Raspberry Lavender Honey Tart

There are 3 things I can always make in a hurry when I have a last minute guest coming over that I want to force-feed my baking: 1. Cupcakes; 2. A fruit tart; and 3. A mess.

#3 always happens whether I want it to or not, and this past weekend I decided to go for a fruit tart, because honestly, it’s super hard to f-k up fruit.

Because it’s the end of summer, and because I love raspberries, I thought: “Let’s make a raspberry tart…wait, wait, wait. No…Let’s make a raspberry tart with CREAM CHEESE and more cream stuff, and vanilla beans, and let’s cap that off with some ultra-fancy lavender honey. YES.”

[*Side note: I’m having this weird thing with lavender right now-I want it in my Earl Grey tea, I want it in my face masks, my body lotion, and now in my tarts. Is this a sign that I’ll be 30 in a few months? Does this mean soon I’ll start salivating over prunes and writing checks to buy groceries? #30Year-OldQuestions.]

The crust is a pâte sucrée, or a sugar crust, used for a lot of fruit tarts, especially somewhat acidic fruits. The crust is still very buttery and flaky, however, and between the slight buttery sweetness, the cold vanilla cream, and the lavender honey-drizzled raspberries, all the flavors and textures come together to make one hell of a tart.

I tried to make the raspberries do this really cool circular thing with almond slivers, but that failed hard, so I just piled it on with wild abandon; which leads me to my final thought: Just remember: even if your baking doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to, you will always have one thing ready for your guest: A huge mess 😉

rasptart4

I found this recipe in Gourmet and modified it a smidge. It’s supposed to make 6 servings but my friend and I ate it in about 3. Mmmmm.

Equipment:

  • 9-inch fluted round tart pan [1 inch deep] with a removable bottom
  • Pie weights or raw rice
  • Dough blender or food processor
  • Electric mixer

Ingredients:

For crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 7 Tbl. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg

For filling:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche [I used the Madagascar vanilla bean kind. If you can’t find this at your grocery store, just scrape the beans out of one vanilla bean and add].
  • 3 1/2 Tbl. lavender honey [same applies here. If you can’t find lavender honey, add about 1/4 tsp. lavender extract to about 1/4 cup of honey].
  • 4 cups raspberries [18 oz]
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds [optional]

rasptartMake crust: Pulse together all crust ingredients in a food processor just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Or, if using a dough blender, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter using a dough blender until the mix resembles coarse crumbs. Using your hands [I use disposable gloves to disperse heat] mix in the egg.

Put your tart pan on a baking sheet and press the dough evenly onto the bottom and up the side of the tart pan with your fingertips. Chill the shell, covered, on the baking sheet until firm, about 30 min.

Put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the shell with a buttered sheet of aluminum foil [buttered side down] and fill shell one third of the way up with pie weights.

Bake on the baking sheet until edge is pale golden, about 20-25 min. Carefully remove the pie weights and foil, then bake until the edges and bottom are golden, about 20 min. more. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. [*Note: Tart shell can be made 1 day ahead, but keep it in the tart pan and wrapped in plastic wrap at room temp.]

Make the filling: Beat the cream cheese in a bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and 1 1/2 Tbl. lavender honey and beat until well-combined. [*Note: Filling can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.]

rasptart2Spread the filling evenly in the shell and let cool in the fridge about 30 min-1 hour. Top the tart with raspberries and slivered almonds. Heat the remaining honey in a very small saucepan or microwave on low heat for about 30 seconds until liquefied. Drizzle honey over the raspberries and almonds. Serve with additional melted honey on the side.

Tart with a view

rasptart3Pile of goodness

rasptart6Side view

rasptart5Slice of everything amazing in life

rasptart8Oh yeah.

rasptart9

Cranberry Eggnog Tart

Well hello, again. After being off the blogging radar for a few weeks, thanks to a move and now a long trip, I’m back to my barefoot and baking existence. Thank you for your patience!

Kicking off the pre-holidays, I’m here in Ohio visiting the fam for a healthy dose of Addam’s Family living.

Nothing says “hello” to the wee baby Jesus like Spock and T-Rex

xmasI’m also here to keep the Frenchie nugget company while she recovers from the inedible orange jello at the hospital.

Ladies of leisure, darling

leisureBut it’s my dad who sparked my natural inclination towards butter and sugar concoctions by requesting I make Gourmet‘s cranberry eggnog tart from their annual Holiday magazine.

I must admit that the thought of anything cranberry around this season seems fitting, but it’s the smoothness of the gelée, the bourbon in the cream filling, and the buttery cookie-like crust that make this tart, as Gourmet so snootily phrased it, “a choice centerpiece for any table.”

