Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

This lemon tart is scrumptious. The crust is a perfect base and the filling has a wonderful texture and flavor. Read our post for more info...
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1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening (Crisco)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water

1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Whipping cream (optional)

Directions:  (click here for helpful pictures)

  • Cut the butter and shortening into smallish pieces and place in freezer until very cold (about 45 minutes).  Remove when ready to use.
  • In a small dish, add ice cubes to the water.  Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, powdered sugar, salt, shortening and butter.  Pulse until the shortening and butter are incorporated.  (The size of the bits will not be consistent.)
  • While running the food processor, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup water until the dough comes together.  If necessary, add 2 more tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Remove the dough from the food processor bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.  Gently press into a 1” think disk.  Place in a large Ziploc baggie and refrigerate for at least one hour.  You want it very cold.  Dough can be refrigerated for several hours or overnight.
  • Once chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface.  You want it to be about 14” in diameter and about 1/4” thick.
  • Carefully place the dough into a 9” tart pan with a removable bottom.  (You can either use a 1” or 2” deep pan.  There’s enough filling for the deeper pan.)  Gently press the dough into the pan.  Trim the overhang.  (I roll a rolling pin across the top to trim the dough.)
  • Prick the dough with the tines of a fork and then place in the freezer for an hour.  (This will keep the tart shell from shrinking when baked.)
  • Place a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat to 375 degrees.  Remove the frozen tart shell from the freezer.  Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust and pie weights (or equivalent) on top of the parchment paper.  Bake for 20 or until the edges are lightly browned.  Remove the parchment paper and weights and bake for another 3 – 4 minutes.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack while you prepare the filling.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • In a blender, combine the lemon juice, zest, sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and eggs.  Puree for a couple of minutes or until completely smooth and blended.
  • Place the tart pan/shell onto a cookie sheet.
  • Pour the mixture into the into the tart shell, being careful not to overfill the crust.  (If using a 1” deep tart pan, you’ll probably have some filling left over.)
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes (for a 1” tart pan, 40 minutes for a 2” pan).  When the center of the tart doesn’t jiggle when gently shaken, the tart is done.
  • Transfer tart to a wire cooling rack.  When the pan is cool enough to handle, remove the outer rim of the tart pan (see photos for an easy way to do this).
  • Allow the tart to cool/rest for several hours before serving.  Can be served chilled or at room temperature.
  • Lightly dust with powdered sugar before serving.  May be served with whipping cream.

*Note:  Total time for this recipe includes at least two hours of refrigeration time while making the tart pastry.

Total time: 4.5* hr | Prep: 90 min | Cook: 1 hr

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