Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons...

The great thing about the pastry world is that basic components (think pastry cream, lemon curd, creme anglaise) can be used in so many different ways. I had some leftover lemon curd in the fridge (from making the Pucker Up Lemon Cupcakes), so I decided to use it to make Lemon Raspberry Tartlets. The lemon curd is simply folded into an almost equal amount of whipped cream and used to fill a baked flaky tart crust. Then I topped the filling with fresh raspberries and dusted it off with some confectioners’ sugar. It’s a really quick recipe—assuming you’ve got the lemon curd—and a delightful combination of refreshing flavors. Buy your raspberries from a farmers’ market if possible—they’ll have better flavor.
The lemon curd can be made up to 3 weeks in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Raspberry Lemon Tartlets
Makes 6 tartlets

Flaky Tart Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons ice-cold water

Lemon Filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup lemon curd (for recipe, see Pucker Up Lemon Cupcakes post)

Raspberry Topping:
Two 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Make the crust:
1. In a food processor, combine all-purpose flour, cake flour and salt and pulse until well blended. Scatter the butter cubes on top and pulse 6-10 times, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Add the lemon juice and ice water and process just until the dough begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and shape it into a 4-inch disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
2. Unwrap the dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out to a thickness of 1/16th of an inch, flouring lightly as necessary. Cut out rough 5-inch cirlces, and line six 4-inch tartlet rings or pans with the dough. Roll the pin over the top of the rings to remove excess dough. Prick the bottom of the shells with a fork and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut out six 5-inch squares of foil and line each shell with one piece. Fill with pie weights and place on a silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Bake the lined shells for 11 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights from each shell and return to the oven for 6-9 minutes, until the tart shells just begin to turn golden brown in spots. Cool the shells on a wire rack.

Make the filling:
4. Whip the cream to medium peaks. Gently fold in the lemon curd. Fill each tart shell with about 1/4 cup of the filling.

Finish the tartlets:
5. Top the filling with fresh raspberries, arranging them snugly. Lightly dust the tartlets with confectioners' sugar before serving.

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