Now before you tell me you’ve never liked eggnog or other such nonsense, think of this more like a layered cheesecake than a milky filling: there’s nothing but cream cheese, crème fraîche and a healthy dose of bourbon…eat a few slices and you’ll be telling your uncle how you can barely notice his hair piece in no time.

Happy almost-holidays, everyone. Stay tuned for the onslaught of baking that can only happen when there’s the perfect storm of holidays, enthusiastic family, and Midwest boredom!

eggnog2[Serves 8-10. *Warning: I found Gourmet‘s recipe to be off in terms of quantity. There wasn’t enough crust to hold the amount of filling made. I’m printing this recipe as is, but if you make it and don’t want to throw away half the filling, either double the crust or halve the eggnog filling recipe. The cranberry gelée is just fine, though.]

Equipment:

  • 10-inch fluted metal quiche pan [2 inches deep] with a removable bottom
  • About 3 cups pie weights or rice/beans.
  • Small offset spatula [optional]
  • Food processor or blender
  • Disposable gloves [optional]
  • Fine-mesh sieve

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 7 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

Filling:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbl. crème fraîche [I found one at Whole Foods that was Madagascar Vanilla Bean so I used that] or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbl. sugar
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbl. bourbon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Scant 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Scant 1/4 tsp. salt

Cranberry gelée:

  • 1 [12 oz] bag fresh or frozen cranberries [NOT thawed]
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice [from about 1 large orange]
  • 1 cup water

Make the crust: Either using a food processor on pulse, or using your hands with disposable gloves, mix all of the crust ingredients together just until a dough forms. Press dough evenly onto the bottom of the pan and 2/3 the way up the sides. Chill until firm, about 30 min.

This is what 2/3 looks like

eggnogMeanwhile, make the gelée: Bring all gelée ingredients to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 min. [jam will thicken as it cools].

Force jam through a VERY fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding skins and seeds [this might take a while, but it’s worth it for the smooth presentation of the tart]. Cool, stirring occasionally.

Finish your crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle. Line the shell with foil and fill with weights. Bake until the edge is PALE golden, 20-25 min. Carefully remove the foil and weights and bake shell until edge is golden and bottom is PALE golden, 15-20 min. more. Cool completely in pan on rack. Reduce oven temp. to 300 degrees.

Make the filling: Blend the cream cheese, crème fraîche, and sugar in a food processor or blender until creamy, about 1 min. Add whole eggs, yolks, bourbon, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt and process until smooth.

Melt gelée with 1/4 cup of water in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Spread half evenly over the bottom of the tart crust [reserving remaining gelée in the saucepan]. Let layer of gelée stand until set, about 10 min. [this is IMPORTANT. If you don’t, the gelée will blend with the filling and you won’t get layers]. Gently pour filling over the gelée.

eggnog3Bake the tart: Cover the edge of the shell with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is set but still trembles slightly in the center, about 35-40 min. Cool tart completely in the pan on a rack. Reheat remaining gelée over low heat, stirring until pourable, then SPOON over filling and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Chill tart, uncovered, until cold, at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, remove side of pan. Tart can be chilled up to 2 days [cover after 2 hours].

eggnog5

Spring Strawberry Lemon Shortbread Tart

Spring has sprung and that means strawberries are in season. How do I know this? I let the over-enthusiastic foodie shoppers at Whole Foods tell me. For example, walking into Whole Paycheck this weekend in my waspy neighborhood, I was elbowed 3 times, stepped on twice and scratched once, all while walking by the strawberries. Ding ding ding! Strawberries must be in season!

And even though it took 3 yelps, 2 dirty looks and 1 band-aid, I did manage to get enough strawberries to make my strawberry lemon tart for my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday-the same woman who tells me “Meris, no cakes! Only tarts and fruit. Cakes make you fat, you know.” Did I mention this tart has a super buttery shortbread crust with heavy cream in it?

I’m evil, I know 😉

All heart clogging aside, this pastry from Bon Appétit Desserts has the perfect balance of tart (pardon the pun) and sweet, thanks to the very light-and not too eggy-lemon curd, and extra ripe strawberries covered in a jam and liqueur glaze.

Anyone wanting to celebrate spring, and participate in the annual fight-for-your-life berry rush, will love this tart.

