Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

I saw this lemon tart and just had to try it; it looked so beautiful. My parents have a fig tree at their home, so it was too perfect to pass up. Not only is it simplistic in its directions, but the few decorative figs also make it look so clean and fresh! This tart was a huge hit in the office even among the people who weren’t fond of lemon cream. I am not fond of any sort of elaborate decorating, mostly because I’m not very good at it. When something can have a simple decoration, I’m very happy.

Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Ingredients: from hummingbird high

For the Brown Butter Tart Shell

(makes one 8-inch tart)

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour

For the Lemon Cream Filling and Fig Topping

(makes enough for one 8-inch tart)

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 fl. ounces) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks // 8 ounces) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pint ripe figs

Directions:

For the Brown Butter Tart Shell

1. Preheat the oven to 410 (F).

Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

2. In a medium, oven-safe bowl, combine 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon sugar and a pinch of salt.

3. And now (this is going to sound really weird), place the bowl in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the mixture is boiling and the butter starts browning.

  • I had never done this before to make brown butter, but it actually worked. Be warned: the next part still requires oven mitts. I almost grabbed the bowl with my bare hand to mix in the flour, but then remembered it had just spent 15 minutes in a hot oven.
Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

4. After 15 minutes, remove from the oven (but keep the oven on!) and add 6 ounces of all-purpose flour by quickly spooning in flour in tablespoon sized chunks. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to stir in the flour. As you do this, the mixture is also going to bubble and smoke, but trust the recipe! It works, I promise. The end result is a dough that pulls off the sides of the bowl and looks a little bit like a lump of mashed potatoes.

  • So for this part it steams like crazy. It freaked me out when I put the flour in and all of a sudden there was a massive amount of steam.
Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

5. Once the dough is cool enough to touch, transfer the ball of dough into an 8-inch tart pan. Use the back of your hand to flatten out the dough onto the bottom of the pan and your fingertips to mold the dough up into the corners and sides of the pan. It’s going to feel really greasy and kind of unpleasant, but go with it. Once the tart dough has covered the pan completely, use a fork to poke several holes into the crust.

  • Once it’s cooled, form it into a ball. If you just dump all the crumbs into the tart pan it will crack while it is cooking.

6. Bake at 410 (F) or until the crust is light brown and starts to appear flakey, around 15 minutes. Remove carefully from oven and let rest on a wire rack.

For the Lemon Cream Filling:

1. Pour 2 inches of water into deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer.

Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

2. Combine 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, 3/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt in a glass bowl. Place the glass bowl over the saucepan containing the simmering water to create a double boiler, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180 (F) on a quick-read digital thermometer. As you’re whisking, be sure to never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring – the sugar will cook the yolks and turn them granular! Don’t let that happen, or your tart will be weirdly textured and I will cry for you.

  • You also need the eggs to not cook, which they will start doing if you keep them over the heat too long. You don’t want scrambled eggs in your lemon cream.
Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

3. After the mixture reaches 180 (F) (after around 10 to 12 minutes), remove the bowl from over the water and let cool on a wire rack to 140 (F), stirring gently from time to time to release the heat.

4. Once the mixture reaches 140 (F), use an immersion blender to blend 1 cup unsalted butter a few cubes at a time into the lemon curd. Blend well after each addition of butter and make sure the cubes are fully incorporated before adding the next few pieces. As you add more butter, the cream will start to turn into a pale yellow and take on a thick, opaque texture.

Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

  • I don’t have an immersion blender, so I just whisked really quickly. You can see from the pictures how the color changed. That is the butter.

5. Once the butter has been fully incorporated, cover the surface of the lemon cream with a layer of plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Assembly:

Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Once the lemon cream has chilled for a few hours and you’re ready to serve the tart, use a rubber spatula to carefully pour the lemon cream mixture into the prepped shell, smoothing out the cream with an offset spatula so that it spreads around the tart pan evenly. Decorate with sliced figs and serve immediately.

Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

I have made lemon cream many times. I am happy to say this time was just as good as the first, even though this recipe calls for a creamy lemon curd by adding butter. I think for this tart it worked very well, but is not necessary every time you make a lemon curd.
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Kortni's Kitchen: Lemon Tart

Kortni’s Kitchen: Lemon Tart

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