If there is one thing I’m proud of when it comes to my progress in the kitchen it’s my tart making skills. I’ve come a long way since my first foray into pastry making, when I could have burned the house down or lost an eye. If you missed this adventure, you can read about it here. In any case, in the last year I have made my fair share of tarts and pies, some a little more…er…rustic than others. But even at their most lopsided or shrunken, they’ve always tasted delicious. I’ve always maintained that it’s hard to make a bad tart, especially a bad lemon tart.
I now consider myself somewhat of a lemon tart connoisseur; it’s what I usually order for dessert on the occasion that I go out for dinner, and I always compare one restaurant’s offering to another. I like my lemon tarts tangy, and these certainly fit the bill. They’re called Pucker-Up Lemon Tarts and the recipe comes from Canadian Living, one of those general woman’s magazines that a lot of people buy for the recipes. The magazine is known for testing and retesting recipes until they’re considered perfect.
To jazz things up a bit, I added a blueberry compote I found on the Epicurious site. Blueberries are something I eat on a daily basis, throwing them into smoothies or tossing them into my cereal. I could live on fruit, so I would be hard pressed to say which berries are my favorite. But I do know that– for me–almost nothing beats the flavor of lemon. Lemon and blueberries are definitely a winning combination.
adapted from Canadian living
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons (25 ml) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (25ml) sour cream
2 teaspoons (10 ml) finely grated lemon rind
4 teaspoons (18 ml) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50ml) whipping cream
1/3 cup (75 ml) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10ml) icing sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons (45 ml) cold butter, cubed
1) Line bottom of two 4-inch (10 cm) tart tins with parchment paper. Set aside.
2) For the pastry, whisk together flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Cut butter into the mixture with a pastry blender or two knives, until it resembles fine crumbs. Squeeze into two small clumps and press evenly into prepared pans. Refrigerate for about thirty minutes, until firm.
3) Prick shells with a fork. Bake in center of 350F (180c) oven until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool on rack.
4) In a bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, sugar, sour cream, lemon rind and juice; pour into shells. Bake until filling is no longer jiggly in center, about 25 minutes. Let cool on rack.
5) Using tip of paring knife, loosen edge of each tart by gently running tip between pastry and edge of pan. Remove from tins and discard paper.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Combine 1 1/2 cups blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small heavy saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until berries burst, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add 1 more cup of berries. Cook until compote coats a spoon, stirring often, about another 8 minutes. Serve warm.
The compote can be used to garnish a variety of desserts such as cheesecake, or on french toast or pancakes. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.