Our friends Cristen and Graham just welcomed a beautiful baby girl into this world. After a couple weeks at home adjusting to the crazy life of being new parents, they were ready to get out of the house! We invited them over for a casual evening with make your own pizza. I put together some fun toppings and everyone made their own pizza. I think it was just the thing they needed to relax a bit. Baby Camille was on her best behavior and slept pretty much the whole time. We hardly heard a peep.
I wanted to make a lighter dessert that would be nice after pizza. I knew Cristen loved lemon-flavored desserts and I’d had my eye on some strawberry tart recipes for the last month or so. I decided to combine the two and it worked out perfectly.
I think my favorite part of this dessert was the crust. It was so good! It is definitely going to become my standard sweet tart dough recipe. If I made this again I would probably make an extra half batch of the lemon curd to fill the tart pan a little more. Don’t be intimidated by all of the steps. It’s really easy to put together if you make the curd and crust the night before you want to serve it.
FOR THE TART DOUGH
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
FOR THE LEMON CURD
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced in half
1/4 cup strawberry jam
FOR THE TART DOUGH
Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Stir together flour, sugar and salt in mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal (should be between the size of oatmeal flakes and peas). Add the egg and beat just until the dough pulls together.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and gently pat into a ball. Lightly flatten into a disk shape. Roll our immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.
When you’re ready to roll the dough, butter a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Roll the chilled dough on work surface to form a 12 inch round. You’ll want to free the dough from the work surface occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking. You can also use a bit of flour on your roller and work surface to help with sticking.
Turn dough into prepared tart pan. Seal any cracks that you may have. Trim your overhang to about 1/2 an inch. Fold the overhang in to create double thick sides. Pierce crust all over with a fork. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes (I froze mine overnight) before baking.
You need to bake your crust before filling. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from freezer and cover with nonstick foil, shiny side down. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an extra 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool crust on wire rack to room temperature.
FOR THE LEMON CURD:
Whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Add butter and lemon peel. Stir over medium heat until curd thickens to pudding consistency, about 8 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd and chill at least 2 hours.
TO ASSEMBLE THE TART
Spread curd in crust. Layer strawberries over curd.
Heat jam in a small saucepan or in a small bowl in microwave. If you microwave – BE CAREFUL! The jam gets hot VERY quickly (ask my husband about the second degree strawberry jam burn all over my hand – ouch). I recommend microwaving for 5 seconds at a time until it thins to desired consistency.
Brush jam over the top of strawberries and let glaze set in refrigerator for at least one hour or up to six hours. Release tart from pan and serve.
YIELD: 6-8 servings