01 June 2010

Lemon Custard Tart



Among last weekend's spoils was a lovely lemon tart. It was decidedly easy to make. It called for minimal ingredients, and I had everything I needed in the house already. It did leave me short of the eggs I needed for the Bocconcini Stuffed Mediterranean Bacon Pull Aparts, but thankfully, I have neighbors!






Ingredients
CRUST
1 C all-purpose flour
5 T butter, cut into small pieces
FILLING
2 large lemons
2/3 C superfine sugar
2 eggs
2/3 C heavy cream
OPTIONAL
thinly sliced strips of lemon peel for decoration
3 T lemon juice
1 T confectioners sugar


- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Sift the flour into a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until dough has just formed. Add a little cold water to make the dough hold together.
- Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and roll to fit an 8" or 9" shallow, loose-bottomed tart pan. Press the dough into place, trim it (reserve the trimmings), and prick the base all over.
- Bake the tart shell until it is crisp and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and set aside after about 12-15 minutes.
- Turn the oven to 250°.
- Make the lemon filling. Finely grate the zest of the lemons into a bowl, squeezing the juice from the lemons into the bowl as well. Add sugar and eggs and whisk to combine. Pour in the cream and whisk again until smooth.
- Fill in any crash in the pastry shell (to prevent the filling from leaking out) with the reserved trimmings. Pour the mixture into the patched shell.
- Bake the tart in the oven until the filling has set and feels firm to a light touch - about 40 minutes.
- While the tart bakes, soak the reserved thinly sliced lemon peels in a mixture of lemon juice (from a third lemon, or from a container) and confectioners sugar.
- Take the tart out of the oven. Use those pieces to decorate the tart.
- Once cool, chill in the refrigerator to firm up the lemon custard. Remove it from the pan, place on a serving plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar to decorate.

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