Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lemon Tarts ~ Shortbread Cookies and Lemon Curd Recipes

I had a  good friend give us a whole bunch of lemons.... I surely didn't know what I was going to do with...  so many lemons.  So... I started looking for new recipes to try that we could use all these lemons!  
We'll we decided to make these awesome little lemon tarts. 

Shortbread Cookie Dough Recipe 
2 1/2 cups flour 
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 sticks chilled butter
I used my kitchenaid professional mixer to mix together the flour, salt, and sugar.   Then I cut the butter into cubes and added to the mixture.  I mix until the butter is cut into the dough thoroughly and mixture is crumbly.   Take the dough and make two balls, then flatten and the wrap with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.  Until the dough is hard enough to roll out and cut without sticking.  Sometimes I do the the night before.   Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick and bake for about 25 minutes or until edges start to brown.  Let cool in the baking sheet / muffin pan for a minutes before transferring to the cooling racks.  Let cool completely before storing or serving.  Now if your going to make tarts...  I used my hibiscus cookie cutter, it is about 4 inches in diameter and lined them in the muffin pans.  They went into a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, don't forget to fork the dough like you would a pie crust before baking. 

Now for the filling, I used about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of lemon curd mixture in each of the baked flower shortbread cups.  Then baked for about 8 more minutes.  These lemon tarts were so delicious that they didn't last but a nano second and they were all asking for more!

Lemon Curd

3 large eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2-4 lemons)
4 Tablespoons unsaled butter, cubed and at room tempature
1 Tablespoon of lemon zest

Note: Room tempature lemons provide more juice, after squeezing, strain the juice to remove pulp and seeds.  Zest is the yellow sweet outer rind of the lemon.  Use a fine grater or zester to remove the rind.  Cold lemons are much easier to grate.  Grate lemons just before using as the zest will loose it's moisture if it sits too long.   

In a stainless steel bowl place over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended.  Cook stirring constantly to prevent it from curdling.  Stirring until the mixture becomes thick at about 160 degree F, this will take approximately 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and immediately pour through a strainer to remove lumps.  Take your cubed butter and whisk into the mixture until the butter is melted.  Add the lemon zest and let cool.  The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate.  Lemon curd can be refrigerated for 2 weeks.

Oh my Gosh... Joy of Baking has a couple recipes I want to try!  

Pecan Shortbread Cookies 
Oh my my.... I found this wonderful blog from Karen @ MyPantryShelf were you can actually make Lemon Curd and preserve it for later use.  She gives you a recipe for Lemon Curd, which makes about 4 cups and then gives you the process of canning the Lemon Curd in a hot water bath to preserve it for later use...
Just like Grandma use to do!  I plan to browse her blog often.... she has a bounty of so good things!  


 Here is a  Meyers Lemon Curd Recipe and it also tells you how to preserve/ can for future use thru the year to come.  This is a Traditional English Dessert Spread served at afternoon tea, it was spread on top of bread or scones.  Homemade Lemon Curd is also delicious spread on crepes, french toast, pancakes, waffles and other breakfast pastries.   


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