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Lemon Tart with Walnut Crust

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Yields one 9-1/2-inch tart.

  • Make the menu:
    A Winter Bistro Dinner
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 23

The recipe yields enough dough to make two crusts. You can freeze the extra raw dough, well wrapped, for up to two months. The amounts of some ingredients are listed by weight (ounces) and by volume (cups and tablespoons); use either measurement.

For the crust:
  • 2 oz. (1/2 cup) chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 6 oz. (12 Tbs.) butter, slightly softened
  • 2 oz. (1/2 cup) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 7-3/4 oz. (1-3/4 cups) flour
For the filling:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (from 2 or 3 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

For the crust—In a food processor, grind the walnuts to a fine grind. You should have about 1/2 cup. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg; mix to combine. Lower the speed to slow and add the flour, mixing until barely combined. Add the walnuts and continue mixing, scraping the sides of the bowl, until the dough comes together. Divide the dough. Wrap the half you’ll be using in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Wrap the other half well in plastic and then in foil and freeze for future use. 

Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a 9-1/2-inch tart pan. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a round about 1/8 inch thick. Arrange it in the pan, trimming to fit. Line the crust with foil or kitchen parchment and weight with beans or pie weights. Bake until the edge is light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove the beans and foil and bake until the bottom is dry and light brown, about another 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

For the filling—Heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar and whisk until just combined. Add the lemon juice and cream and whisk until just combined. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer and pour into the prepared pie crust.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Bake the tart until the filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool at room temperature. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on ten servings; Calories (kcal): 290; Fat (g): fat g 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 8; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 34; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 105; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 130; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Ben Fink

I like this recipe because you don't have to make the curd first, it all just goes right into the tart shell. I grated some zest in with the sugar and rubbed it together with my fingers to get some of the lemon oil into the sugar, and then when I put the mixture through the strainer all the zest was held back. Only do this if you like it more tart! Also, be careful when you put the tart in the oven, it is very runny. Next time I am going to to put the tart crust on a cookie sheet, put that in the oven and then pour in the lemon mixture. Mine sloshed around a little (but still tasted great and looked good...)

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