Francois Payard's lemon raspberry tart is so very tart. It also has a mound of marshmallow-like lime meringue on top and is dotted with fresh raspberries. I never knew I loved tarts until I tried Francois's. I was gifted one for my birthday and haven't been able to get tarts off my mind since then. Last week, while flipping through Ruth Reichl's book, My Kitchen Year, I saw her recipe for Tart Lemon Tart and immediately started a shopping list to make my very own lemon tart.
I was really happy with the recipe and the lemon curd was very tart, just like I wanted it to be. I did notice some bits of egg white in my curd, but I didn't notice them at all while I was eating the tart. I might have avoided bits by using a double boiler method, or by straining the curd before pouring it into the tart shell, but it's not very necessary. Since I'm constantly worried about giving myself or others food poisoning, I decided I'd make you use a food thermometer to ensure that your eggs are fully cooked. After eating a few slices of my tart and then freaking out about salmonella (because I was unsure if my curd came to a safe temperature), I ended up baking the tart for 30 minutes to be on the safe side. Luckily that didn't ruin the texture of the tart as I feared it would. I'm still eating it and I'm on the verge of tart-exhaustion. Soon I'll be on to my next tasty obsession.
RECIPE (adapted from Ruth Reichl's Tart Lemon Tart recipe)
½ cup cashews (or unsalted almonds or hazelnuts)
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup flour
10 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 large eggs (pasteurized if you don't have a food thermometer)
4 large lemons
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1. To make the crust, toast the almonds, then grind them in a food processor with the flour, the confectioner’s sugar, and a pinch of salt. Put the nut mixture into a bowl and add in 4 tablespoons of cold butter, chopping the butter with two knives until it's in pea-sized pieces. Fold in the olive oil and 1 egg yolk. Pat the dough into a disk, put it between two large pieces of plastic wrap, and roll it out to an 11-inch round. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart or pie pan, and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes and let cool completely.
2. Once the tart shell is cooked and cooled, make the filling by grating the zest from 1 lemon. Squeeze all 4 lemons and mix the juice with the zest. Put the lemon mixture into a heavy-bottomed non-reactive pot and whisk in the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in 2 eggs plus 2 additional yolks. Put the pot on the stove over medium high heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to boil, then keep whisking for a few more minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick and reads 140 on a thermometer. Remove from the heat and add 6 tablespoons of butter (cut into pieces), and whisk until the butter has completely melted.
3. Pour the lemon curd into the tart shell and let cool. Put the tart in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Store in the fridge. Serve with whipped cream and berries.