Oh So Tart Lemon Tart
- 1 cup unsalted butter, soft
- 1 cup Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup desiccated coconut (preferred)
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut finely chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour*
- Lemon Custard
- Fine zest of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, very soft
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Set aside an 8 or 9-inch tart ring or tart pan aside. If using a tart ring which has no bottom, place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Cream butter until smooth, add powdered sugar and cream further. Add egg yolk, vanilla and salt, mix until well combined but not light and fluffy.
- (If using desiccated coconut omit this step and go to step 4.) Combine flour and coconut in a food processor and mix until coconut is chopped very fine. (Without a food processor chop the coconut fine using a knife.)
- Add coconut and flour in one step to the creamed mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Press dough flat on a plastic food film lined cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator until firm enough to roll. About 1 hour or leave overnight.
- Place tart ring rings on a parchment lined cookie sheet and set aside.
- This dough tends to become soft very quickly during rolling. Tip: place 2 cookie sheets filled with ice cubes on the area where you will be rolling dough. This will keep dough longer cool and make it easier to work. Using the least amount of flour during rolling will give the most delectable result.
- Turn on oven at 375°F. Sprinkle the work surface with a small amount of flour. Take 2/3 of dough and keep remaining amount in the refrigerator. Roll dough in a circle 3-4 stacked credit cards thick. Cut dough into a round about 2 fingers wider than the tart pan or tart ring being used.
- Line dough into tart ring or pan. Press dough into edges and cut away excess on top. Press edges of dough upward using your thumb to extend the height of dough above tart pan about 1/8 inch. If dough gets sticky during any part of this process place dough and or partially made shells in freezer for several minutes.
- Place in oven, after 5 minutes prick bottom of crust with a fork. Monitor baking process to ensure no bubbles form on bottom of crust. If it does, prick with a fork. If a part of dough would slide down the side of the tart ring/pan press it back before dough has baked.
- Bake until light golden and dough is pulling away from sides of tart ring, about 18 minutes total. Let cool. Roll remaining dough same thickness for delectable cut-out cookies.
- In a non reactive saucepan bring lemon zest, lemon juice and half of sugar to a boil.
- In a separate bowl whisk eggs for 1 minute and quickly whisk in remaining sugar. Pour half of boiling lemon syrup into eggs and beat well.
- Pour the egg mixture into the remaining lemon syrup and whisk back to a full boil. Boil for 45 seconds while constantly whisking and mixture has the consistency of thick bubbling honey. Remove from heat, cover with plastic food wrap and set aside for 7 minutes.
- Add SOFT butter in small nuggets and stir with a spatula. If the butter was too cold and refuses to dissolve in the curd, place for a few seconds in the microwave.
- Pour lemon custard into baked tart shells and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour before making meringue.
- Prepare a pastry bag or firm plastic food bag with a large plain piping tip and set aside.
- For meringue using a hand held whip combine egg whites, and sugar in a bowl and whip over low simmering water to 145°F. Remove from heat and continue whipping using a machine until meringue is thick, fluffy and is lukewarm or slightly cooler.
- Fill meringue into bag and pipe a generous thick dollop on the tarts.
- Using a blowtorch brown the meringue, alternatively place tarts briefly under preheated broiler or in a 475°F oven
- Place in the refrigerator. This delectable tart can easily be kept for 2-3 days.
*Desiccated coconut is found in well stocked grocery stores mainly in the bulk section. This unsweetened type of coconut is what professional bakers have used for decades.