Tama's Lemon Curd Tart with Candied Lemon

Lemon curd is like a thick pudding but sweet and tangy. Topped with candied lemon slices, it makes a refreshing dessert.

Servings: 8-12

Cook Time: about 2 hours

Pair With: A sweet dessert wine, like an ice wine.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor


Candied Lemon Slices:
4 thin skinned lemons, like Meyer lemons
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar + extra for dipping

Tart Pan Coating:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 circle of parchment paper

Pate Sucree: Tender Tart Crust
1/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
12 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick softened butter
1 large egg, mixed
1 1/2 cup flour
1 circle of parchment paper that will cover inside the dough plus go up the sides at least an inch
rice for blind baking, about 1 1/2 cups

Lemon Curd:

3/4 cup lemon juice, at room temperature (about 4 lemons)
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt


Instructions For the Candied Lemon Slices

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Slice 1/4" off the end of a lemon, then start making very thin (1/8") slices until it is difficult to hold the remaining lemon. Pick the seeds out of the slices and place the slices close together in a 13" x 9" glass baking dish. Continue with the rest of the lemons until the dish is filled. Squeeze the juice out of the ends and remaining lemon over the cut lemons, making sure no seeds are added to the dish.

Heat the water, corn syrup and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and boil for one minute. Pour over the fruit, cover the dish tightly with tin foil and bake for an hour. Take off the tin foil and rearrange the slices so they are in one layer and bake for another 1/2 hour; the liquid will thicken.

Lift each slice of lemon out, let drain, then place on a paper towel. Sprinkle the tops with sugar. Save the thickened liquid--it is tart, sweet and bit bitter from the lemon rind. It makes a nice glaze for sweet cookies or pies.

Instructions For the Pan Coating:

To grease your tart pan, do as professional bakers do: cut a circle of parchment to fit the bottom of the pan by folding the parchment into a skinny triangle, as shown in the photo, and cutting it to size. Melt the butter and mix in the flour. Paint a bit onto the bottom of the tart pan to secure the parchment, then place the parchment on top. Brush the parchment and the sides of the tart pan with the pan coating.

Instructions For the Pate Sucree; Tender Tart Crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the sugar, salt, baking powder, butter and egg into a food processor and pulse to combine well--it should look like a paste. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, pulsing briefly. Pulse as little as possible to minimize working the dough. Turn into a plastic bag and squeeze the dough together in one corner, then shape into a disc. Put into the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Dust a silpat with flour and roll out the dough into a circle. Press into prepared tart pan. Put a circle of parchment inside the dough and fill with rice. Bake for 12 minutes, remove rice and interior parchment. Bake for another 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove and let cool.

Instructions For the Lemon Curd:

Mince the zest until very finely minced. Stir into the sugar, breaking down any lumps, until smooth and uniform. In the bowl of an stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, with the mixer on low. Using a hand whisk, whisk in the lemon juice and salt, adding lemon juice slowly.

Cook in a double boiler or bain marie until thickened, about 10 minutes. The lemon curd starts to thickens at about 160 degrees--just below a simmer. Whisk continuously when it reaches this temperature and continue whisking until it thickens enough to leave a thick coat on the back of a spoon--about 180 degrees. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Instructions For Assembling the Tart:
Fill the tart shell with lemon curd and allow to set at room temperature. Top with candied lemon.