November 8, 2009

Lemon Tart

Makes one 9-inch tart (about 8 to 12 servings)

Pâte sucrée
1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1¾ cups all-purpose flour

Lemon filling
9 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1¾ cups sugar
1¼ cups heavy cream
Zest and juice of 4 lemons
This tart is best made the day before it will be served. It’s delicious with crème fraîche.


Prepare the pâte sucrée: Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer, using the beater attachment, 5 to 10 minutes or until pale in color. Add the egg and continue beating for 5 more minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Switch to the slowest speed on the mixer and fold in the flour; mix until a soft paste is formed (do not overmix). Remove from the bowl and divide the dough in half. Shape both pieces of dough into flat, 1-inch-thick slabs. Wrap both slabs individually in parchment paper and plastic wrap. Store the dough in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for 3 months. Note: The dough must rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Roll out one slab of pâte sucrée to line a deep 9-inch quiche pan, ideally with a removable bottom (reserve the other slab of dough for another use). Prick the dough evenly over the bottom and sides with the tines of a fork. Line with a round of parchment paper and fill with weights (pie weights or uncooked rice or beans). Bake just until the edges of the dough appear dry, but have not taken on any color. Remove the weights and paper. Cool to room temperature. Turn the oven down to 300°F.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together with a whisk until thoroughly mixed, about 3 minutes. In a separate medium size bowl, lightly beat the cream until a light froth forms on the surface, about 30 seconds. Combine the cream, egg mixture, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix all together in the large bowl. The mix will curdle when you add the lemon; continue to whisk until the curdle disappears. Put the custard in the refrigerator and chill.

Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into the pastry crust. Bake the tart in the oven until the custard is set, 30 or 40 minutes.

Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

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