Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good For Your Heart Lemon Tart

Don't let the looks of this thing fool you, it's really incredibly easy. And if you're feeling like I am - kinda run down, kinda tired, kinda uninspired and in need of a long winter's nap when it isn't even winter yet*- well, this may be the tart for you!

I'm not kidding.

It will make you feel like summer.

Next thing you know you'll be running around in your tankini with your sunglasses on and a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic in your hand (and your neighbors will all think you've lost your mind).

Well, maybe.

Good for your Heart Lemon Tart

3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
4 TBsp unsalted butter, room temp, cut in small pieces
1 TBsp lemon zest

for pastry crust:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg

Lemon curd: In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, whisking or stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes pale in color and quite thick (like a hollandaise sauce or sour cream). This will take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest, cover, and let cool to room temperature before filling the pastry crust. Put in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap to avoid getting a film on top of the gorgeous curd you just slaved over.

Try with all of your might not to dip your finger in there and sample. I won't tell if you do.

Now, it's time to make the pastry crust.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. In a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and egg until well blended, then slowly add the dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball and cover in plastic wrap, flattening slightly until it resembles a disc. Or a spaceship. Whichever you prefer. Chill for about 30 minutes.

Take dough out of refrigerator and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to about a 12 inch circle. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect - pastry dough never looks perfect but believe me, nobody will notice when they're devouring the finished product!

Place the pastry into a tart pan and press the dough up the sides so that a nice "lip" is formed on the outer edge. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork several times and bake in a 400 degree oven until just slightly golden brown. You do not want to overbake this bad boy because you want it to be delicate and flaky.

After the pastry has cooled, spread it with that tantalizing lemon curd you made earlier (if there's any left). You can get super fancy and make designs with it or even pipe sweetened whipped cream around the edges. I like to keep mine simple and just spread it in there and then top with fresh raspberries. Oh yes. Yum.

And if that doesn't cheer you up, I don't know what will!

*Originally posted in October, 2010

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