This Easter I was lucky enough to go to two easter dinners. And, both were different and unique. On Sunday I feasted on a traditional Italian dinner of Lasagna, Lamb, Smelt, Salad, Fried Artichoke hearts, Shrimp, Fennel etc. and delicious Italian desserts such as Torta Di Riso and Zuppa Inglese. On Saturday, I went to my boyfriends parents house for a turkey dinner! I love love love turkey dinners. It felt like christmas all over again, and the stormy weather made it feel even more like winter than spring! Even so, I felt like I wanted to make a truly spring-like dessert, and I had decided a week or so ago that it would be something with lemons. I think a lemon dessert is the epitome of spring, its tangy and sweet and usually on top of a delicious crust, be it graham or pastry.
This crust however, is a different story. I had decided on a recipe early on, thinking I would try something new, as I had made the Tarte Au Citron by Dorie before, I thought I would give something else a go. The ‘You Could Be in Paris’ Lemon Tart seemed promising, and looked even better. I was all ready to go, with a little distraction helper in the kitchen, and readied all the ingredients like a pro. I thought “this tart is going to be perfect!” I was right, ish.
You see, I had read all the ingredients and set them out on the counter, I began first with the crust, of course, and continued on my way. As I was making the crust I thought, how simple! I should tell you, I have never been a crust maker, not pies or tarts. For some reason It always turns out hard, even when I try to work it as little as possible. Now, this tart shell was appealing to me because I had never used melted butter, instead of cold butter to make the pastry. This intrigued me because I thought how could you possibly over work it. Well, you see I’m sure you can’t, but, you can however add about a cup too much of sugar, thus leaving you with a hardened tart shell.
Now I’m usually pretty careful when it comes to ingredients, but to no fault but my own, I didn’t realize all the ingredients were lumped into one, no differentiating between crust and filling. So, I measured out all my sugar and plopped it into the crust. When really, there was only supposed to be a 1/4 cup in the crust, and reserved the 1 cup for the filling. I did think to myself as I baked it “my, thats a shiny crust!” Oh well. It was delicious all the same, the filling was just tangy enough and smooth and creamy. I would recommend it if you love lemon, as I do, and you can even pretend you were in Paris.
I also had a smaller tart pan, so I moulded the rest of the dough into my tiny muffin tin and made mini ones. They were an excellent pre-dinner appy.
‘You Could Be In Paris’ Lemon Tart
For The Crust:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tbs. lemon zest
For the Filling:
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 350°F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir in one tablespoon of the lemon zest and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl or your food processor. Pour the butter into the bowl in a fine stream, mixing with a fork until well blended and it holds together when pinched. If using a food processor, blend the ingredients and then pour the butter into the feed tube and blend for roughly a minute.
- Empty the mixture into an 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom and press it with your fingertips to evenly line the sides and bottom.
- Bake the crust for 20 minutes, or until it is a light golden brown. Allow the crust to cool on a wire rack while making the filling.
- Process the remaining one cup of sugar with the remaining one tablespoon of lemon zest in your food processor for about 2-3 minutes, until the zest is finely ground.
- Pour the sugar into a bowl and add the eggs, lemon juice and whisk until smooth.
- Beat the 1/2 cup of heavy cream to soft peaks and then whisk the cream into the sugar/egg mixture until just blended. Pour this mixture into your still warm crust and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the filling is just set in the center.
- Allow the tart to cool completely.
- Just before serving, dust generously with powdered sugar, cut into wedges and enjoy.