California Central Coast Recipes
Lemon Custard Tart
Our Lemon Custard Tart with a Shortbread Crust is a delicious but surprisingly very easy to put together recipe. And its taste is absolutely divine!
When I think of Easter, the first dessert that comes to mind is a Lemon Meringue Pie
. Lemon meringue pies can be tricky, so if you want the taste of a lemon meringue without the extra fuss, you should try making our recipe for a Lemon Custard Tart. It's so good and easy to throw together!
Though influenced by the French-method for tarts, the crust is strictly our concoction that evolved over years of making pies crusts-as well as shortbread desserts. The filling is almost magical by the way it comes together with lemon juice, lemon zest, a little sugar and eggs with no flour or cornstarch added for thickening. "Bang for preparation minutes" to put this together, it's a no-contest winner for a great dessert!
Preparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: 50 minutes
For the Crust
1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoons Salt
1/2 cup Cold Butter
4 to 6 Tablespoons Whole milk
1-1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
For the Filling
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Lemon juice
1 Tablespoons Lemon Zest
1 Set the oven rack to the upper middle position and preheat the oven to 350F.
2 Spray a removable bottom eleven inch tart pan with nonstick spray. Optionally, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
3 In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into small cubes and using a pastry cutter or a couple of knives cut the butter into the dry mixture until the mixture is well blended and crumbly. Add the vanilla and mix the mixture well with a fork.
4 Start adding the milk, one tablespoon at a time, while mixing thoroughly. Keep adding the milk until the mixture is just a bit sticky and moist enough to hold together and be rolled out. It will take 4 to six tablespoons depending upon the flour used.
5 Form the dough into a ball, then using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 1 to 2 inches larger in diameter than the tart pan. Carefully lift the rolled dough and place it evenly into the tart pan into the pan, pressing evenly all around to form a nice crust. Cut off the crust so it is even with the top of the pan. Use a bit of the excess cutoff pieces of dough to build up the crust where ever it may be a bit thin or uneven.
6 Place a piece of aluminum foil over the crust, press evenly around, then place either beans (black beans work very well) or baking pie weights to hold the crust down while baking. Place the crust into the preheated oven and bake until the crust is set and just beginning to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
7 When the crust is cool, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the sugar and mix until just smooth. (Do not over beat, you do not want to add too much air into the mixture). Finish by gradually whisking in the lemon juice and zest.
8 Pour the filling into the shell and place the tart into the preheated 350F oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the filling is just set. Be careful not to over-cook the filling.
9 Remove the tart from the oven and cool on a rack. Serve room temperature or chilled.
This is a very intense sweet-sour dessert. If serving with a wine, a cold sweet late harvest Sauvignon Blanc will work very well.