[Adapted from Bon Appétit Desserts]

Equipment:

Ingredients:

Curd:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 Tbl. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2-5 Tbl. chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large egg yolk

Topping:

  • Roughly 1 1/2 qts. strawberries, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
  • 1/4 cup strawberry liqueur or water

*Note: The recipe is easy but it takes times. Start hours ahead of when you need it. If you need it in the evening, start early in the morning. If you need it in the morning, make the night before. The curd and the dough can both be made 2 days ahead.

Curd: Whisk eggs, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan to blend. Add butter and lemon peel. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and curd thickens to a pudding consistency, about 6 min. Transfer to a small bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd. Chill at least 2 hours.

Crust: Blend flour, sugar and salt. Add butter with a pastry cutter, or pulse in a food processor, until mix resembles coarse meal. Add 2 Tbl. cream and the egg yolk. Blend with hands (I use disposable gloves for this so the heat from my hands doesn’t make the dough too hot) until moist clumps form, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if dough is too dry. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap and chill 1 hour.

Let dough sit at room temp. for a few min., then roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch round. Transfer to the tart pan and press dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch; fold in and press firmly, forming double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with fork and refrigerate 1 hour.

Make border higher than the pan b/c it will shrink during cooking!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake crust until golden, pressing with the back of a fork if the crust bubbles, about 20 min. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Topping: Spread the curd in the crust. Arrange sliced strawberries on top of the curd, overlapping and layering to your preference. Stir jam and liqueur in a small saucepan over med-low heat until melted and not clumpy. Brush jam over berries.

Chill tart until glaze sets, at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.

Homemade Pop-Tarts

I always wanted to like Pop-Tarts as a kid, but the “dough” was just so god-awful–it tasted like plain cooked flour and, therefore, the edges always seemed to find their way to the trash and the delicious jam center in my tummy. Toaster Strudels were a whole other ‘the-middle-is-still-frozen-though-the-edges-are-burned’ saga, but we’ll leave that for another day.

I was reading Bon Appétit last week [I know how pretentious that sounds] when I saw an editor’s pick for something called Raspberry Linzer Bars. The recipe comes from Chef René Redzepi’s organic bakery in Copenhagen, Meyers Bageri [I have no idea what all of this means but it sounds snooty and very tasty]. As I was reading the recipe, 3 things occured to me: 1) Um, these are Pop-Tarts, 2) I want to make Pop-Tarts, and 3) Let’s do some with Nutella.

I’ve fiddled with the dough a bit, as well as the fillings and toppings, because the 5 year-old in me won’t shut up. The dough is very sweet with some added vanilla beans and almond flour. It’s also so light and buttery that there were no ends that ended up in the trash or in my pet’s unforgiving digestive tract.

I hope you like these homemade Pop-Tarts! Feel free to play with the fillings and toppings–next time I might go with blueberry pie filling topped with a simple icing glaze….how am I hungry again? 😉

[Makes roughly 12 Pop-Tarts]

Equipment:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbl. sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond flour or almond meal (found in most specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (Whole Foods, Amazon)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbl. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • Raspberry preserves or seedless raspberry jam
  • Sugar in the raw or raw sugar
  • Nutella
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash maple syrup or dash maple syrup extract

Whisk flour, sugar and almond meal in a large bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and whisk to blend.

The vanilla seeds inside the bean

Add butter and cut in with the pastry cutter until coarse crumbs form. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and add to the flour mix. Mix in with hands (I like to wear disposable gloves for this to keep my hands from melting the butter in the dough) until dough forms. Divide in half. Working with one half at a time, roll out each half between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a 12×10″ rectangle. Transfer both to a baking sheet and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove one of the dough halves and gently lift off one of the parchment sheets. Invert onto a baking sheet and gently lift off the other parchment sheet. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut rectangle into 12 squares/rectangles. Spread Nutella onto 6 of the squares, leaving a small space for the border, and top with some chopped hazelnuts. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and brush the egg onto the untouched borders. Cover with the other 6 squares [you may need a spatula and a gentle touch to get the dough off the baking sheet and onto the squares]. Lightly press the tops to get rid of any air bubbles and press the edges to seal. Trim off any jagged edges. Use the tines of a fork to make the edge.  Place baking sheet back in the fridge.

Using the same method as above, remove other half of dough from the fridge, discard parchment and cut into 12 squares. Spread raspberry jam/preserves in the center of 6, leaving a border. Repeat egg brushing, sealing, and trimming steps. Place back in fridge.

While both Pop-Tarts are in the fridge, stir together your softened butter, allspice, cinnamon, and maple syrup.

Remove the Nutella Pop-Tarts from the fridge. Prick the tops several times with a fork. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops with the butter mix. Remove the raspberry Pop-Tarts from the fridge. Prick dough. Brush with the leftover beaten egg and sprinkle some raw sugar over. Move all Pop-Tarts to one baking sheet and bake 20-25 min. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Keeps 4-5 in an airtight container.

