I can’t believe Chanukah is almost over! Tonight’s night number six. Crazy, isn’t it? Only two more days left until my yearly eat-as-much-fried-food-as-you-want pass is up!
I’m spending this weekend in Brooklyn with my extended family and bringing this tart along. So many people think that Chanukah is all about doughnuts and latkes (and don’t get me wrong- those are GREAT!) but the truth is, anything made with oil is fair game! I thought this weekend would be a wonderful time to try out this tart- the dough’s made with olive oil, making it perfect for Chanukah and the filling is a buttery, luscious lemon curd. Citrus fruits are starting to come into season again, just in time for their bright, sharp flavors to liven up the duller winter months, and the lemon comes through vibrantly in this curd.
With slightly grassy, floral notes from the olive oil and the smooth silkiness of lemon curd, this tart is wonderful on its own. But I gilded the lily by bruleeing the top- I can never resist the textured *snap* of that sugar!- and by adding tart blackberries around the edges for color and flavor.
It’s simple to make (the tart crust is press-in, so there’s no rolling and lifting of delicate dough, and the curd comes together in ten minutes) and it’s beautiful, seasonal and perfect for a special, slightly fancier Chanukah dessert, or any holiday or dinner party dessert, for that matter.
Enjoy the rest of Chanukah and use the time to eat some fried foods! And make this tart. Both very important things, I think.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Yields: one 9″ lemon tart
Why I love this recipe: made with grassy, mild olive oil, this press-in tart crust couldn’t be easier to make and is practically foolproof. It’s filled with a luscious, sunshine yellow lemon curd that’s rich and smooth and the topping of brûléed sugar and tart blackberries makes this not only visually stunning, but deliciously textured, too.
Notes: if you don’t have a kitchen torch, I would sugar the entire surface of the tart, slide it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, and only then top it with blackberries. Brulee the tart shortly before serving it, as the crispy sugar will soften over time.
For the tart dough:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup mild olive oil
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the lemon curd + topping:
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 eggs
- 2/3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
- 6 oz. fresh blackberries, for garnishing
- 1/4 cup sugar, for brûléeing
- Make the tart dough: preheat the oven to 375F. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt and sugar.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen; do not over work it.
- Transfer the dough to a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom.
- Use your hands to pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides to meet the edge. It should be about 1/ 8-inch thick all around; trim and discard excess dough.
- Prick the tart dough with a fork and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Then cover it with foil and fill it with pie weights or beans.
- Bake it for 15 minutes. Afterwards, remove the foil and the pie weights and bake it for another 5-8 minutes, until the crust is slightly browned. Let it cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
- Make the lemon curd: in a saucepan, whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt together. Whisk in the eggs and the lemon juice, until uniformly blended.
- Set the saucepan over medium heat and cook the mixture, whisking it constantly (this prevents it from curdling) until it is pale and thick, around ten minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and quickly add in the butter, whisking until smooth. Refrigerate for one hour, until cool.
- When the tart shell and the lemon curd are cool, assemble the tart. Spread 1 and 1/2 cups of the lemon curd (you’ll have around 1/2 cup of curd left over) over the tart, smoothing the top.
- Place blackberries around the edge of the tart. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of sugar evenly over the middle of the tart and brûlée with a kitchen torch until dark brown and bubbling. Serve immediately, or in the next few hours!