Anyone for a Lemon Tart?

Of all English tea desserts like scones, sticky toffee pudding, and trifle, the lemon tart is my favorite.

Sweet Pastry

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 egg, slightly beaten

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse 2 or 3 times. Process in butter until the dough is crumbly. Add enough of the egg, approximately one half, to form a dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 6 4-inch circles. (Freeze the remaining dough, well wrapped. It will last 3 months)  Place a dough circle in each of 6 fluted tart pans, 3 inches in diameter and ½ inch high. Press down and around gently. Remove any excess. Gently prick the dough with a fork.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 30 minutes or until starting to brown. Cool in the tins until ready to use.

Judie’s Lemon Curd (filling)

Makes 2 cups.

1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
Juice of 4 lemons (approximately 1/2 cup)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
Grated rind of 2 lemons (optional)
Fresh raspberries (for final step of assembly)

Beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Blend in the lemon juice.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over a low flame until hot. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until completely melted and blended. Raise the heat to medium and cook until thick. Stir well as it thickens to prevent sticking and burning. Fold in the rind, if desired. Cool.

To assemble the tarts, fill each shell with 2 tablespoons of Judie’s Lemon Curd. Starting in the center and working outward, cover the top of the tarts with fresh raspberries, approximately 20 per tart. Refrigerate until ready to serve. These tarts are best if made within 24 hours of serving.

Note: I have used smaller fluted tart pans in assorted shapes instead of the sizes called for in this recipe with great success. If I’m short on time, I fill the pastries with purchased lemon curd from the store. An even quicker shortcut is to fill the tart shells with lemon curd before you place them in the oven. These recipes are from Special Teas by M. Dalton King.

I hope you enjoy making these tangy tarts and sharing them with others.



*This article first appeared on Stitches Thru Time Writers.

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