I’m a huge fan of lemon meringue pie, but it seems like it’s very difficult to buy it well-made. I’ve tried freezer-section versions and “fresher” grocery store versions, but nothing out there that I’ve tried seems to come even close to a homemade version.
But this isn’t quite lemon meringue pie. Instead, it’s a lemon curd tart. It’s a lot like a lemon meringue pie, but the filling is much more flavorful and rich. It’s creamy and sweet and smooth and tart and sour all at the same time. It isn’t topped with a mountain of meringue, like most of the pies normally are, but just a light dollop. Instead of a pie crust, you’ve got two options with this tart: shortbread crust or almond crust.
I made this a couple weeks ago when we had some guests over for dinner, and I’m often a bit apprehensive about making something new when we have guests, but this recipe did not disappoint! I was glad I made two tarts because everyone asked for seconds and the dessert was gone in no time.
This recipe is based off of one from the latest book I’m reviewing: The Perfect Egg by Fisher and Park, bloggers at spoonforkbacon.com. In all honesty, I had never really looked at their blog and was not entirely sure what to expect with this book. All I really knew was that it had good reviews on amazon and seemed to have some interesting recipes.
When I received the book, I was surprised with how small it was: shorter than most cookbooks and significantly thinner at barely 160 pages. Upon reading the book, however, I realized that though it may be small, it’s quality is through the roof! I don’t just mean the photos and glossy pages, because it has amazing photography for every recipe, but I mean the recipes themselves. It’s hard to find a cookbook where nearly every recipe looks so good that you could truly see yourself making everything, but this book had that effect on me. From the recipes on bread (brioche!) to kaya toast, from matcha cookies to spaetzle, everything just looked amazing (and don’t even get me started on the dessert section:)!
It felt like these authors really kept the home cook in mind, because there are plenty of cookbooks out there with recipes that require a million unfamiliar ingredients. I felt that this book had manageable recipes with some more advanced techniques for those who want the challenge (like homemade pastas and breads). A lot of the recipes, such as for quiche, pancakes, or frozen custard, are super versatile and the book pictures 9 different variations for these recipes.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. I have not seen a book this good in a long time, and it’s definitely going to be put to good use in my kitchen!
So below is the recipe, choose what kind of crust you like!
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, softened
- yolk of 1 egg
- 1 cup almond meal
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- yolk of 1 egg
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 3 egg yolks, room temperature
- zest of 1 lemons
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp butter, diced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 eggs whites, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- For the Crusts: These instructions work for both crusts. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Simply combine all the listed ingredients in a bowl and cut in the butter with a fork. Mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Spread onto the tart pan. Poke holes in the crust with a fork. Bake shortbread crust for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Bake almond crust for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- For the Lemon Curd Filling: In a saucepan, combine the eggs, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla. Whisk, then turn on the heat. Continue to whisk and heat until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Strain mixture and transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl. To cool the mixture, place this bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water.
- Before the egg mixture has completely cooled, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Continue to whisk.
- In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over-mix! Fold the heavy cream mixture into the cooled egg mixture.
- Pour the curd into the tart crust. Place in the fridge and allow to set for at least an hour.
- For the Meringue Topping: After the curd has set, make the meringue topping. Whip the eggs whites for about 2 minutes, then sprinkle in the cream of tartar and add the vanilla. Continue to whip on high speed and gradually add the sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Spread over the curd tart. If desired, torch the meringue topping or leave as-is. Store leftover tart in the fridge.
- This recipe makes 1 tart, but you can choose which kind of crust you want to make. If you have two shallower or smaller tart pans, you can make two tarts with this amount of curd filling, but you should increase the amount of eggs (3 egg whites) and sugar (1 cup) in the meringue topping to ensure you have enough to top two tarts.
- Note: if, for some reason, your curd seems too liquidy (maybe you didn’t cook the eggs enough or you didn’t whip the heavy cream enough, or you deflated the cream when folding it in), you can add some gelatin to save your tart. Simply add a teaspoon or two right before you pour it into the crusts. This will allow it to solidify. Be careful though: if you add too much gelatin, your curd will turn out rubbery. Just about a teaspoon should be enough in most cases.
Disclaimer: This book was received from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.