Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lemon Curd French Tart

This is for anyone and everyone out there who has a fear of making pie crust. And even for those who have advanced skills in pie crust making...this crust is amazing!

I read about it here a while back and kind of forgot about it. But then the other day, I got to thinking about my delicious lemon curd and decided to put it into a tart.

 Making a dough from hot butter, rather than ice cold, disputes all the ideas about only using cold ingredients. I don't actually know why it works...but it works...and that's all I need to know!

You can fill the tart with anything you'd like from a curd, like I did, to a pastry cream or custard with fresh fruit. I used my lemon curd recipe to fill the tart and then just piped some whipped cream on top.

It's really the flakiest crust I've ever had and it's also the easiest crust I've ever made. So for all you bakers who are still buying a store bought crust because you're too nervous to try making one from scratch...give this one a try. You'll love it!

Begin by placing the butter pieces, oil, water, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl. ( I used my pyrex bowl.)
Place the bowl into the oven for about 15 minutes, or til the butter begins to brown slightly and bubble.

It should look like this, nice and melted.

Then dump in the flour...

And stir til it becomes a ball.
And that's pretty much it! Now, was that so hard?

Dump the ball onto your tart pan (you might want to let it cool a little bit first),  spread out the dough using the heel of your hand. Push it towards the edge and press the edge with your fingers.
Save a little bit of dough, about the size of a marble, to patch any cracks that may occur after baking.
Prick the dough with a fork in about 10 to 12 places.

Bake 15 minutes and use the reserved dough to patch any sizable crack, if you have any.

Fill with your fave filling, then decorate...and dive in!

Lemon Curd French Tart (adapted from here)
Makes one 9" tart or 3 to 4 tartlets( with removable bottom) or 9" pie plate.

Note: My tart pan actually measured 9 1/2" and I think that's why my tart came out on the shallow side. This really wasn't a problem but if you use a pie plate or tart pan with a removable bottom, just know if it's not exactly 9" your tart may come out shallow also. I haven't made this recipe using tartlet pans so I'm not sure if it would make 3 or 4 but I bet they'd be darned cute...and delicious!
Also David says because small cracks in the dough are normal you'd be better to not use a thin custard filling.

3 ozs. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp. canola oil
3 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. sugar
Pinch of salt
5 ozs. AP flour
Lemon curd recipe
Whipped cream for decorating top

Preheat oven to 410.
1. In a heatproof bowl ( I used my glass pyrex), place the butter pieces, oil, water, sugar and salt and place into the oven for 15 minutes, or til the butter begins to bubble and brown around the edges. Remove carefully.
2. Dump the flour into the melted butter mixture and stir into a ball with a spatula.
3. Place the ball into your tart or pie pan and, when cooled enough to handle, press the dough with the heel of your hand to spread out to the edges. Use your fingers to press the sides of the dough .
Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a marble, to patch any cracks later.
4. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then place back in the oven for 15 minutes, or til the dough gets a nice godlen color.
5. Patch any large cracks with the reserved dough piece.
Let the crust cool completely before filling with your favorite custart and fresh fruit, pastry cream or, like me, most delicious lemon curd!

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