Friday, January 24, 2020

A Tart With Meyer Lemon and Olive Oil

Cook's Illustrated magazine for March/April of 2019 has a wonderful recipe for a lemon tart using olive oil instead of butter.

Of course what you'll get here isn't their recipe since I rarely do a recipe as written, even the first time. This tart looks like sunshine, mostly because there are lots of egg yolks in the filling. It tastes like springtime because of the lemon. Although the original recipe uses an olive oil crust, I just used a sheet of pie pastry from the fridge, folding the excess pastry down along the sides inside the tart. I blind baked it at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes and then removed the lentils I used for the blind baking (and the parchment) and let it sit another 5 minutes in the hot oven. Not sure if it still qualifies as a tart or becomes a pie, but I did use a tart pan with removable bottom and wavy sides, so I think it is still a tart.

The rest of the recipe follows the one given pretty closely. I did skip the straining of the filling through a fine-mesh strainer because I like having the lemon zest in the filling for texture and the residual flavor. If you prefer a silky smooth filling, then strain the filling into a bowl after the olive oil has been incorporated and then put the filling into the tart shell for the short bake required to firm up the filling.

Do allow the full two hours for the tart to cool at room temperature. It firms up as it cools and you'll get nice slices if you wait the full time. If you don't have access to Meyer lemons, the ones you find at the market are just fine for this recipe.

Lemon-Olive Oil Tart - "An Easy and Modern Lemon Tart"
From Cook's Illustrated magazine, March-April 2019

Crust   (I used a Pillsbury ReadyCrust round sheet of pie pastry instead and baked at 400 degrees F)
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons (2 1/4 oz.) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water

Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whish flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add oil and water and stir until uniform dough forms.
Using your hands, crumble three-quarters of dough over bottom of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough to even the thickness in bottom of pan. Crumble remaining dough and scatter evenly around edge of pan. Press crumbled dough into fluted sided of pan. Press dough to even thickness. Place pan on rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is deep golden brown and firm to touch, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.

1 cup (7 oz.) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks (save whites for another use)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3 lemons) (I used two Meyer lemons and one Eureka lemon)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Have all the ingredients ready and at room temperature. About 5 minutes before crust is finished baking, whisk sugar, flour, and salt in medium saucepan until combined. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks until no streaks of egg remain. Whisk in lemon zest and juice. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly and scraping corners of saucepan, until mixture thickens slightly and registers 160 degrees F, in 5-8 minutes.
Off heat, whisk in oil slowly, until incorporated. Strain curd through fine-mesh strainer set over bowl. Pour curd into warm tart shell.
Bake at 350 degrees F until filling is set and barely jiggles when pan is shaken, 8 - 12 minutes.
Let tart cool completely on wire rack, at least 2 hours.
Remove metal outer rim of tart pan. Slide thin metal spatula between tart and pan bottom to release the tart, then carefully slide tart onto serving platter.
Cut tart into wedges, wiping knife clean between cuts if necessary, and serve.
Leftover can be wrapped loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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