Raspberry

Roasted Tomato, Spinach and Cheese Mini Quiches

I’m not sure if this happens to everyone or just to me, but about twice a month I get a craving for a dish, or a food in general, and can’t stop eating it. This month it’s tomatoes, so why not make a savory summer quiche featuring roasted cherry tomatoes?

What makes these tomatoes so wonderful-tasting is that they are roasted in a kind of garlic-balsamic vinaigrette, and go so well with spinach it’s almost like a fresh summer salad tucked into warm cheesy pastry.

You can do many variations of these quiches, and add many different things to them, so feel free to use this recipe as a basic starting point for all of your other inventions!

(Makes roughly 8-10 mini quiches if using 3- to 4-inch tartlet pans; roughly 20 if using smaller tartlet pans; and one large 9-inch quiche)

Equipment:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box frozen and thawed puff pastry sheets (used in the pictures; 2 sheets come in a box and you will need both) or 1 to 2 frozen and thawed pre-made pie crusts (*tip: a pre-made pie crust, while good for 9-inch quiches can also be used for small tartlet pans. Simply take the pie crust out of the tin shell and make into a ball. Then roll out dough with a rolling pin and use for tartlets. If you want to use pre-made pie crusts for this recipe for the tartlets, you’ll need 2 frozen and thawed crusts)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Onion powder or small handful of chopped red or white onion
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes (approx.)
  • 4-6 oz. cotija cheese, crumbled (this is a milder version of feta, but feta could also work)
  • Large handful of spinach leaves, coarsely chopped (arugula could also work)
  • Handful of pine nuts
  • 2 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 minced garlic cloves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut cherry tomatoes into quarters (I did this, and it’s what you see in the pics, but you can also just leave the tomatoes whole)

Stir together olive oil with balsamic in a large bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper and add minced garlic. Toss in tomatoes, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 25 min. or until the skins are split and shriveled and the tomatoes start to show signs of roasting (a bit golden). Remove from the oven and cool.

While tomatoes cool, roll out the puff pastry or pie dough to a thickness of about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch on a well-floured surface. Line your pans with the dough (* tip: always line the pans with about an inch of dough past the height of the pans’ edges, since the dough will shrivel while cooking). Place tins on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.

Whisk heavy cream and eggs in a small bowl until well-blended. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and onion powder (if you want to add other spices/seasonings, do this here). Pour mix into a measuring cup or glass with a spout.

Sprinkle a layer of chopped spinach onto the bottom of the tartlets. Then sprinkle a layer of crumbled cotija cheese (if you want to add onions, do this here). Snuggle cherry tomatoes into the spinach and cheese. Pour the cream/egg mix into the shells, making sure to pour AROUND the tomatoes. Fill each shell no more than 3/4 full, since it will puff and rise as it bakes. Sprinkle each tartlet with pine nuts.

Bake the mini quiches for about 40 min. or until the filling is puffed and SET. The top, or at least the edges, should be a deep golden color.

Take out and let cool. Can be served warm or at rm-temp. Keeps about a week well-covered in the fridge. Re-warm, or leave at at rm-temp. before eating.

2-Bite Summer Fruit Tartlets

Part of the fun of summer, besides the beaches and flip flops, is the abundance of fresh fruit, their vibrant colors, and cheap[er] prices.

These mini-tartlets of fruit and cream/custard are light, fresh, and good for parties, since they’re not super messy and can be easily eaten in 2-bites…or 1 if you’re like me and are too ravenous to look graceful while eating. This recipe has been in the family for years, on the Frenchie side again!

(Makes roughly 18 tartlets)

Equipment:

  • Tartlet molds (these come in all shapes and sizes, so have fun and pick out some different ones. Also, don’t worry if they don’t have removable bottoms. The dough will come out easily, as it’s a harder kind of dough)
  • Sifter
  • Hand mixer
  • Whisk
  • Pastry brush

Ingredients:

Tarlet shells:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted (sift before measuring) flour

Cream filling and fruit:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups boiling milk (2% or whole)
  • 1 Tbl. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbls. vanilla extract
  • Any kind of fruit you want in your tarts. Raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, mandarin orange slices, grapes, blueberries, strawberry slices, etc. Be sure that if the fruit is wet, it is well dried before use, otherwise your tart will be soggy!

