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Concord Teacakes' Lemon Tart
For the tart shell:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1 tablespoon ice water
For the lemon curd filling:
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 whole eggs, at room temperature
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped
To make the shell: Sift together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. With a pastry blender or your fingers cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl fork-whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon of ice water. Add to the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the dough begins to cling together. Form a ball with the dough, then flatten it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
On a floured surface roll the pastry into a 14-inch circle. Press into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, then fold the pastry edge over and press against the sides of the pan. Prick the pastry with a fork. Place a piece of foil, shiny side down, in the shell and fill it halfway with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, reduce the temperature to 350, and bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
To make the filling: If your double boiler is not at least 4 quarts, it will be too small for all the filling. You can improvise by using a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Combine the butter and lemon juice in the bowl (or top of the double boiler) and cook over simmering water until the butter melts.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the eggs and egg yolks until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture is creamy and pale yellow and forms a ribbon when a small amount falls back into the bowl from the beater (about 5 minutes). Whisk into the lemon juice mixture. Cook over simmering water, whisking about every 10 minutes, until thick and a small amount dropped onto a plate holds its shape (about 60 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Chill until cold, at least 3 hours.
Pour the filling into the pastry shell and spread evenly. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving, decorate the outer edge with a circle of whipped cream and the center with a rosette of cream.
Makes a 10-inch tart (serves 8 or more).
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