not jiggle, the tart is set. If the lemon curd has been refrigerated, the tart will need a few extra minutes to set.

Sweet Tart Shell*
Recipe makes 2 (8 to 9-inch) blind baked tart shells

16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon or tangerine (optional)
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Make the Sweet Tart Shell
1. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and lemon zest (if using) and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes fluffy and almost white in color, about 6 - 8 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg yolks one at a time, and continue to beat until they are fully incorporated and the batter looks smooth and glossy, 1 -2 minutes.

2. In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients and add them all at once to the butter mixture. Use a rubber spatula and fold the dry mixture into the butter mixture with a few turns before turning on the mixer. Mix the dough at slow speed until thoroughly combined, 1 - 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and mix on slow speed for another 30 seconds.

3. Separate the dough into two mounds. Wrap each mound in plastic wrap and press down to form 2 (1-inch) disks. Transfer the dough to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

4. On a cool dry counter surface, roll one mound of dough into a 1/8-inch thick circle. Line the tart pan with the dough and freeze the tart shell for 1/2 hour. Reserve the remaining dough for another use.
(The dough, well wrapped, can be frozen for up to one month.)

5. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Remove the shell from the freezer, line it with parchment paper, aluminum foil and fill it with the pie weights or dried beans. Transfer the shell to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Take out the liner and weights and place the shell back in the oven. Bake until golden brown, 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.


WendyB said...

I keep trying to lick the picture.

Jennifer said...

That is the prettiest shade of yellow. It looks like sunny Jersey Shore.

Elisa no blog said...

beautiful photos. do you take them yourself?

amani said...

mmmmm...looks anything lemony!

Tina said...

Thanks all! And yes, Elisa. I DO take my own photos. Jen, I was thinking more along the lines of the sunny Amalfi coast, bit, OK. The Jersey Shore could work too I guess. ;)

Maria said...

Gorgeous tart!

marisa said...

Growing up, if my grandmother spotted lemon curd in the bakery, she'd always buy it. It was her absolute fave. This recipe is cool and refreshing and warm and fuzzy all over. fantastic! I'm going to honor her by making it on her birthday. This could be the beginning of a new tradition! Thanks Tina!