Recipe for Lemon Tart (Tarte au Citron)
There’s always room for a thin slice of bittersweet lemon tart at the end of a meal. Simple to make, this sunshine-yellow tart is so impressive looking that people will think it came from a Parisian bakery and not your oven.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Sweet Tart Dough
2 egg yolks
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1⁄4 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
1 tablespoon melted butter
Prepare the Sweet Tart Dough and bake blind.
As the pastry bakes, prepare the lemon filling. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and crème fraîche until smooth. Stir in the melted butter.
Place the prebaked pastry shell on the oven’s center rack. Fill with the lemon filling mixture.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before chilling for at least 2 hours before serving.
Sweet Tart Dough
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 3 hours chilling time
Yield: One 8- to 11-inch tart crust or shell
2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons shortening, chilled
5 tablespoons ice water
Combine the flour, salt, sugar, butter, and shortening in a food processor bowl.
Pulse a few times until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour.
With the processor running, pour the water through the feed tube. Process just until the dough begins to come together.
Turn the dough out onto the counter and gently knead 2 or 3 times until it forms a ball.
Flatten the dough into a 1⁄2-inch-thick disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Remove the dough from the plastic wrap.
Sprinkle both sides with flour and roll into a circle approximately 1⁄8 inch thick and 2 inches larger than the diameter of your pan.
Carefully lay the rolled-out dough over the rolling pin and position over an 8- to 11-inch tart pan.
Center it and gently fit it into the pan by pressing the dough into the pan without stretching it. Fold the excess dough over inside edge of the pan so that the sides are slightly thicker. Press the dough up and over the sides so that the thickness is even throughout. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to trim off any excess dough.
Place the pan with the dough in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour before filling and baking.