Glaze:

  • 1 cup any type of fruit jelly (can use 1/2 cup of a dark jelly for dark fruits and 1/2 cup of a light jelly for lighter-colored fruits–divide water/kirsch for this)
  • 2 Tbls. water or kirsch

Tartlet shells:

In a bowl, with a fork, blend butter, sugar, salt, and egg white until smooth and combined. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. For each tartlet, use about 2 tsp. of dough and with your fingers, press the dough into the tart molds. Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate 1/2 an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the shells for 12 min. until golden. Cool in the pans on a rack for a few min. and then unmold and cool on the rack.

Cream filling:

Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks and continue beating for 2-3 min. until the mix is pale yellow and forms a ribbon. Beat in the flour. As you’re beating, gradually pour in the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets (takes some time, but no lumps!).

Pour the mix into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over medium heat. With a whisk, stir the mix, covering the base of the saucepan. As it comes to a boil it will get lumpy, but smooth out as you beat. When boil is reached, reduce heat to low and beat another 2 min. to cook the flour. Don’t OVERCOOK the cream/custard at the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat and beat in the butter, then the vanilla. Pour into a bowl and dot the top with softened butter to prevent a skin from forming over the surface. Refrigerate until ready to use, at LEAST 30 min. This will keep a week in the fridge.

Spoon a few tsps. of cream into each shell and top with well-drained, and different, fruit arrangements.

Glaze:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir the jelly until melted. Stir in as much kirsch or water as needed if the jelly is too thick. Remove from heat and let cool just a little. Using a pastry brush, brush the jelly onto the fruits. (If the jelly gets too cold and thick again, just re-warm.) Once finished, refrigerate.

Tartlets keep 2-3 days in the fridge.

*Note: tartlet shells and cream can be made a day before, then assembled before serving.

A Nice Lemon Tart

This lemon tart recipe comes from the south of France–Nice, to be specific–which is located by the Mediterranean Sea and by Italy. Perhaps that’s why this little slice of sunshine has a secret ingredient: olive oil.

Not only does the olive oil give this Niçoise tart a lighter kind of crust, almonds help to give it that little je ne sais quoi.

And taking inspiration from my local French pâtisserie (pastry shop), I decided to top off this tart with a thin layer of sweet, toasted meringue. You may not be in the south of France, but that doesn’t mean your taste buds can’t be!

Equipment:

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 Tbl. almonds with skins, toasted and cooled (I bought roasted skin-on almonds, but to toast: put in shallow baking pan in 350-degree oven for 5-10 min.)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick COLD, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 1/2 Tbl. fruity olive oil (see pic below for the kind I used)

Lemon curd:

  • 4 large lemons
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch + 2 Tbl. water
  • 2 whole large eggs + 2 large yolks
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbl. fruity olive oil

Meringue:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup superfine/caster sugar
  • 2 Tbl. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt

Crust:

Pulse almonds with flour, sugar, and salt to a fine powder in a food processor. Put mix into a medium bowl. Add COLD butter and blend with the pastry cutter until mix resembles coarse meal with some small pea-size butter lumps.

Add yolk and oil and mix with hands (in disposable gloves to keep the butter pieces from melting) until just incorporated and a very soft dough has formed.

Spread dough evenly over the bottom of the tart pan, making sure edge of crust is about 1/2-inch above the top (it will shrink during baking).

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place tart crust in the fridge and chill until firm-about 30 min. Take out and cover with foil. Bake shell 10 min. Remove foil and bake another 3-4 min or until shell is a golden brown color. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 30 min.

Lemon curd:

Grate enough zest from lemons to measure 1 Tbl., then squeeze 3/4 cup juice from lemons.

Place cornstarch in 2 Tbl. water and mix.

Whisk together lemon zest, juice, sugar, cornstarch mix, whole eggs, and yolks in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking CONSTANTLY. Boil, whisking, 2 min.

Remove from heat and whisk in butter and oil until smooth. Pour into the cooled crust and chill, until set, about 2 hours.

Meringue:

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add both the sugars, about 1 Tbl. at a time, and beat until meringue is very thick and glossy, about 5 min. Beat in vanilla and salt.

Spread the meringue in a thin layer, about 1-2 inches over the top of the lemon tart. Then, using the torch, brown the meringue, leaving about 1 inch of white border. * If you don’t have a torch, the merignue will still be wonderful 🙂

Place tart in the fridge another 1-2 hours. Serve at room temp. or cold. If it’s going to be in the fridge for a while, like overnight, cover it with a TENTED foil cover (if the cover touches the meringue, the meringue will come off with the cover.

Rivière d'Or extra virgin olive oil with lemon from Whole Foods.

The perfect slice!