Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lemon Tart with Pine Nut Crust



My favorite desserts are chocolate and lemon.  Usually chocolate takes precedence, unless it's a REALLY good, REALLY lemon-y dessert.  Let me tell you, this one ranks in the top five all-time lemon desserts I've ever made and it could possibly be number one! 


The silky, lemon sabayon filling is wonderful and the sweet pine nut crust is a unique and delicious compliment to the tartness of the lemon.  Perfection, I tell you! The pine nut crust can even be made a day in advance and the lemon sabayon the morning you'd like to serve this dessert.  


The most time-consuming part of making this dessert is making the sabayon.  If you have a little patience and 15 minutes to devote to stirring,  it is well worth the effort.  The sabayon is slightly caramelized under the broiler after filling the tart, similar to a crème brûlée .  You can top it with whipped cream or plain raspberries, as I did. 


I don't often make dessert for my husband and myself.  But when we're invited to a dinner party I enjoy offering to bring dessert and try to make a little extra for us. The bonus mini tarts were refrigerated and enjoyed the next day ;)


If you know someone who is a lemon lover you need to make this for them.  It will knock their Christmas Stockings off :)

Christmas baking has just begun here.  I bought myself an early Christmas baking gadget a month ago and purchased this adorable Nordic Ware Gingerbread House pan.  


I also received a beautiful copper Christmas tree cookie cutter recently as a gift so made a few of my favorite gingerbread cut-outs and decorated them with royal icing. The moose in the background was a gift my my daughter that she purchased in Jackson Hole, WY on a ski trip. You can find my very own gingerbread recipe here and royal icing recipes here.  It's a little milder than most and goes over well, even with my grandsons who helped me decorate my first gingerbread cakes from my new cakelet pan :)  Not too bad for 3 and 6-year-old boys ♥.



Lemon Tart with Pine Nut Crust

Printable Recipe

Makes 8-10 servings

Make the Pine Nut Crust first...

Ingredients for the Lemon Sabayon:

3 large eggs, cold
3 large egg yolks, cold
1-1/8 cups sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
9 tablespoons (4-1/2 ounces) cold butter, cut into 6 pieces
Ingredients for the Pine Nut Crust:

This is 1/2 the original recipe and makes enough dough for one 9-10 inch tart pan plus another 6 inch or two mini 4 inch tart pans.

Butter and flour for the tart pan
1 cup pine nuts (5 oz)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
8 T (4 ounces) unsalted butter (I used salted), room temperature
1/2 large egg (I break an egg into a small bowl, whisk briefly to combine white and yolk and measure out 1/8 cup, which equals 1/2 egg)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the pine nut crust:
Place the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the sugar and flour and continue to pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Add the butter, egg, and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate all the ingredients (the dough can be mixed by hand or in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Dough can be frozen, wrapped well, for up to 1 month.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and refrigerate it while the oven preheats. I used a non-stick tart pan so skipped this step.

Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator. Use your fingertips to press the chilled pine nut dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough.

Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes, then rotate it and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool while you make the filling. Don't worry about small cracks. May be made 1 day ahead.

To make the lemon sabayon:

When ready to start the lemon sabayon, have the lemon juice and butter ready by the side of the stove.

Bring about 1 1/2 inches of water to a boil in a pot that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl you will be using for the sabayon. You don't want the bowl to touch the boiling water beneath. I used a double boiler.

Meanwhile, in the bowl you will be using over the boiling water, whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is smooth.

Set the bowl over the pot and, using a large whisk, whip the mixture while you turn the bowl (for even heating). After about 2 minutes, when the eggs are foamy and have thickened, add one-third of the lemon juice. Continue to whisk vigorously and, when the mixture thickens again, add another one-third of the lemon juice. Whisk until the mixture thickens again, then add the remaining lemon juice. Continue whisking vigorously, still turning the bowl, until the mixture is thickened and light in color and the whisk leaves a trail in the bottom of the bowl. The total cooking time should be 10 to 15 minutes, possibly less, depending on your stove.

Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the water. Whisk in the butter a piece at a time. The sabayon may loosen slightly, but it will thicken and set as it cools. Pour the warm sabayon into the tart crust and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Preheat the broiler. While the sabayon is still warm, place the tart under the broiler. Leaving the door open, brown the top of the sabayon, rotating the tart if necessary for even color; this will take only a few seconds, so do not leave the oven. Remove the tart from the broiler and let it sit for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Adapted from Epicurious, Courtesy of Bouchon Cookbook

56 comments:

  1. Love lemon tarts and this one is wonderful!

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  2. Oh Susan..:)♥
    Just sat down w/ a cup of tea..after a few hours in the litchen..taking a break and here you are..
    I love those little houses..I made them for Donella last year and now I want to make them just for the boys..

    so cute your little food decorators..is Mack wearing a watch? That's so max:)

    I have not made the trees yet..I love how you did them!!
    Whimsical and beautiful!
    The lemon tarts are beautiful too..I agree..I love baking...always offer to bring dessert:)
    Too much for J and I and making minis is key..
    to keep;)
    Maybe I'll go under my tree sooner than later..

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    1. Your boys will love them! We took them back to their home for dinner that night :) Not a watch but a wrist band from an indoor water park that his parents to them to. He is very proud of it :) I love decorating gingerbread and the tree is so perfect for it! Yes, you should :)

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  3. Oh my goodness! This is, without a doubt, the best lemon tart I have ever seen on blogs! Lovely pics Susan, a warm hug from Trieste

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    1. That is a wonderful compliment, Chiara! Thank you so much! I have to admit it is one of the best I've made. You will LOVE it! Hugs back to you :)

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  4. I haven't met a lemon dessert I didn't like...this looks yummy. The pine nut crust sounds interesting.
    Your little boys are growing up so fast...it is hard to believe the oldest one is now 6 years old!

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    1. Marigene, the crust was such a delightful surprise. I was skeptical but it is delicious. I know! Time has just flown with these two. Thanks :)

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  5. I love your Christmas preparations! I did send a box to our son in California with gingerbread men. I also sent him the recipe for the icing so he can decorate them himself!! I'm going to hand off the lemon tart recipe to The Baker. It looks delicious!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. Your son will love it, I know. What a nice gift from home :) The tart is wonderful and I hope your and The Baker love it as much as we did.

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  6. Ha, I love the gingerbread house cake decorations! Enjoy all the help Susan, it precious:@)

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    1. Isn't it funny? Not a lot of thought or style but tons of fun :) Thanks, Lynn!

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  7. I know that has got to be delicious! I am another one that loves lemon.
    Enjoy your evening.

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  8. That is one beautiful dessert! How would a plain shortbread crust be? I can't quite imagine pine nuts. Too exotic for us folks. Oh the boys did a wonderful job on the gingerbread houses! Bet they had fun, too.

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    1. I'm sure a plain shortbread crust would be great, Vee. Or, even ground almonds instead of pine nuts. They simply give the crust a slight crunch which is delicious and not an overpowering taste at all. Thanks :)

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  9. That does look truly beautiful. I think I'm more lemon than chocolate. I just love that tartness over the sweet chocolate but I'm not complaining either way! Love the crust!!

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    1. Thank you, Dom! I won't turn either down :) The crust makes it truly special.

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  10. What a stunner, Susan. And I love esp. that pine nut crust.
    You got some great helpers in your kitchen, Susan.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Angie

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    1. Thank you, Angie! They are at such a fun age right now :)

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  11. Pine nuts and lemons, could it get any better? I have a weakness for Nordic pans too.

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    1. Thank you, Madonna! I have the same weakness that you have :)

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  12. This is beautiful. It makes my mouth water just looking at it.

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  13. Absolutely beautiful and one of my favorite desserts. The pine nut crust takes it over the top, but I quit buying pine nuts from China and the alternative from Italy or other Mediterranean countries is soo expensive. A cup of pine nuts would cost me $50.00 or more.

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    1. I have to admit I used pine nuts from China but the brand I buy from Sam's Club doesn't have any 'off' taste that I can detect. I recently read an article on how pine nuts are harvested and how long they take to mature. A tale similar to saffron so the high cost is understandable, but $50? Ouch!

