Saturday, April 23, 2011

lemon blackberry tart

This is gorgeous and simple. I have brought it out for a number of events and people always love the combination of the lemony curd and the buttery crust. I love it because the crust can be made well in advance and the lemon curd and berries are just assembled at the end.

These pictures are not too fantastic and simply do not do it justice. My excuse? This tart was mere seconds away from having the lid of my cake carrier snapped over it in a rush to get out the front door for work.

Do I think homemade lemon curd is better than store bought? Absolutely. However, when pressed for time, energy and plain sanity, there are a number of lovely options at the store. My personal favorite is Trader Joes lemon curd. (It made a memorable appearance here.)

The shortbread tart crust recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa.

lemon blackberry tart

3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1 10.5 ounce jar of lemon curd
1 to 2 pints of blackberries

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.

2) Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into flat disk. Press the dough into a 10-inch round or 9-inch-square false-bottom tart pan, making sure that the finished edge is flat. Chill until firm.

3) Butter one side of a square of aluminum foil to fit inside the tart and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. Fill with beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, prick the tart all over with the tines of a fork, and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes mores, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Note from Ina: The tart shell can be baked a day ahead, and the tart can be assembled a few hours before serving. Never refrigerate a baked shell or a finished tart. (Ina is very correct about not refrigerating a baked shell. It gets very tough and seems to pick up every flavor in the fridge and not in a good way.)

4) Spread the tart with the lemon curd (about 3/4ths of the 10.5 ounce jar) and arrange the blackberries on top in whatever fashion you fancy. Sometimes I like a nice neat pattern, other times a shimmery jumbled heap of jeweled fruit. Serve immediately.

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