When summer nears, my thoughts drift to lazy afternoons, good books, and lemonade. Lemons are acidic. They are sour. Zesty. Snappy. Edgy. Tart. They give taste buds a shock—a much needed wake-up call for your mouth. These lemon tarts do one better than lemonade (and we all know how satisfying lemonade can be on a hot summer day). They quench your hunger as well as your lemonade thirst. I cannot think of a better afternoon snack than eating a little lemon tart in the bright sunshine.
These tarts combine the best of lemons and custard. The almonds in the crust provide a nice, mild contrast to the zing of the lemon, providing a delicate balance between the calm and the storm.
I like to cut up the tarts and eat them like little lemon pie slices.
Adapted from Tartelette
Yields 4 mini (4 inch) tarts
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup unsifted powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and pinch of salt, blending thoroughly. Mix in flour and ground almonds. Do not over mix! Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured surface, gathering the dough together to form a small ball. Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 4 6-inch rounds and fit them into the tart pans. Do not worry if the dough rips and tears; it can easily be patched with your fingertips. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with weights or dry beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper. Keep oven at 350 degrees F.
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Whisk together sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smooth. Add the melted butter and stir until well blended. Pour 1/4 of the mixture into each tart shell. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Tarts can be served at room temperature or cold.