Friday, February 1, 2013

lemon-honey tart with salted shortbread crust

When I was in high school, a good friend's mother gave us a piece of advice one February 1st that I've never forgotten: Never make any major life decisions in February. At first this may seem a bit melodramatic, if not completely crazy. But when you stop and think, it actually makes perfect sense. February is far enough removed from the holidays that any residual glow has worn off, but it's not close enough to spring for the anticipation of the new season to have set in. Pile on the sappy sugar-high of Valentine's day, and it's a wonder that February doesn't drive us all totally insane. This lemon tart isn't necessarily going to cure all of your winter blues, but its bright citrus flavor will at least provide enough of a distraction to keep you from making any major dead-of-winter decisions. 

Lemon-Honey Tart with Salted Shortbread Crust
Receipe via Bon Appetit

For the Crust
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 1 inch pieces
2/3 cup powdered sugar

For the Filling
1 Meyer lemon or thin-skinned regular lemon
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, preferably Meyer lemon

Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse butter and sugar until smooth. Add the flour mixture, and pulse until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Transfer the dough to the springform pan, and use your hands to press the dough evenly into the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides. You can make the dough 1 day ahead of time and keep covered and chilled.

Slice the lemon into paper-thin rounds using a mandoline and remove the seeds. (Be careful--I also sliced off part of my thumb while attempting this step). If you're using a regular lemon rather than a Meyer lemon, boil the lemon slices in water for four minutes, to soften the skin. (Meyer lemons have thinner skin, so if you use one this step isn't necessary). Mix the lemon slices, sugar, honey, and lemon zest, and let stand for 30-45 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the lemon slices should be soft. You can prepare the lemon slices 1 day ahead of time and keep covered and chilled.

Preheat the oven to 325. Bake the crust until firm and golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and egg yolks in a medium bowl. In a separate container, stir together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk the eggs into the flour mixture, and then the add the lemon juice. Add the lemon slices, and mix just until combined. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 300. Pour the filling into the crust, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is puffed and set. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Chill for at least four hours, and serve cold. You can make the tart 2 days ahead of time, and store it covered and chilled.

1 comment:

Em said...

very creative and sounds delicious x