February 27, 2012

Hello Sunshine...

Wandering through the Farmers Market, touching, smelling and delighting over all of nature's spring offerings is but a distant memory.
We have no less than another 6 - 8 weeks before the good stuff starts to arrive.

I had (foolishly) thought that perhaps we would make it through this "winter" without anymore blustery days...  Ridiculous I know, but a girl can dream.

This is the time of year when I start yearning for the heat of summer.  I want sand between my toes, the sounds of the waves crashing and the cry of the seagulls to fill my ears.

Although this winter doesn't even begin to compare to the apocalyptic snowfalls we endured last year and all things considered I really have no right to complain; it is cold and gloomy, windy and gray.

Try as I might to summon the sunshine, a bit of citrus will have to do and for this girl it comes in the form of a tart.

Sunshine Tart

First we will start with the dough. 
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter
  • 1/4 lb sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 lb all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 lb cake flour
  1. In an electric mixer: cream butter and sugar together until very light.
  2. Add eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed until fully incorporated
  3. Sift the flours together and using paddle attachment, stir in flour until completely incorporated.
  4. Remove dough from bowl and shape into a disk.  Wrap in plastic and chill for several hours.
  5. Roll dough to about 1/8 inch thickness.
  6. Line a ring mold with dough, pressing against the sides.  Dock the bottom with a fork, cover with a piece of parchment paper and fill with dried beans.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 - 25 minutes.
  8. Cool and set aside.

using an off-set spatula to smooth the top of the tart

For the curd:

  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 lemons, finely zested
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
  • pinch kosher salt
  1. Cream the butter and add in the sugar and lemon zest.
  2. Add the eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, then add lemon juice and salt.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour into a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thickened (about 12 minutes), stirring constantly.
  4. Do not let curd come to a boil (the eggs will scramble), lower heat if necessary to keep it at or just below a simmer. 
  5. When mixture has thickened, remove from heat and let it cool.
  6. Fill tart shells when completely cooled.
  7. Garnish with whipped cream or meringue

meringue ready to be torched

Sunshine Tart with a tan...

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