Lazy Mary's Lemon Tart

A whole Meyer lemon goes into this improbably delicious tart--just toss it in the blender with the other filling ingredients. The Lazy Mary of the recipe title is Mary Constant, a member of the Food52 online community and a Napa winemaker. The pastry crust, adapted from Joy of Cooking, is a Food52 staple.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes one 9-inch tart
  • Time(Other): plus 6 hours cooling
KEY: Easter, Mother's Day, New Year's Eve, Desserts, Pies & Tarts, Make Ahead

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Ingredients

pastry dough
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons chilled lard or vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
filling
  • 1 large Meyer lemon, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the dough Into a medium bowl, sift the flour with the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Using your fingertips, rub half of the lard into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Rub the remaining lard and the butter into the flour mixture until pea-size pieces remain. Sprinkle with the ice water and mix with a fork until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured work surface, pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap with plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Make the dough On a lightly floured work surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Ease the dough into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (2 inches deep) and trim the overhang. Prick the dough all over with a fork and freeze until firm, 1 hour.
  3. Make the dough Preheat the oven to 375°. Line the frozen pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Remove the paper and bake for 15 minutes longer, until the shell is golden. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely, 3 hours.
  4. Make the filling Preheat the oven to 350°. In a blender, combine the Meyer lemon, superfine sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into the tart shell. Bake for 40 minutes, until the filling is set. Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool to room temperature, 3 hours. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Make Ahead

The dough can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight, or prepared through Step 2 and frozen for up to 1 month. The finished tart can be wrapped and refrigerated for 2 days.

Photo © Fredrika Stjarne Published January 2015

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