Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Lemon Curd Shortbread Tart

This is a beautiful, citrusy, refreshing dessert, perfect for any spring occasion. 

It got rave reviews at our Easter dinner and would be wonderful for Mother's Day, too! I can't think of a better combo than shortbread and lemon curd. The crunchiness of the shortbread pairs wonderfully with the creamy filling. It really is SO good. 

I've made lemon curd before but this new method is so easy - combine everything in the microwave and let it do the cooking - you just stir it every 45 seconds. It turns out fabulously - bright, sunshiny and smooth and absolutely jaw-droppingly delicious.

You could go all out and make a coulis to coat the bottom of the plate, or drizzle with a raspberry sauce or something, but I thought this was lovely unadorned, with no competing elements. I just garnished with a few fresh raspberries to bring a little color to the plate.

Look at that lemon center! And the wonderful crust and topping. So good. A dusting of powdered sugar completes this beautiful tart. Enjoy!

Lemon Curd Shortbread Tart

1/2 cup butter 
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup almond flour

Lemon Curd:
1 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 egg yolks
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, cubed

For the lemon curd, combine the sugar, lemon juice, egg yolks and eggs in a large microwave-safe bowl. Whisk well until combined. Stir in the butter cubes. Microwave for 45 seconds on high power, then stir well. Continue microwaving in 45 second increments, stirring well after each heating, until the curd coats the back of the spoon or reaches 175 degrees. This process will take 5-7 minutes, likely. Stir in the lemon zest. Let cool on the counter top while you assemble the tart dough.
 You can also make this in advance and refrigerate it until you need it. 

For the tart, in a medium-size bowl, whisk soft butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk again until well combined. Add the flour and almond flour and stir with a fork until the flour is incorporated and large crumbs start to form.

 (Alternatively, you can use chilled butter and do this process in the food processor. Just don't pulse too much or you won't get nice clumps of butter. You want to create a streusel.) 

Spray a 9-inch tart pan with baking spray. Press about 2/3 of the dough evenly up the sides and covering the bottom of the pan. Place the bowl with the remaining dough into the refrigerator.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Place a sheet pan on the rack and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the tart pan on the sheet pan and bake for 10-14 minutes, until the crust is just beginning to  firm up and turn golden brown on the edges. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow the tart to cool for 10 minutes, then spread 1 1/4 cups of the lemon curd evenly over the bottom of the crust. (You won't use all the lemon curd. You could use the remainder over ice cream, on scones, to make a trifle, etc!)

Remove the remaining dough from the refrigerator. Grab a handful of the crumb mixture and gently squeeze it in your hand, then sprinkle it over the lemon curd, breaking it up into large crumbs as you go. Repeat until all of the crumb mixture is used up.

Return the tart (on the sheet pan) to the oven and continue baking until topping is firm, crisp and lightly golden in color, and the filling is not "jiggly," about 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. 

Remove the outer ring from the tart pan and serve. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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