I am thoroughly enjoying the summer. Every trip to the green market or supermarket is full of brightly colored, fragrant fruits that make the season fun. In particular, I am enamored of berries! I use them nearly daily in cereals, smoothies and of course fresh, tangy tarts. I blogged a few weeks ago about a delightful summer fruit tart that was made of a sweet shortbread crust, a custard and berries glistening under a light layer of apricot preserves.
There are many terrific recipes out there for fruit tarts and I came across a one posted on Serious Eats, adapted from Doris Greenspan's original recipe. I was intrigued by the idea of slicing the lemon flesh and putting in a blender. Sure enough, I was rewarded by an extra level of tartness that played well against the natural sweetness of the raspberries. I'm guessing that this recipe would work well with other berries, too. I'm thinking of blueberries and blackberries. Lemon goes well with so many summer fruits! Be bold and experiment. That's half the fun in cooking.
Creamy Lemon and Raspberry Tart
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan (The Cafe Boulud Cookbook) via Serious Eats
1 partially baked 9 1/2-inch tart shell (in a fluted tart pan) — recipe below
If the crust is not on a parchment- or silicone-mat-lined baking sheet, transfer it to one and set it aside.
The Unshrinkable Tart Crust
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking From My Home to Yours” via Serious Eats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons; 4 1/2 ounces) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in–you should have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition.
When the egg is in, process in long pulses–about 10 seconds each–until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change–heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
2. To roll or press the dough into the pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
* If you want to roll the dough, chill it for about 2 hours before rolling (unless you’ve used frozen butter and the dough comes out of the processor firm and cold, in which case you can roll it immediately). I find it easiest to roll this dough out between two sheets of plastic film – make sure to peel away the film frequently, so it doesn’t get rolled into the dough.
* If you want to use the press-in method, you can work with the dough as soon as it’s processed. Just press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Don’t be too heavy-handed – press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but don’t press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture.
3. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
4. To fully bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
5. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and fit the foil, buttered side down,
tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.)
Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon (or prick it with the tip of a small knife). Bake the crust for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown, brown being the important word: a pale crust doesn’t have a lot of flavor. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature.
Storing: The dough can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, I prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer – it has a fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes to the baking time.
Makes enough for one 9-inch crust
2 medium lemons
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups raspberries
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. Finely grate the zest of both lemons; set aside.
With a small knife, cut off the top and bottom of each lemon and then carefully cut away the cottony white pith and a tiny bit of flesh from each lemon–the juicy sections of lemon should now be completely exposed.
Lay the lemons on their sides and cut each lemon crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; remove the seeds.
3. Place the lemon slices, eggs, yolks and sugar in the container of a blender
and puree until smooth.
Strain the mixture into a bowl
and whisk in the reserved zest and the cream.
Give the bowl a good rap against the kitchen counter to de-bubble it–if there are bubbles in the cream now, there will be bubbles in your tart later. (It’s not tragic, but neither is it attractive.)
4. Scatter the berries over the bottom of the crust and pour over the filling.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is set in the center. Transfer the tart to a rack and cool to room temperature.
To serve: Cut the tart into 8 wedges and serve as is with some lightly sweetened whipped cream, raspberry coulis or even a spoonful of berry marmalade.
Makes 8 servings