February 08, 2003
Lemon Curd Tarts
posted by Carl

If you remember from last time, I had three leftover tart shells in the freezer. For quite a while I couldn't think of what to put in them. The tart shells are so light and flaky that it almost seems like a shame to bog them down with a heavy layer of chocolate. I would have liked to put some fresh fruit in them, but this being the middle of winter, that sort of thing is a little scarce. Then I remembered the lemon cake I had made last year; it was, without a doubt, the best cake that I have ever made, and probably the best that I have ever eaten as well. (Looking back at the entry, I appear to have been "underwhelmed by the actual cake part". My memory seems to be a selective thing.) Regardless of my feelings for the cake itself, it is the icing that I was interested in now. The icing was a combination of whipped cream and lemon curd with little flecks of lemon zest floating throughout. I thought this would make a perfect filling for the light tart shells.

Since I felt like I had overcooked the tart shells the last time, I made sure to watch the oven closely. My diligence payed off as the tart shells were everything I had hoped for: slightly browned in the center, light and airy, and so crumbly that they nearly fall apart in your mouth. Instead of mixing all of the lemon curd with the whipped cream, I spooned some into the bottom of the tart shells first. I then folded the whipped cream and powdered sugar with the remaining lemon curd and layered this on top. There's something nice about a well stratified piece of dessert. The lightness of the tart was perfectly matched by the foamy lemon whipped cream and the lemon curd added a very nice note of acidity. If you do intend to make this, I would advise you to pipe the lemon whipped cream on top. For the first tart, I tried spooning the whipped cream over the top and ended up making a big (but delicious) mess.