090417_tarts

On a cool and rainy Monday afternoon, it’d be easy to grumble a bit and wish the vestiges of winter would just leave for good already, but memories of our perfect weekend weather keep my emotions in check. The sun and warmth had such a curative effect on my doldrums that I BAKED, people — and if that isn’t a testament to spring’s power, then I don’t know what is.

So welcome, Spring, and please don’t rush off so quickly. Perhaps I could tempt you to hang around with a nice lemon tart or two…

lemonquad

Pucker up!

recipe after the jump

Lemon Curd Tart with Olive Oil from Epicurious

I made four mini tarts (4-inch diameter pans) instead one large and topped them with blackberries, but stuck to the recipe otherwise. The lemon curd is so delicious, I may just forgo the shell next time.

For tart shell:
2 tablespoons almonds with skins, toasted and cooled
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
3 1/2 tablespoons fruity olive oil (preferably French)

For lemon curd:
3 large lemons
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 whole large eggs plus 2 large yolks
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil (preferably French)

Make tart shell:
Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.

Pulse almonds with flour, sugar, and sea salt to a fine powder in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Add yolk and oil and pulse until just incorporated and a very soft dough has formed.

Spread dough evenly over bottom and up side of pan with offset spatula. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Bake shell until golden brown all over, about 13 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Make curd:
Grate enough zest from lemons to measure 1 tablespoon, then squeeze 3/4 cup juice from lemons.

Whisk together lemon zest and juice, sugar, cornstarch, whole eggs, and yolks in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking, 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in butter and oil until smooth.

Assemble tart:
Pour lemon curd into cooled shell and chill until set, at least 2 hours.

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