Monday, March 28, 2011

Lemon Curd Linzer Torte

 I'm quite convinced that lemon curd is an elixir from the gods. Especially when I can make it in five minutes in the microwave.  So to stop myself from eating it by the spoonful I've been finding new ways to incorporate it in to desserts. These were delicious. This improvised linzer torte is fantastic.

The flavors in the dough of cloves, cinnamon, hazelnuts and almonds are really a wonderful pair to the lemon curd.  There are so many flavors going on in this dessert, but they all meld seamlessly. 
If you already have pre-made lemon curd, you can certainly use that. I made a microwave version that I give the recipe for below. Because the curd will cook again in the oven, it is better to make it slightly undercooked if you're making it from scratch. I also think it is best when the curd is completely cold before filling your shell, so make the curd in advance.

Tip of the Day:  While any tart pan will work in this recipe, I really love my removable bottom pan because it makes getting beautiful, clean slices so much easier!

Recipe: (loosely adapted from the Art and Soul of Baking by Sur La Table)
¾ cup sugar
zest of one lemon
zest of one orange
1½ sticks (6 ounces/12 tablespoons) butter or margarine, softened 
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
1 ounce hazelnuts, ground (about 1/4 cup)*
1 1/2 ounces almonds, ground (about 1/3 cup)*
1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups lemon curd (recipe below)

Mix the sugar and zest together with your fingers until moistened, set aside.
Beat the butter for two minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and beat until combined.
Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined.
Whisk together the flour, ground nuts, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder and salt, and add to the mixture. Beat until just combined. Divide the dough in to two parts, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap the larger portion in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Place the remaining portion in a pastry bag and keep at room temperature.
After the dough is chilled, press it in to the bottom and up the sides of a 9 or 10" tart pan. Stick the pan in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Evenly spread the lemon curd in the bottom of the tart pan. Pipe the remaining dough in criss-crossing lines on top of the curd. Bake on 350 F for 40 to 45 minutes.
Sift confectioners sugar on top of the tart immediately before serving.

*If you are grinding your own nuts, grind them together with the flour so they do not form a paste.
**Note: I will freely admit that after I ground my nuts, I then added the rest of my dry ingredients, then the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla and made up the dough in the food processor. Because I am lazy. It worked fine - perhaps not as well mixed as in a stand mixer. 

Microwave Lemon Curd (adapted from My Baking Addiction)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
4 teaspoons lemon zest (1-2 lemons)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 

Whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Add in the lemon juice and zest and whisk to combine.
Stir in the melted butter until smooth.
Microwave on high, stopping to stir ever minute, for 3 1/2 to 5 minutes. Refrigerate in a sealed container until cold. 
*For use in this torte, err on the side of undercooked, since it will cook again in the oven.


  1. I just learned about cooking lemon curd in the microwave and now I'm looking for any excuse to make it. This tart looks like a darn good one.