I love lime and lemon custard tarts that have that right amount of 'twang'.
The kind of twang that hits your tongue on the first bite, then gets smoothed over with the creamy sugary custard. Such a clean, light taste.
A rich, deep tasting custard made with heavy cream, butter, egg yolks, and then a nice hefty dose of lemon juice & zest--to me, is possibly the best way to cleanse the palate after a meal.
The perfect lemon tart is light in taste but rich texture; one only needs a small slice to be satisfied.
Sure custard tarts are a bit of work, and by work I mean, pre-baking the crust (worth it) and zesting 4-5 lemons (even more worth it).
That's it really, not much else hard work to do when you look at it.
And what makes tart baking even easier is having a good, sturdy tart pan with removable bottom.
Make sure to invest in a removable bottom tart pan, they come in handy when you've done all that prep work and really want the last step of removing from pan to happen--effortlessly.
Tart pans can also be used to my infamous ginger crunch bars. Remember those?
I also made a lemon crunch version too!
This lemon custard tart recipe I got from the book: Say It With Cake by Edd Kimber.
Truly fabulous. This recipe calls for a hint of almond meal in the crust, no zest or lemon in the crust either, which is good; we don't need to overpower the whole tart with lemon, just the custard.
I can't recommend this cookbook enough.
I don't have any pie weights and I don't have a 9-inch tart pan, so this recipe was quite adaptable.
I used a square 8 or 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
You could try this in a pie plate, but make sure you grease it up well.
I would love to try this with key limes and meyer lemons.
But meyer lemons here on cape cod are hard to find, and if you find one prepare to shell out
$2.00 for one!
And then there was one....these bars will not last long.
ginger crunch bars
lemon crunch bars
mini peach cheesecake tarts
From Say It With Cake
1 cup +2 TB flour
2/3 cup almond flour
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
hefty pinch of salt
5 TB unsalted butter, diced & kept cold (I would use 6 TB)
1 egg yolk, cold
1 TB ice water
½ ts vanilla bean paste
Finely grated zest of 4 lemons
2/3 cup super fine sugar (if you don’t have it, just use regular sugar)
½ cup real lemon juice (not bottled)
2/3 cup heavy cream
my cook notes:
I would use an extra tablespoon of butter for the crust dough, but that’s me.
I do not have pie weights and therefore skipped that step, and pre-baking the pie crust came out fine. Pay close attention to whisking the uncooked pastry cream; you don’t want to over-whisk and have too much air in the custard. These bars, as with any custard based tarts do not keep long--a day at most then the bottom gets soggy.
For the crust, place the flour, almond flour, confectioner’s sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolk, water and vanilla bean paste together and add to the food processor. Pulse until the dough just starts to come together. Tip out onto a non-floured work surface and gently knead until the dough comes together into a uniform mass. Press into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
Lightly grease a 9-inch fluted tart tin (preferably with a removable base) and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out the pastry and place in the prepared tart tin. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until the pastry has firmed up again.
Line the tart shell with parchment and fill with a layer of baking beans or rice.
Bake for 20 minutes then remove the parchment and baking beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until the pastry has started to turn golden. Allow the pastry case to cool whilst you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Place the zest, lemon juice, sugar and eggs into a medium bowl and gently whisk together until smooth. Pour in the cream and again gently whisk to combine. You don’t want to incorporate air so be careful to whisk nice and gently.
Pour the filling into the part baked tart shell and bake for 30 minutes or until the filling has just set. Allow tart to completely cool before serving. (I let it cool for 20 minutes, then 10 minutes in fridge).
Tip from Edd:
If you worry about a tart with a soggy bottom, allow the part baked tart shell to cool completely, then brush with an egg yolk and allow to set.
This creates a seal to prevent moisture from the filling making the pastry soggy.