lemon tart with shortbread crust

Posted on July 10, 2011

What does one do when one somehow (how?!?) forgets an entire tin of shortbread cookies on top of her refrigerator? Well, this girl turns those past-their-prime cookies into a delightful pie crust. And then fills that pie crust with a dreamy lemon cream.

Lemon Cream Tart with Shortbread Crust, lemon cream from the Tartine Bakery Cookbook and cookies from Lottie + Doof

For the crust
1 cup shortbread cookie crumbs

Forget about a tin of these cookies or purchase a decent shortbread cookie. In a food processor, process the cookies until they are sand-like and start to come together. At this point, you may need to add a little melted butter to bring the crumbs together. My cookies were already so buttery that I didn’t need to. Push the crust into a tart pan or pie dish using the back of a measuring cup. Refrigerate the crust.

For the lemon cream
1/2 cup plus 2 T lemon juice
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, cut into 1 T pieces

In a metal or glass bowl set over simmering water, whisk together the lemon juice, eggs and sugar. Tip: Don’t let the eggs and sugar sit together without whisking because the sugar will “cook” the egg and make the whole mixture grainy. Continue whisking until the mixture has reach 180 degrees and is a thick custard. Take the bowl off the heat and let it cool to 140 degrees.

Once it has cooled slightly, blend in the butter 1 T at a time. The Tartine Bakery Cookbook recommends using an immersion blender for this step. Once you have added all the butter and the mixture is smooth, pour it into the tart shell. Refrigerate for a few hours to let it set up.

I served this with peaches one night and on its own the next. Both were wonderful.

-Emily