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  14. My lemon tree is already bursting with lemons, perfect timing for this recipe.

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    1. You are so lucky, Cheri! I hope you try it - so delicious.

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  15. It looks delicious, Susan! I'd take lemon over chocolate any day and this is one great lemon recipe! I've never made a pine nut crust but it sounds heavenly and this recipe is a must try. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. The crust truly makes it special, in my opinion, Pam. Thank you and I hope you try it :)

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  16. Just beautiful Susan!! And I love yours Christmas house, a beautiful post!!!
    xoxox

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  17. Well - you and I and Lady Di all have the same china! I also adore MacKenzie Childs anything and everything. Have their field flowers teapot - love its happy vibe and not pedestals or chargers yet - wish I could decide which ones! I think you are right to pick the classic... but I am still pondering. I bit the bullet and bought TWO of their poppy pillows the large oblong ones - to go with my oversized white couch and LOVE THEM. Happy Holidays! YUM!

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    1. It's my Wedgwood pattern from when my husband and I were married 40 years ago :) I love MC too, it makes me smile and so did your comment ;) Thank you, Valerie!

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  18. This looks delicious Susan and I can't remember the last time I had a lemon dessert.

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  19. Hello! I love the idea of the pine nut crust. This is a beautiful dessert!! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

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  20. Wow this is beautiful and it sounds so elegant - I love it. Lemon desserts are some of my favorites - and the pine nut crust is perfect! Happy baking - your trees are gorgeous :) Can't wait to see your gingerbread house - please share photos!

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    1. Thank you, Tricia! It is a wonderful and special dessert. Gingerbread houses are at the bottom of the post elegantly decorated by the two grandsons :)

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  21. Lemon is a close second to chocolate for me as well. This is a very elegant dessert. Nice presentation.

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  22. I am a chocolate lover! However if I were to become a lemon lover this would be at the top of my list. My mother would adore this!

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    1. Thank you, Abbe :) Lemon was not on the dessert plan when I was growing up so it took me a while to become a fan...and fan I am!

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  23. Crazy about the pine nut crust, Susan. Can't wait to try it. I'm a lemon lover too..the tarter the better.
    Off subject: I had a lemon dessert recently...it was a scoop of divine lemon mousse sitting in a puddle of a lemon curd-like sauce. Leaning up against the scoop of mousee and forming a cute little house were squares of meringues, baked firmly. Divine. Never had anything better. Am hoping to beg the chef for the recipe!

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    1. Barbara, you will LOVE it! This lemon tart is nice and tart too. Oh my, that lemon mousse with lemon cud and meringue squares sound wonderful! Fingers crossed you can get the recipe.

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  24. I'm a lemon and chocolate lover like you and your tart sounds great. I'm definitely going to give it a try.

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    1. Thank you, Karen! I think you'll really enjoy it as much as we did.

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  25. I just made a NYT's recipe for a cranberry curd tart. It was great, the crust tasted great (hazelnut and rice flour) but had a crumbly texture. This sounds perfect and I am CRAZY about sweet sour desserts. Heaven.
    I can't wait to try because you never steer me wrong. Have a great holiday!!

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  26. this looks divine and I bet your grandkids had fun going those

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  27. The lemon tart looks so so delicious but it is the gingerbread house pan that I really covet :-) It looks like hours of fun.
    Amalia
    xo

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  28. You've hit it out of the park with this one, and the fact that you say it's one of your favorites means a lot, I adore lemon, and the pine nut crust puts it right over the top! Merry Christmas!

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  29. I love lemon, and your lemon tart looks so good! And extra special with the pine nut crusts! Beautiful gingerbread house pan!

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  30. Susan, I'd love a slice of that beautiful lemon tart right now :-) LOVE pine nuts and the crust sounds fabulous.

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  31. Wow Susan, this is such a fancy lemon tart...I love the sound of the pine nut crust...the pies look so pretty!
    Thanks for the recipe!

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  32. Perfect for citrus season! Such beautiful photography Susan! Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!
    Roz

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