Lemon Tart and Cookfest 2009featured

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart with Almond Crust

When the pressure’s on to make something special for a party, this lemon tart is my secret weapon. The sweet, tart, lemon curd filling is refreshing and light compared to a typical chocolate dessert, the ground almond in the crust gives it that extra something, and the presentation has wow-factor.

Serve up a slice with some raspberries and whipped cream, or Lehua Honey Ice Cream and prepare for praises!

I pulled out this recipe for last weekend’s CookFest 2009 in Los Altos, a fantastically fun eating and cooking extravaganza organized by gracious hosts Ron and Miri Gutman.

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The kitchen overflowed with bounty from the farmer’s market gathered in the morning, and day turned into night as guests arrived, cooked, ate, added and subtracted from the feast.

As ValleyZen described, the evening was “Quintessentially Silicon Valley” with lots of collective cooking, sharing ideas, and collaboration – “wiki-cooking” at its finest.

Lemon Tart with Lehua Honey Ice Cream

Lemon Tart with Lehua Honey Ice Cream

Lemon Tart
Adapted from The Berry Bible’s Lemon Curd Cake recipe, by Janie Hibler

For lemon curd filling:
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons (approximately ¼ cup juice)
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla

For crust:
1 ½ sticks butter
2 cups flour
¾ cup sugar
½ cup almond meal
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs

Preparation:
Prepare lemon curd: Place lemon zest, juice, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla in the top of a double boiler. Place over simmering water; top should not touch water. Cook, stirring constantly, until curd thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove top. Set aside to cool. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

Prepare crust: Butter an 11-inch tart pan (with removable bottom) and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Place remaining butter, flour, and sugar in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Add almond meal, almond extract, and eggs, and process until mixture forms a soft dough. Press two thirds of the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, forming a crust about ¼-inch in thickness. Spread lemon curd on top. Crumble remaining dough over curd layer. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown, about 40-50 minutes. Cool in pan.

Serves 8.

Tip: If you have the time, make extra lemon curd to jar and store in your fridge. That will cut down prep time in case you ever want to make a lemon tart spur of the moment!

Also, when crumbling the dough on top, I like to leave some space around the bits of dough so that you can see the lemon curd in spots. Therefore, I find that I usually have enough dough in this recipe to make a little mini tart on the side – a treat for the cook :)

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