Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lemon Crumble Tart

No matter what the season, I love lemon desserts - the bright, mouth-puckering flavor and the tangy sweetness are the perfect way to end any meal. And when people think of a lemon tart, they almost always thing lemon-meringue, but I just don't love meringue that much. I still wanted something to top the creamy lemon curd in my tart shell, so I dreamed up a lemon crumble tart. And my dreams are good. 

It might sound like a bit of an odd combination - lemon and cinnamon (there's just a touch in the crumble) but it totally works. The great part of the streusel is its crisp, crumbly texture, so I wait until I'm ready to serve to sprinkle it on top, so I know it will keep its crunch.

As a 10" tart it's a real stunner, and as little bite-size desserts its impossibly cute. The crisp pie shell, the creamy lemon curd and the crispy oat topping all together create one delicious bite. Trust me on this one. The three different components might seem a little daunting, but each of them can be made at least two days in advance before combining - the dough for two days, the baked shells for 24 hours, the lemon curd at least two days and the oat topping at least four days in advance. So do a little bit when you get the chance and put it all together at the last minute!

21⁄2 cups (300 g) flour
1 cup (200 g) butter or margarine
1⁄2 cup (100 g) sugar
1 large egg

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

3/4 cup (170g) butter or margarine, melted
2 cups (180g) rolled oats
2/3 cup (85g) flour
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt

For the crust: Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine, then add the flour and mix until no streaks remain. Gather the dough together into one cohesive ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling, which will also need to be refrigerated before using.
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 every minute, for 3 1/2 to 5 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon. Refrigerate in a sealed container - with plastic wrap pressed against the surface - until cold.

While that's chilling, make the streusel topping. Mix together all the crumble ingredients until well combined. Spread the dough out on to a greased or foil-lined baking sheet in an even thickness. Bake on 375 F for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely, then use a knife or your fingers to break up into little crumbly pieces - the consistency of granola. 

Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll out on a well-floured surface (and continuously reflouring) until about 1⁄2 centimeter thick. Use to cover either a large tart pan or smaller ones. For a large one, roll the dough to 2" larger than the pan, gently drape over it, fit the dough in to the corners then trim the edges. For little ones, use a cutter that is big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your tart pans, cut as many circles as possible from the dough and fit in to the molds, rerolling as necessary.
Prick the bottoms of the shells with a fork several times and put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Cover the shells with parchment paper then fill with pie weights or uncooked beans. Then bake the shells at 375 F for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown. Let cool.

When the curd is cold, stir vigorously with a fork then pour into the shell (or shells). Immediately before serving, top with the crumble. 


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