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Lemon Curd Tartlets

17-May-2013

 

Lemon Curd Tartlets

 

I served these fun little tarts as part of an Afternoon Tea menu a couple of weeks ago.  I’ll post the full menu for the Tea soon but wanted to start with this recipe.

If using candied lemon slices for garnish make them at least 1 day prior. The curd can be made 2 or 3 days before use and refrigerated until needed.  The shells can be baked a day or two ahead of time and then stored in an airtight container until needed.

The curd recipe makes more than two cups, which is enough for several small tarts, depending on the size of your shells.   I made about a dozen 2″ tartlets and still had curd to use for other things.

Candied Lemon and Tangerine Slices

Use this recipe or something similar to make candied lemon or lemon and tangerine slices for garnish. Note that they need several hours to dry. Store in the refrigerator after drying.

Tartlet Shells

Purchase pre-made or make 2″ – 3″ tart shells.  Dock them, then bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes until golden brown.  Set aside.

Lemon Curd

 adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

3 lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
2 extra-large eggs
4 extra-large egg yolks (save the whites for another use)
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)*
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Zest the 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. If you are using a Microplane or similar zester you can put the zest directly into your mixing bowl with the sugar and butter. If you are using a peeler to zest the lemons, first add the zest with the sugar to a food processor and process until the zest is tiny. Then cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture.

Mix in the eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined. The mixture will look curdled.

Pour the mixture into a 3 quart saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (to keep a skin from forming on the top) and cool or refrigerate.

* You can be creative with the citrus juice.  Use all lemon or other type of citrus (lime or tangerine, for instance) or mix different types together.  For instance I used mostly lemon with about 2 – 3 tablespoons of tangerine juice for this version.

Lemon Curd Tartlets

Fill each baked shell with 2 to 3 tablespoons of curd – just until the curd is nearly level with the top of the shell.

Cut the candied citrus slices into quarters and garnish each tartlet with 1 or 2 pieces.

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