Lemon Cream Tart

This is one of my go-to desserts. It’s an easy, lemony, buttery, yellow, beautiful circle of goodness. And when I bust it out for dinner party’s, it makes me look like I’m a fancy baker from France.

But I’m not. I’m from Wisconsin. I like cheese, brats and goulash.

By the way, do ya’ll know what goulash is? Minnesotans, like my husband, choose to say  “hotdish.” But they’re wrong. It’s goulash. But we’re not going to get into that debate right now, I’ll get too upset. *sigh* Back to the tart.

I love butter, cream and lemons. Put it all together and you’ve got Lemon Cream Tart. I’ve made this dessert for Mother’s Days, birthdays, dinner party’s, or just because I had lemons and butter in my fridge. Which is often.

Enjoy friends.

Lemon Cream Tart
From Williams Sonoma Baking Book

Basic Tart Dough
4 Large egg yolks
Finely grated lemon zest from two lemons (approx. 4 tsps)
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
Whipped cream for serving

Basic Tart Dough:
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp ice water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For dough:
In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, 2 Tbsp water, and vanilla. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse meal and the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough pull together. If the dough is dry, mix in more water 1 Tbsp at a time.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a ball, and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This will help make the dough easier to work with.

Once the dough has rested, roll out the dough to a 12-inch disk. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan, trim off any excess dough. Press the dough into the sides of the pan so that it extends slightly above the rim. Freeze tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

While the dough is freezing, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. We need to get it ready to fully bake our tart shell before we add the filling. Take the frozen shell, and pat aluminum foil into the bottom and up over the sides of the pan. Cover the bottom of the shell with pie weights, or raw rice. The weights help prevent the pastry from shrinking.

Bake the pastry for 30-40 minutes — or until the dough is pale gold. Let it cool completely.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

For the filling:
In a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the egg yolks and lemon zest for about 1 minute. Add the condensed milk, lemon juice and salt, beating well after each addition. Pour into the fully baked tart shell.

Bake the tart until the filling is just firm in the center, 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool until completely set, 1-2 hours.

I like my tart cool, so I usually throw it in the fridge before serving. Cut the tart into wedges and serve with whipped cream. 🙂

For a great garnish, cut a thin slice off of a whole lemon, then cut a slit in the lemon slice, twist and gently place on the tart. Makes it look purty.

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