With the Memorial Day weekend at hand, I thought I would share a family recipe with you for the yummiest Perfect Lemon Tart. If you are like me, a true lemon lover…then this super easy tart is for you! It has a delicious, firm crust with no rolling pin required!! The filling isn’t too deep and sets up firmly. But, the star of the show is the lemon filling…it’s sweet-but not too sweet, and has more than enough lemon to give you a good pucker!! What’s the key…what’s the difference between this recipe and whimpy lemon pie???? It’s in the zest!! Lots and lots of fresh, aromatic zest!!
There are a couple of “specialty” tools you will need for the recipe. First, an 11″ tart pan (not deep dish) with removable bottom. I prefer the shiny steel variety. The darker, non-stick type tart pan tends to brown up too dark. Second, a hand-held citrus zester. My favorite source for both of these items is Sur La Table http://www.surlatable.com (Gobel Tinned Steel Tart Pan, 11″ and Microplane Soft-Handle Zester Grater, 12″). You will also need a citrus hand juicer, food processor and a hand mixer.
Quick Tip: You will need about 4-5 shiny, bright, large lemons for the recipe. I like to use the zest off of all the lemons, but it’s best to wash and zest them BEFORE you slice them to juice them.
Ok, on with the recipe…
Michele’s Perfect Lemon Tart
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
4 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated suger
1 teaspoon salt, divided
6 large eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Powdered sugar for dusting & fresh berries for garnish, if desired.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and make sure your oven rack is in the middle position.
Zest 4 of the lemons and set them aside….
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of lemon zest and set aside for 5 minutes.
Wisk together the flour, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter and zest into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the dough begins to stick well together. Transfer the dough mixture to the tart pan and press it in with your fingers evenly along the bottom and up the sides. Place your prepared tart pan/crust on a sheet pan for easy handling, as the bottom will pop out easily. Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is light golden brown.
While the crust is baking, make the filling…
Place the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the remaining lemon zest in a food processor fitted with a blade. Process until the zest is finely ground into the sugar.
Wisk together the eggs, sugar/zest mixture, lemon juice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
In another bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Wisk the cream into the egg mixture just until blended.
Pour the filling into the hot crust and place back in the oven.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is set in the middle and may be lightly browned. It should not giggle when you move the pan in the oven. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. When the tart is room temperature, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with lemon and/or assorted berries just before serving . I refrigerate any leftovers…Enjoy!
I hope this will become one of your go-to recipes. It’s so easy to make, easy to transport and will delight any lemon lovers in your life!! One of my favorite things is to have a slice for breakfast- if there is any left……
Let me know what you think……
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8