Lemon Blueberry Tart

A few months back, I took at baking class at ICE in New York City. We learned to make all sorts of tarts, and since then, I've been completely obsessed with tarts of all kinds.  My mother-in-law loves your classic grocery store fruit tart, so for a recent family brunch, I decided to make a lemon blueberry version.

I used Gina DePalma's pasta frolla recipe, because I wanted a sweet tart crust that was easy to roll, and combined it with Dorie Greenspan's amazingly delicious lemon cream.

You will need one nine inch round tart pan, or one rectangular pan, like I used.

Pasta Frolla (Sweet Tart Crust), from Dolce Italiano, by Gina DePalma
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Zest of one small lemon
3/4 cup very cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and zest. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter and process until the mixture is sandy, with no big lumps.

Whisk together the egg, yolk, cream, and extract in a bowl.  Add to the food processor. Pulse a few times, until dough comes together.

Remove dough from processor and  smush together with your hands, to even out any dry spots. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. You can also freeze this for two months at this point.

When ready to bake, roll it out on a lightly floured workspace into a circle (or rectangle, depending on your tart pan shape), till it's about 1/8 inch thick. Roll the dough up over your rolling pin and drop it into the tart pan. Press the dough gently into the sides and corners of the pan, and run your rolling pin over the top to slice off excess dough. Chill tart shell for 20 minutes and preheat oven to 350.

After 20 minutes, line the pan with foil and weight with dried beans, lentils, or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove weights and foil and bake another 5-7 minutes, or until lightly golden, like below.

Let cool completely. Can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Lemon Cream, from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (10-1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature

Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and smells delicious. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.

Set the bowl over the pan, and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees F- use a thermometer! You m ust whisk constantly, but as you do, you'll see the cream will get very foamy, then the bubblers bigger, then it will start thickening and the whisk will leave tracks. This means the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience—getting to 180 can take up to 10 minutes.
Once it reaches 180 degrees F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the blender and discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, approximately another 10 minutes.

Once at 140, turn the blender to high, and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going—to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes. If the machine seems like it's overheating, you can pause for a few seconds after each minute.
Pour the cream into an airtight container and press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface and refrigerate. At this point, the cream can be refrigerated for up to four days, or frozen for two months.

To Assemble:
1 fully baked tart shell
1 recipe lemon cream
1 pint blueberries
1/3 cup apricot jam, optional (I skipped)

Spoon your lemon cream into the tart shell, smoothing out with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Pour blueberries over.

To glaze, combine the apricot jam with a tablespoon or two of water, and melt over low heat. Brush over blueberries. (I skipped this step as my mother-in-law hates the glaze).

Keep tart refrigerated. Best served the day it is made.

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