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Lemony Desserts?

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Does anyone have any good tart lemon dessert recipes? The more tart, the better!

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  1. Yes, this lemon tart is fabulous - not too sweet, not too tart. The last time I made it, there was not a crumb left, and people were looking to lick the tart pan clean.

    I think the recipe was first published in Saveur.

    Lemon Tart

    For the Crust:
    2 cups flour
    2 tbsp sugar
    ½ tsp. salt
    12 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
    3 tbsp. ice water

    For the Filling:
    1 ¼ cups sugar
    2 eggs
    10 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
    Juice and minced zest of 2 lemons

    1. To make the pastry, combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles course cornmeal. Sprinkle with just enough ice water to make the dough hold together (about 3 tbsp.) – add water gradually and be careful to not add too much – you want the dough to just barely hold together. Too much water will make it sticky and very hard to roll out. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

    2. Preheat oven to 375. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, then flatten and roll into a 9” round. Ease dough into an 8” tart pan (w/ removable bottom). Prick bottom with a fork, cover with aluminum foil, and chill for at least 20 minutes. Fill the tart shell with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove weights or beans and the foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    3. To make the filling, beat sugar and eggs together until mixture is pale yellow. Gradually add melted butter. Mix well, then stir in lemon juice and zest. Spoon filling into tart shell and bake until crust is golden and filling is set and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

    A few tips from my experience w/ this recipe -

    - use a microplane grater for the zest
    - if you are using a removable-bottom tart pan, be careful maneuvering it in and out of the oven (I had a few close calls!)
    - when blind baking the tart shell, fill it all the way up with pie weights or dried beans, to the rim (this will help prevent the sides from slumping in)
    - put a cookie sheet in the oven before you start preheating it, and then bake the tart on the cookie sheet (the extra heat will help the bottom of the crust cook, and it will also contain spills and leaks)
    - don’t be alarmed with the top of the tart gets brown (it is supposed to do that)
    - don’t be alarmed when the filling still seems giggly and too liquidy when you take it out of the oven – it will set up more after you take it out
    - serve with whipped cream


    1 Reply
    1. re: honeybee926

      I've done a version of this and added some of the lemon zest to the crust as well!

    2. Gourmet just ran a recipe for lemon ice cream sandwiched between two crispy macaroons. Sounds perfect...

      1. There's a recipe for a Meyer Lemon Curd Tart in Kate Zuckerman's The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle that is simply outstanding. Most definitely not too sweet.

        1. Finecooking.com featured their "Top Ten Lemon Desserts". I have tried several and they have been great...all ten look super

          1. first thing that came to mind was a cake I used to make from Sunset Magazine- it separates into a souffle-like layer and a custardy layer. Serve with raspberry sauce (like from a frozen tin- I think I strained it). It's called Lemon Pudding Cake- no, it doesn't have instant pudding in it! You can find it online at sunset.com- it's from May 1999.

            1. I just made this tonight - fat free and practically sugar free:

              4 envelopes of powdered milk (or enough to make 4 quarts of milk
              2 tsp good quality vanilla
              1 cup Splenda (can mix with brown sugar splenda for a taste variety)
              3-4 cups water
              1/2 c sugar
              juice of 2-3 fresh squeezed lemons
              zest of 1 large lemon
              1 carton fat free Cool Whip
              1 cup fat free plain yogurt (optional)

              Make sweetened condensed milk substitute: mix together powdered milk, sugar, Splenda, and vanilla. While mixer is going, pour in water 1 cup at a time until well blended.

              Add lemon juice and zest. Mix well. (tastes even better with key lime juice and zest)

              Add Cool Whip, mix well

              Add yogurt, mix well.

              Adjust sweetness and tartness to taste.

              You can add this mixture to an ice cream maker, or pour it into a graham cracker crust.

              I'm addicted to it!

              1. Here is a recipe that came together last weekend. I'm fairly certain the lemon pudding part of this recipe came from this site, and I'm sorry that in the copying down process, I left out that person's name. Coming up with the recipe and then actually making the trifle took a little more time than I anticipated, but it was well worth it.

                Raspberry Trifle with Chambord and Lemon

                ~ Step 1 ~

                The day before make the lemon pudding, which yields 4 cups:

                1 1/2 cups sugar
                1/2 cup cornstarch
                3 cups milk
                6 large egg yolks
                zest from two lemons
                1/4 teaspoon salt
                1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
                2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp

                Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan; add milk and whisk until smooth. Add egg yolks, zest and salt, and cook over medium heat. Stir frequently as it heats, constantly until thickened. About ten minutes altogether. When thickened, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and butter. Pour through a strainer to remove zest. Let cool and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 2 days.

                ~ Step 2 ~

                Next, make whipped cream:

                Two cartons whipping cream
                6 tablespoons powdered sugar
                vanilla if desired

                Divide whipped cream in half, with just a little more for the top layer because the trifle dish tapers out on top so that slightly more will be needed.

                ~ Step 3 ~

                Wash and dry raspberries (30 oz), setting aside 7 or so for decorating top of trifle. Melt 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam on low heat. Remove just as soon as it melts. With gloved hand, coat raspberries with the melted jam. Reserve 1 1/4 cup of raspberries for first layer and 1 1/2 cup for the second layer.

                ~ Step 4 ~

                Prepare two Sara Lee pound cakes:

                Cut each evenly into eight 1/2" slices.

                Line the bottom of the trifle dish completely with sliced pound cake, and spread 1/2 cup Chambord on top of cake layer using a pastry brush. Then spread the first layer (1 1/4 cup) of raspberries.

                ~ Step 5 ~

                Spread 2 cups of lemon pudding as the next layer, followed by whipped cream.

                ~ Step 6 ~

                Repeat Steps 4 - 5. Pipe whipped cream on top, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Just before serving, add reserved raspberries to garnish the top.

                I uploaded a picture of the trifle, and you can see it here: