The original tart which this recipe is based off of appears in Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert. I, however, have modified it in two ways, one intentional, one not so intentional. I added brown sugar to the crust to give it some extra oomph because I think the slight caramel flavor works well with the lemon. As for the unintentional modification, when I went to fill the tart at Jill’s, I found the lemon filling didn’t spread all the way around. I topped it with the cream to repair the tart’s look, and then it turned out we liked it better that way — it gave much needed sweetness to the puckery lemon curd.
For the crust:
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling and cream:
- Grated zest of half a washed lemon
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Combine the crust ingredients, except for the butter, and stir well. Add in the butter and combine until a dough forms. Press into a 9 ½-inch fluted tart pan. Make sure to distribute evenly, especially along the sides.
Bake for 20 minutes until firm and a deep golden brown. Set aside.
For the filling:
Combine the lemon zest, juice, sugar, and butter in a small sturdy saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, beat the egg and egg yolk in a small heatproof bowl. Carefully ladle a little of the hot mixture over the eggs, stirring constantly. Then scrape it all back into the saucepan and stir constantly until the curd has thickened.
Pour the curd into the crust then return the tart to the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature. Whip the cream until it achieves stiff peaks, and then spread it evenly across the lemon curd. Serve in small wedges.