Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lemon Tart

I found this recipe in a book I got from the library called Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax. The book caught my eye because, paging through it, I saw it had at least half a dozen different recipes for rice pudding... and it's no secret that I love rice pudding! Oh, how I am tempted to try each of those recipes -and of course all in one day so they can be compared side by side. The trouble is trying to justify spending a whole day and perhaps gallons of milk and dozens of eggs trying to find the best rice pudding when I'll probably like them all and have trouble deciding which one is the best anyway. So on to the lemon tart...
The lemon curd was well balanced and not too tart as some lemon curds can be. The tart dough, blind baked with pie weights, kept its shape nicely. The tart shell is then filled with the curd and baked again. After it's cooled, brush with strained apricot jam and garnish with a thin lemon slice. I'd say it's a pretty good first try at a lemon tart. Richard Sax calls this "The World's Best Lemon Tart" and maybe it is - but I may have to try a few more recipes to see for myself! Mom - I know you think I'm crazy, but I am having a lot of fun!

The World’s Best Lemon Tart
from Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax
Makes one 9- or 10-inch tart; serves about 8
Rich Tart Dough:
1 ½ cups All Purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
Pinch salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 Tbsp ice water or cold orange juice (I needed to use about 5 Tbsp)

Combine the dry ingredients and butter in a food processor and pulse briefly until crumbly; do not over mix. Add the liquid gradually and process just until the dough begins to clump together. Shape into a disk and refrigerate at least one hour.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large circle; the crust for this tart should be very thin. Gently fold the dough in half, and fit it, without stretching, into a lightly buttered fluted tart or quiche pan with removable bottom. Trim off the excess dough, leaving a ¾-inch overhang. Tuck in the overhang, pressing the edges of the dough against the sides of the tart pan to form a high, smooth border. Chill the tart shell while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, with a rack in the center.
Line the tart shell with a sheet of lightly buttered foil, buttered side down. Weigh down with dried beans, rice, or pie weights; place the shell on a heavy baking sheet. Bake until the edges are set, 8 to 10 minutes. Very carefully lift out the weights and foil; prick the dough lightly with a fork. Continue to bake until the pastry is very pale gold, about 8 minutes longer. Cool slightly on a wire rack; leave the oven on.

Lemon Curd Filling:
Juice of two lemons
6 large eggs
1 scant cup sugar
10 T cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
3 T apricot preserves
1 paper-thin lemon slice

In the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, eggs and sugar until blended. Add the butter, and set over simmering water. Whisk the mixture constantly until thick and smooth, about 8 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil; be sure to scrape the bottom as you whisk. Remove from the heat. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl; whisk in the lemon zest. If you are not going to use the custard immediately, lay a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate.
Pour the custard into the tart shell. Bake until the filling is set and lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Cool the tart to room temp on a wire rack, 1-2 hours.
Strain a thin layer of the preserves directly over the surface of the tart (it may need to be warmed if stiff). Gently brush it over the surface of the tart, glazing evenly. Lay the thin slice of lemon in the center of the tart; glaze the lemon slice with the preserves. Remove the tart from the rim of the pan and serve at room temp.
Fresh Orange Tart: for the lemon zest and juice, substitute the zest of one orange and 1 lemon, ¼ cup fresh orange juice and the juice of ½ lemon.

1 comment:

  1. ummm....I can pretty much say this is waaaaaaaaaay out of my league! But when you are trying a few more let me know and I will perch on a stool at your island and watch!!!



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