This Creamy Lemon Tart was created for a bridal shower. When I learned the bride to be loved lemon, I turned to Dorie Greenspan for her take on a glorious citrus dessert.
Creamy Lemon Tart
I made two of these luscious lemon tarts for a bridal shower last weekend. As with most French sweets, they had just enough sugar and a nice citrus bite. Dorie Greenspan created a creamy filling without cream by using eggs, butter and a blender. Such an intriguing method. Plus her recipe utilized one of my favorite tricks of hers—to rub the lemon zest into the sugar to release all the essential oils from the peel. That provides an extra boost of lemon flavor that makes this one crazy delicious dessert!
A Blender Filling
Once the custard thickens over a double boiler, it’s added to the blender to be emulsified with a boatload of butter. Definitely a new method for me. If your blender motor starts getting warm, just blend for short spurts till the mixture is thick and creamy. A food processor is another alternative, but Dorie states that the blender is her preferred method. Bill, a bona fide lemon lover, sampled the leftovers in my blender and gave it two thumbs up. And it was a smash hit at the shower!
Serves: 8 servings
- 1 cup sugar
- Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
- 2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (10½ ounces) butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- 1 9-inch tart shell, baked and cooled ( I used Dorie's press in tart dough)
- Set up your double boiler by bringing a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan (choose one whose size works to fit on top of the pan).
- Put the sugar and zest in a large, heat-proof bowl that can be fitted into the pan of simmering water. Rub the sugar and zest between your fingers till it's well incorporated and fragrant. Whisk in the eggs then the lemon juice.
- Fit the bowl into the pan and make sure the water doesn't touch your bowl. Whisk until the mixture reaches 180º. Don't stop whisking or you may get bits of scrambled eggs in your custard. Start checking the temperature when you notice the custard getting thick.
- Remove from heat, then strain the lemon custard (to remove any bits of egg) right into your blender. Let cool about 10 minutes, then blend on high, adding 4-5 pieces of butter at a time. Scrape down the sides of your blender as needed. Once all butter is added, blend for a couple more minutes.
- Pour the lemon filling into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to construct the tart, just whisk the filling to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell. Spread and swirl with an offset spatula if desired.
- Best when served immediately, but can be chilled overnight to serve.
Total time does not include chilling time or the making and baking the crust if you choose to do a homemade version.