As the child of the “French lady” living in Toronto, I knew my way around the majority of the city’s pastry shops. There was one in particular which, since, became a soccer supply store that served the most mouthwatering lemon tart. I was unable to order anything else because there simply could not be a more satisfying dessert.
Since then, I have played around with a number of recipes and landed on this one, which comes pretty close. I’m going to preface by saying that I came up with nothing new here. The lemon curd comes from this recipe and the crust is the one my mom has been using for years. All in the spirit of sharing!
For the tart crust
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and cold butter with your fingers until a crumbly dough forms.
- Add a small glass of tepid water and mix all the ingredients into a ball. Wrap it in a clean dishcloth before letting it rest in the fridge for a few hours. Ideally, this step is done the day before.
- Once rested, let the dough come to room temperature and roll it out on a floured surface. This is when you can also preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Line your tart pan with parchment paper and lay your pastry down.
- Poke in some holes using a fork and blind bake the pastry until you start to see a little colour around the parameter.
For the lemon curd
- In a large bowl over a bain-marie (low/medium heat), whisk together your eggs, yolks, sugar, zest and lemon juice.
- Gradually add in your butter one tbsp at a time until each one has emulsified.
- Keep stirring the mixture until it thickens. You don’t want to it be runny but keep in mind that it will set a little once it cools down.
- This is one of those times where you do not want to walk away. If you’re feeling anxious about it, better keep things low and slow. It may take you 30 minutes before you notice the mixture is thickening, so don’t give up if, after 10 minutes, you don’t see a difference! As a rule of thumb, if you were to dip your finger in the curd (for quality control purposes), it should coat it rather opaquely.
- Once your curd is beautiful and glossy, pour it into your pre-cooked tart shell and bake it for 5-7 minutes.
- Let the lemon tart cool and set completely. Dust some powdered sugar on top, because you made it this far and you deserve it.