One great side-effect of starting this blog is that suddently everyone wants to talk to me about food. Don’t get me wrong, I talked a lot about food pre-blog, but it’s pretty fun to see who likes to cook and what they like to make (and eat!). That’s how I came about this recipe. We were ostensibly having a nerdy get together (evidence: doctor who themed snacks), but of course we got to chatting about baking and my friend told me that this lemon tart was incredible. Time consuming, but worth it, she warned. She was correct.
This is a dessert for extreme lovers of lemon — the lemon flavor is incredible and it’s tartness balances out the sweetness of the crust. And oh, this crust. If anything, this was worth making for the crust alone. I have already begun brainstorming future fillings for it. Chocolate ganache with an almond crust? That is totally happening.
This would have been a real pain to make without a food processor, I imagine, so I recommend using one if you have access to it. If not, I still think it’s do-able, just expect it to take a little longer.
I made this for my family for Easter dinner, and it disappeared quickly. My mom usually serves a fruit salad with holiday meals – a mixture of blue berries, blackberries, strawberries and peaches. We had some left and served it on top of the tart, which was fabulous. If you’ve got some extra fruit on hand, go for it!
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground toasted almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter, cold
- 1 egg, plus 4 eggs, separated (keep both parts – you’ll need ’em)
- Pinch salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- juice of 3 lemons
- Make crust by blending together flour, toasted almonds, and sugar. Cut in cold butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Blend in the egg and a pinch of salt. Form pastry into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you make the filling.
- For the filling — whisk together the yolks of four eggs and 3/4 cup of sugar. Add in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Move the mixture into the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir for 15-20 minutes until the mixture thickens (Mine took even longer, don’t give up! It’ll be a light yellow). Set aside to cool.
- Roll out the pastry and fit it in a greased 9-inch tart pan. Pierce the bottom withe a fork and bake with pie-weights at 425 for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and fold into your lemon filling mixture.
- Spread the filling into the crust. Lower the oven temperature to 325 and bake for 10-15 minutes, until filling is set.