Mother Earth Living

Fresh Clips: Caramelized Lemon Rosemary Tart

This caramelized lemon rosemary tart is bright and citrusy and may remind you of crème brûlée.
By Karen Keb
December/January 2012
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In the dead of winter, when citrus is at its best in the markets, brighten up your day with this rosemary-spiked lemon tart.
Photo by Thomas Gibson


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In the dead of winter, when citrus is at its best in the markets, this caramelized lemon rosemary tart will brighten up your day.

Crust: 

• 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
• 1⁄4 cup hazelnut meal
• 4 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
• 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 1 egg yolk (reserve the white for brushing)
• 4 tablespoons ice water

Filling: 

• 1 3⁄4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
• 3⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 10 egg yolks
• Grated zest of 2 lemons
• 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped finely or 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried
• Pinch sea salt
• 3⁄4 cup (1 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and sliced

1. To prepare crust: Combine flour, hazelnut meal and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter to flour mixture and process until it resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds.

2. In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and ice water and beat together. With the food processor running, add egg-water mixture to flour mixture slowly, through the feeding tube, just until the mixture holds together—no more than 30 seconds.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

4. Turn the disk out onto a large square of floured parchment paper. (It’s helpful to tape it to your work surface.) Using a rolling pin, roll out the crust to fit a 10-inch tart pan, about 1⁄8-inch-thick. Transfer crust to the tart pan by inverting the pan over the crust, then picking up the parchment paper and flipping it over. Carefully peel off the paper. Press the dough up the sides of the pan; fold the overhanging dough back onto itself to 1/4 inch above the edge of the pan.  

5. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Place crust in the freezer for 15 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line pastry crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place tart on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove parchment paper and weights. Brush with egg white and return to oven and continue baking for another 15 minutes.  

7. Cool completely on a wire rack.

8. To prepare filling: In a large bowl, whisk together 1 3⁄4 cups sugar, lemon juice and egg yolks. Transfer to the top of a double boiler or large stainless-steel bowl. Heat over simmering water 15 to 20 minutes, whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Once thickened, cook another 5 minutes.

9. Remove bowl from heat and stir in lemon zest, rosemary and salt. Whisk in butter, piece by piece, until melted.

10. Pour hot filling into cooled tart shell and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours.

11. When ready to serve, preheat broiler. Remove tart from pan and place it on a baking sheet. Place the outer ring of the tart pan upside down over the tart to cover the edges and prevent them from burning.

12. Sift remaining 2 tablespoons sugar evenly over the tart. Place it under the broiler, leaving the oven door open, and watch carefully. Remove the tart when the sugar is caramelized and golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately. (If the tart has softened in the broiler, refrigerate or freeze for a few minutes before serving.)  


Karen Keb is the editor of Heirloom Gardener magazine and runs her home-based baking business, The Local Loaf, from her farm in Osage County, Kansas. Find some of her other recipes at the website of our sister publication Mother Earth News’ Common Fare blog. 

Click here for the main article, Fresh Clips: Herbal Fruit Tart Recipes.


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