Sunday, September 27, 2020

Strawberry Lemon Curd Tart


This dessert didn’t quite work out the way I wanted, but I liked it so much that I’m sharing it anyway. I think it would just need a few small tweaks to be perfect! 

First of all, I used an extra tablespoon of water in the crust; I’ve decided that next time, it should just be patted directly into place in the pan; and the quantities for a 9-inch tart pan should be increased by 50%, so what I’m writing below reflects that. I really liked the addition of almond extract in there! As for the curd, I used 4 eggs instead of 3, but even then, the curd was too loose. It should really thicken significantly (I’ve added that below), and I wouldn’t hesitate to use a cornstarch slurry next time to help things along. 

For the tart crust 
1 ½ cup (200 g) all-purpose flour 
1 ½ Tbsp. dark brown sugar 
heaping ¼ tsp. salt 
1 ½ tsp. lemon zest 
12 Tbsp. (1 ½ stick or ¾ cup) cold lactose-free butter, cut into ½-inch pieces 
2-3 Tbsp. cold water 
¾ tsp. vanilla extract 
¼ tsp. almond extract 

For the strawberry lemon curd 
1½ cups strawberries 
¾ cup sugar zest of two lemons 
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 3-4 lemons 
4 large eggs (more eggs will give you a firmer curd) 
6 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, softened but not melting 

For the tart crust 
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse to combine. 

dd in butter and pulse until butter is in pea-sized pieces. 

Combine water, vanilla, and almond extract and drizzle over the mixture. Pulse to combine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs – it should not be fully combined into a ball. 

Turn out mixture into a 9” round tart pan and gently press in place (if you have trouble making it stick together, add a few more drops of water). Make sure to spread the dough out and up evenly to prevent an overly thick bottom or sides (I like to use the bottom and sides or a glass for this). You may have leftover dough. 

Chill tart pan in refrigerator while preheating the oven to 375 °F. 

Spray one side of a piece of foil and set it down on the pie dough. Fill with pie weights. Bake tart shell for 15-20 minutes (I baked it for 12 minutes, but had a bit less dough). 

Remove the foil and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes more (12 minutes in my case). 

Remove tart shell from oven and let cool. 

For the strawberry lemon curd 
Purée the strawberries in a food processor until smooth. Set aside. 

Create a water bath by placing a saucepan of water over heat to simmer and placing a metal bowl unto the pan so that its bottom does not touch the water. 

Combine the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers and add to the metal bowl. 

Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Whisk in the strawberry purée. 

Cook the mixture over the simmering water, whisking constantly, until the cream reaches 180 °F and thickens significantly (see note above). Keep whisking while the mixture is heating up to prevent the eggs from cooking. 

Take the mixture off the heat and strain it into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Let it rest for a bit until it cools to about 140 °F. 

Add in the butter pieces a few at the time and combine on high speed. Once all of the butter has been added, let the mixture combine for a few minutes longer to ensure the mixture is perfectly smooth. (I honestly think this can be done by hand with a whisk, and you can also strain the mixture at that point to make sure it is smooth.) 

Once the curd is finished, pour it into a container and let it chill in the refrigerator for about half an hour before assembly. 

For assembly 
Spoon the strawberry lemon curd into the tart shell and spread out evenly with a small offset spatula or back of a spoon. Place back into the refrigerator for another hour (or overnight) to let the curd firm up more. 

Decorate top with fresh berries and/or lactose-free whipped topping. Serve soon after assembly.

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