Easy Lemon Tart Recipe
Recently I saw a newspaper ad that said ” 2 Lemons now just $2 !” WTF?! That isn’t a deal, that is a F’n rip off. Fortunately my parents have a lemon tree in their backyard and the last time my sister visited she graciously brought a bag of them with her. I put 4 of the lemons to great use for this really easy Lemon Tart. I promise that it isn’t too sweet like most lemon desserts and it isn’t too sour either. Because it calls for the zest and juice of 3 whole lemons, the lemon taste really comes out. Furthermore, the acidity of the lemons is lightly balanced with the richness of the butter in the filling and the flakey pastry shell. I made this lemon tart for this month’s baked good’s Monday at work. This recipe is slightly modified from Francois Payard’s and it’s really easy.
Tart Pastry Shell Recipe
1 1/4 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of butter chilled
2 tablespoons of ice cold water
Mix flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture then using your fingers, roll the butter pieces into the flour until they are the size of small peas. Place the bowl into the freezer for 5 mins. Meanwhile fill a cup with ice and add water. Take the bowl out of the freezer and add 1 tablespoon to the flour mixture, mix with hands, then add 2nd tablespoon and mix. Slowly form a ball with the flour mixture. If it is too flakey, carefully add a 1/2 tablespoon of water at a time while mixing with the flour mixture after each addition. Finally roll out the flour pastry onto a clean floured surface. Transfer the rolled pastry to a 9″ tart pan and place in the freezer for 20 mins. Preheat oven to 425F. Cover the base of the pastry with foil and using a fork, poke several holes. Next bake in the oven for 8 mins, then remove foil and bake for an additional 8-10 mins until pastry is light brown and crispy. Remove and let cool.
Preheat oven to 325.
Fill a medium saucepan 1/4 full of water and heat to simmer. In a stainless steel bowl, strain the lemon juice to remove the seeds, and whisk in theeggs and lemon zest. Add the sugar, cornstarch and pieces of butter and place the bowl over the medium saucepan but do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. You can use a metal stand or prop the bowl on the edge of the saucepan with the simmering water. Stir until the butter melts and the filling is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 15 mins.
Place the prebaked tart shell on a baking sheet and pour the filling into the shell. Bake for 15-20 mins. It won’t completely set but will bubble and look more solid. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
1/4 cup of apricot jelly
Microwave apricot jelly until it boils (45 sec). Then pass through a fine mesh seive.
Lemon Tart Garnish
While cooling, prepare the garnish. Wash and dry a medium sized lemon. Using a paring knife, carefully cut lengthwise grooves (about 1cm wide) at regular intervals. You’ll need to make a V shaped incision to do this and be careful not to cut beyond the white rind of the lemon. After completeing 8 of these cuts along the lemon, place the lemon on a cutting board and cut a crosswise slice from the center of the lemon and place into the center of the tart. Slice the remaining lemon halves and cut the sections in half to create 2 semi circles. Place these semi-circle lemon pieces around the edge of the tart. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush on a coat of apricot glaze over the tart and pastry shell edges. Enjoy!