I have wanted to post this recipe since, well Christmas. However, for reasons beyond my understanding, other things just got first ahead and this poor photo has been starring at me from the corner of the desktop, just asking to be shared with the world for months. This morning when it’s number came up, I’ve realized that it’s been so long since I made lemon curd tarts, that I’ve actually forgotten how they tasted. Hence, just to have a nice fresh outlook on things, more precisely to accurately describe just how exceptional they taste, I have made today, specially for you!
Lemon curd tarts are a classic that in my opinion needs no introduction. In this particular recipe, the mini tarts combine a very silky and velvety curd, followed by a sweet, soft and crusty pastry. Very delicate, yet carrying just the right amount of lemon’s sour and tanginess, they are real treat for any occasion and any time of the day.
Sweet shortcrust pastry
210 g flour
150g unsalted butter, cold
80 g sugar (powder is better)
pinch of salt
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
few tablespoons of ice cold water
Process: Mix the flour, salt and sugar. Cut the butter in small cubes and mix with flour, you can chop the butter together with the flour. The use the finger tips to further mix the butter with the flour till it resembles bread crumbs. Quickly add the pre-beaten eggs and mix the dough till it is holding together, add a tablespoon or two of water as needed. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This is an essential step that should not be skipped. You should keep the kneading of the dough to the minimum, otherwise you will end up with a gummy dough.
When ready roll out the dough rather thin, then cut with approx. 5 cm ring. Line the mini muffin tins with the dough and prick with a fork, make sure to stretch them to the edges of of each tine as they will shrink while baking. Place again in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Baked in 190C oven for about 15 minutes, until nicely brown. This can be done a day or two in advance and the baked “cups” stored in an airtight container.
Lemon Curd (adapted from The British Larder)
60 ml fresh lemon juice
2 lemons zest
1 whole egg
1 pinch of salt
60g unsalted butter, cubed
Process: Beat the eggs, sugar, salt and zest till becomes pale and creamy, stir in the lemon juice and beat again. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring all the time till curd starts coating the back of the wooden spoon and starts thickening. This will take about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the water and quickly stir in the butter.
To serve, spoon some of the curd on the baked crust!