What better way to make your table sparkle than with an irresistible tart? A layer of raspberries under a glaze of apricot syrup catches the light and shimmers like rubies in a crown. Bathed in a gloss of port wine, filled with chocolate or vanilla custard and creams, a tart can be light but still extravagant, as radiant as the garden itself.
In this recipe for Lemon Curd Tartlettes, we have discovered that instead of simply combining the ingredients for the curd in a pan on the stove, our success for a smoother more velvety curd comes by using an electric mixer before cooking. This method eliminates the need for straining to get rid of any small bits of coagulation that might occur during stove top cooking.
Perhaps because a tart is a mere inch tall, we feel the need to pack as much flavor into it’s filling as possible. Take artistic liberty with your garnishes. Mint leaves, fresh fruits, candied violets or simple lemon thyme can be the crown jewels of any tart.
Consider making these precious tarts as a special dessert for a Mother’s Day Garden Party
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- For the Lemon Filling:
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon freshly grated
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick) cut into pieces
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
- For the Tart Dough:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon Garam Marsala (available in most gourmet shops)
- 1 tablespoon lemon thyme, freshly minced, save extra for garnish
- Garnishes: Lemon Thyme, Raspberries, and or fresh whipped cream
- With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy,beat in the eggs slowly, then add the lemon juice, and blend well.
- In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (to prevent it from curdling), until mixture becomes thick. Approximately 10 minutes. Do not boil!
- Once the mixture is thickened, remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl. Gently fold in the lemon zest and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. * For a lighter lemon curd, whip ½ cup of heavy whipping cream and fold into the lemon curd.
- Preheat the oven to 350º Butter two shallow mini-muffin tins. Mix the sugar, flour, Garam Marsala and lemon thyme together into a medium bowl. Mix in the stick of butter with your fingers until crumbly. Place 1 tablespoon of the dough in each muffin cup. Press the dough in each cup around the bottom and sides. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Fill the center of each tart with a heaping teaspoon of curd. Garnish the top with tiny bits of the lemon thyme and or one or two fresh raspberries. Sprinkle with a dash of confectioners sugar. Makes 24 tartlettes.