Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lemon Berry Tart

So you made that wonderfully tart lemon curd.  And whipped it into a light and fluffy lemon mousse.  Let's take it a step further and make a lemon tart to pile sweet berries upon!  I used frozen blueberries for this one (my kids and I picked 25 pounds at The Berry Patch in Sadler, TX), but it is also de.light.ful. with fresh berries mounded on top - strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries. . . whatever berries you have on hand.

Lemon Berry Tart

First make your tart shell. . .

Tart shell
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp salt
9 Tbs very cold unsalted butter, chopped up into small dice
1 large egg 

Add the flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor and pulse a couple of times until they’re mixed together. Add in your COLD lumps of butter. Pulse for a few beats. The mix will look coarse and grainy and a few pea-sized butter bits should remain.

Add in your egg - pouring it around the whole surface. Pulse again, paying close attention to not let the food processor get away from you. Let it come almost to a ball of dough but not quite. Then  knead the rest by hand. Overprocessing the dough can make it tough.

Unload it to a work surface and give to a few turns and presses until it just comes together.  Form the dough into a disk shape. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for a couple of hours to chill the dough thoroughly.

Roll out your chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. It should be about 3 inches larger in diameter that your tart pan. I like to roll my dough on a piece of parchment or wax paper to keep it from sticking to the counter. Sparingly sprinkle with flour as needed to keep it from sticking.

Once rolled, drape it over your rolling pin and transfer it to your tart pan. Peel away the parchment paper if you used it. Press it into your tart pan, making sure to get it to butt up against the corner edges of the pan. If you get tears in your dough, patch it with the scraps. The excess can hang over the edge. Cut away the excess.

Prick the tart all over with a fork and place the tart shell in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before baking (or longer, if you want to make it the day before). This will help the shell keep its shape when the heat of the oven hits it.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the shell from the freezer and tightly fit a sheet of tin foil inside the tart shell, taking care to tuck it into the contours. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake the shell approxiamately 25 minutes - or until golden brown. Let cool completely before filling.

Next let's make our blueberry topping - if you're using fresh fruit just skip this step!

Blueberry Topping
1 cup blueberries - fresh or thawed from frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/4 t. lemon zest (optional)

Place the blueberries in a small saucepan. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Sprinkle over the blueberries, add water and stir. 

Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and becomes clear. 

Stir in lemon zest if desired.

Now let's assemble that tart!

Remove your cooled tart shell from the pan and place it on a pretty plate or cake stand.  Spoon your lovely lemon mousse into the shell until it is 1/2 inch from the top.  Mound with beautiful fresh berries - or - drop spoonfulls of your blueberry topping onto the mouse.  Gently swirl by running a knife slowly through the berry topping.  Enjoy!

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