These are one of my favorite desserts. The lemon curd is sweet and sour and silky and beautiful. The crust completes with its mild flavor and texture.
- FOR SWEET PASTRY
- 2-⅔ cups All purpose flour
- 1 cup Powdered sugar, divided
- ¼ cups Almond dish
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 cup Butter without salt
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Egg
- FOR THE LEMON CREAM:
- ½ cups Fresh lemon juice
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Egg yolk
- ¾ cups Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 cup Butter
- FOR DRIZZLE:
- 1 cup White chocolate
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
For the sweet pastry:
Place a sieve over a medium bowl. Sift the flour and 6 ½ tablespoons caster sugar, almond flour (or flour) and salt into the bowl, then whisk to combine.
Place the butter in a blender fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium speed until it becomes the consistency of mayonnaise. Sift in the rest of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir on low to combine, then increase to medium and stir for about 1 minute, until the mixture becomes a bit frothy (scrape down the sides if necessary).
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 2 additions, mixing about 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bottom of the bowl, mixing all the dry ingredients. Add the egg and stir over low heat until combined. Use a scraper to mix and make sure everything is incorporated. Divide the dough into two logs or round bricks, wrap twice in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month.
When ready to use, remove a packet of dough and cut into 6 equal portions. Lightly dust your work surface (I love this mat) and roll each piece, one at a time, into a circle about 5 ½ to 6 inches in diameter that will overlap the pie pans. If you like a thick crust, roll out the dough 5 to 5 ½ inches in diameter.
Place in your pie pans, gently pressing down the sides. Roll your rolling pin over the pie pan to cut off the excess crust. If you want a taller crust, use a sharp knife to cut the crust 1-2 millimeters above the pie pan. I put all the leftover crust on the cookie sheet where I bake the pies. My children gobble them up. Gently shape the tops. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes (or in the freezer for 10) and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Take the tartlets out of the fridge and poke light holes in each tart shell with a fork. I don’t blind cook these shells because they don’t shrink or puff up much, but you’re welcome! Place 6 tartlets (and remaining crust) on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and gently brush each pie shell with a pastry brush. This step will seal your crust, keeping it dry when you fill it. Return to the oven and bake for about 10 more minutes, but watch them closely, you are looking for a nice golden brown. This will depend on how thin you rolled your dough and ovens vary. Let them cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pie pans.
For the lemon cream:
Heat 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan until simmering, but not boiling. Combine the lemon juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt in a stainless steel bowl (I use my kitchen mixer bowl). Whisk to combine and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the mixture constantly to prevent the sugar and egg from reacting. When it becomes very thick and registers 180 degrees (this will take about 10 minutes), remove from the heat and let cool to 140 degrees, stirring occasionally.
Cut the butter into 1 tbsp pieces. For this next step, you can put the lemon curd in your blender or keep it in your mixing bowl and use an immersion blender. Add 1 piece of butter at a time and mix after each addition until incorporated. It will turn pale and thick and delicious. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days. You can use it straight from the fridge or gently heat and soften in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water.
To assemble the pies:
Divide the lemon cream between each base of sweet pastry and smooth the tops. I found it easier to put the lemon cream in a pitcher and pour it into the pie shells. Let stand for one hour or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Melt white chocolate and coconut oil in microwaveable bowl in two 30 second increments, stirring after each interval. Take the tarts out of the fridge and pour the white chocolate over the tarts using a plastic fork or piping bag with just a tiny corner cut off. Place in airtight containers and refrigerate until ready to eat or deliver. These keep well for 5 days. Enjoy your beautiful creations!