Saturday, April 24, 2010

Whole Lemon Tart

I like citrus and it is perfect for summer months, however, sometimes it is difficult to incorporate into baked goods. Last week it was unseasonably warm in Charlottesville (I think it hit 90 degrees one day) and . Weather like that just screams for summery desserts, no more heavy, rich cakes and cookies, but some lighter fare. Lucky for me, my friend Elizabeth passed her PhD exams last week, which gave me an excuse to try out this seasonally appropriate, whole lemon tart. If you like lemon bars, this is the dessert for you.

The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen and is great because you literally use a whole lemon (peel and all). The best thing about this tart, however, is the crust! It is buttery, but still light and flaky. More importantly, it does not require any rolling!!!!! This is great, because I hate rolling out crusts. It also doesn't require pie weight!!!! Even more amazing. 

In short, this is possibly the easiest, fool-proof tart you could ever make. 

Recipe for Whole Lemon Tart

1 9-inch tart shell (see the website above for a link to this shell--it is worth it!)
1 lemon, cleaned and whole
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 stick butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 300 and line a cookie sheet with parchment.

Slice the lemon (removing seeds) and put it in a food processor along with the sugar. Blend until completely pureed.  Put this puree into a bowl and stir in the egg and yolk. Next, stir in the cornstarch and butter. Pour this into the tart shell, leaving about 1/4 inch between the filling and the top of the shell. Bake the tart for about 20 minutes and then increase the temperature to 325. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the filling is set, no longer liquid and only slightly jiggly. Cool before serving. 

**Note: the original recipe says to bake at 325 before moving to 350, but I cooled the temperature since my oven runs hot. If you bake it at too high of a temperature, it will curdle and never set.