Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Perfect Lemon Tart

For a 4th of July party yesterday at a friend's place, I decided to make a lemon tart. It is a great summertime dessert. Light and refreshing with the right balance of sour and sweet. The tart was a huge hit and there was not one morsel left when I went to collect the platter. So, since it is such a yummy tart and easy to make, I thought I would pass a long the recipe.

This recipe is from cookbook writer, Lori Longbotham's book Luscious Lemon Desserts. If you love lemons the way that I do, then you will want to give this recipe a try.

The Perfect Lemon Tart
(from Luscious Lemon Desserts by Lori Longbotham)
  • Recipe uses approximately 4 lemons.
  • Serves 10
  • Equipment: 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom and a baking sheet
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 pinches of salt
6 large eggs
1 cup of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Have ready an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the zest, and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Pour the butter mixture in a fine stream, stirring with a fork, and continue stirring until the dough begins to come together when a small bit is pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to the tart pan and press it with your fingertips evenly up the side and into the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is light golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack while making the filling.

3. Process the remaining 1 cup of granulated sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of zest in a food processor until the zest is finely ground.

4. Whisk together the eggs, the sugar and zest mixture, the lemon juice, and another pinch of salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

5. Beat the cream in an electric mixture on medium-high speed in a medium bowl just until it forms soft peaks. Whisk the cream into the egg mixture until just blended.

6. Place a baking sheet in the oven, place the crust on the baking sheet, and pour the filling into the still warm crust. Bake for 25 or 30 minutes, or until the filling is just set in the center. Let the pie cool on a wire rack.

7. Just before serving, generously sift confectioners' sugar over the tart. Cut into wedges and serve.

Malka's notes on this recipe:
  • The tart will taste different depending on what type of lemons you use. I have made it with both Meyer Lemons and Eureka Lemons (the ones you usually find in most grocery stores). Both yielded delicious results but they are different. The Meyer Lemon version is sweeter and has a much more subtle lemon flavor to it. While using Eurekas makes for a tart with a much more distinctive lemon taste.
  • I whip the cream by hand. My Kitchen Aid stand mixer just doesn't work for tiny amounts of whipping cream. I find that with a good whisk and chilled bowl that I can whip the cream by hand faster than it takes to pull out my ancient electric hand mixer and the clean-up is a lot less as well. Besides, it's a great little arm workout.

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