Lemon Tart for any Season (and Reason)
Lemon tart is Tarte au citron in French. Regardless, of language the blend of tangy and sweet is enough to turn even a non-dessert eater into a fan. This recipe comes from Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living a cookbook and reflection on the Mediterranean lifestyle with photos by François Millo.
Lemon Tart or Tarte au citron
For the Crust:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1/2 cups Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 7 ounces Unsalted Butter
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
For the Filling:
- 8 ounces Crème fraiche
- 3 Eggs lightly beaten
- 3/4 cups Sugar
- juice of 4 Lemons
- 4 tablespoons Butter softened and cubed
To make the Crust:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Mix until the mixture is crumbly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest, and lightly beat with a fork.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat with a mixer on low speed for about 2 minutes, or until a dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough for 1 minute.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour (or up to 4 days). If you chill the dough for longer than 1 hour, let it warm slightly before rolling it out.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch and transfer to a 9-inch tart dish with removable bottom. Trim off any excess dough.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool.
To make the Filling:
- Whip the crème fraîche so it is light and airy. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice and stir well.
- Cook on low heat, stirring constantly for about 15 minutes.
- Pour into a bowl, add the butter, and stir well to incorporate. Let cool.
- Fold in the whipped crème fraîche.
- Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for at least an hour, or until ready to serve.
- Decorate with lemon slices or meringue that has been browned under a broiler.