Monday, January 18, 2010
My very good friend, Eileen, is a WONDERFUL cook/baker and all around creative and talented person. Eileen is more like a sister to me but then that would be a bit creepy to call her my sister since she is in a relationship with my brother and you wouldn't want your brother and sister ... ummm... I digress. Let's just leave it that Eileen is a WONDERFUL cook . How wonderful, you ask? Well, at Christmas she made her family's secret recipe for real, true and authentic Sicilian Cannoli. I ate not one. Not two! I ate THREE cannolies in rapid succession. I do NOT think this is a recommended meal by the surgeon general but ohhhhhhhhhhh, they were out-of-this-world fantabulous!
So the other day Eileen mentioned that she was making a blueberry-lemon tart. But then when I asked, "May I have your recipe?" I never heard back from her. Probably she's just busy. Eileen! I couldn't wait. So yesterday I tried my hand at a blueberry-lemon tart. Ohhhh my friends, this is so good! You MUST like lemon. You know, lemon that when you bite in your eyelashes will curl. OOohhhh it is good.
I have one more disclaimer and then on with the recipe for Blueberry-Lemon Tart. You really should make this tart in a tart pan that has a removeable bottom...sort of like a springform pan but it really is a tart pan. I don't have one so I used a pyrex pie dish which is ok but your end presentation won't be as pretty or as easy to get out of the pan. Oh well...it still tastes good!
First you'll make the pastry. The food processor makes it so easy to work the cold butter and flour together.
You just hit the pulse button on the processor until it looks a bit like cornmeal.
Then add an egg yolk and a tad of ice water and pulse again.
You'll see immediately when your dough is ready to roll out when it begins to pull away from the sides of the processor. It only takes a few pulses for this to happen.
OK. You are wondering why I have a photo of a box of Kosher Salt. I have it here because I have a question for YOU. Are you cooking and baking with Kosher salt lately? Is this a new fad or is it just me?
This is what Kosher salt looks like. My husband never imagined he'd be a hand model but how was I going to focus the camera without a hand model to hold the salt for me? Kosher salt is more coarse than regular salt but I am finding I'm using it a lot lately. OK, back to the blueberry-lemon tart recipe....
After letting the dough rest in the refrigerator for a while I rolled it out and folded the edged to the inside. If I owned a proper tart plate this would look a lot prettier, but like I mentioned earlier, it is ALL ABOUT THE TASTE and not so much the presentation.
Then prick the bottom with a fork.
And then line your crust with parchment paper and weight the parchment paper down with pie weights. You don't have pie weights? That's ok. Just go to your pantry and line it with dry beans. I didn't have dry beans but how about dry peas? It worked great!
After baking your crust lightly brush your crust with egg white whipped with 1 teaspoon of water. Unfortunately, one of my dogs used my pastry brush as dental floss and chewed mine up. At least I think that is what he thought the pastry brush was for. Consequently, I don't have pastry brush at the moment so I used a spoon. Yours shouldn't look quite this wet but this will do.
Now that your crust is finished, set it aside and start squeezing those lemons. Depending upon the size of the lemons you may need to squeeze five lemons. Ooohhhhh heavenly. Can you smell the fresh lemon juice?
Save one of the lemon rinds and zest the entire rind.
Now we're cookin'!! Time to start mixing the lemon curd. In your mixer you will blend the lemon juice, eggs, sugar, cream, zest and kosher salt. Have I mentioned previously how much I love my Kitchen Aid blender? This isn't a commercial for it. I just can't live without it. It's fun!
Now you are going to line the bottom of your cooled pie crust with the blueberries. Next pour the lemon curd mixture over it and pop the pie in the preheated oven and bake.
Use the rest of the container of heavy cream and make real whipped cream! You deserve it. I grated a little more lemon peel on top.
Get ready to pucker! This is sweet and pucker-y and ohhhh so good.
Here is the recipe:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, in chunks
1 large egg, separated
2 tablespoons ice water, plus 1 teaspoon
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 lemon, zested
Pinch kosher salt
1 pint blueberries
To make the pastry, pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the dough resembles cornmeal. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse again until the dough pulls together. Wrap the dough in plast wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it inside a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the edges of the pan and fold the excess dough inside to reinforce the rim. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to rest
To bake the shell, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Cover the shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with pie weights (or dry beans if you don't have pie weights). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 teaspoon of water and brush it onto the bottom and sides of the tart shell; set aside to cool.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, cream, zest and salt. Line the pie shell with the blueberries and then pour the filling over the blueberries. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. The curd should jiggle slightly when done. It will firm up as it cools. Cool to room temperature, remove from the tart ring and ENJOY!