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The Shaker Lemon Tart Experiment

November 4, 2009

tart in sun

I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a “Shaker Lemon Tart” for a while now.  Prep involves preparing a custard and then pouring it over thinly sliced whole lemons (seeds removed) and then baking.  As much as I want to try it, I haven’t because I fear failure.  Well, not so much “failure” by definition,  but something more like “failure” to love it.

Well I jumped on the train today … almost.  I didn’t have much of anything in the house and yet I had my baking pants on.  This is the crazy and very tasty result.  (When I say crazy – I really mean it.)


½ cup flour

½ cup powdered sugar

¼ cup oatmeal

1 tsp lemon zest

1 stick cold butter

2 Tbs sour cream

Mix the first four ingredients in the mixer with paddle attachment. Add butter – 1 tablespoon at a time until pea size lumps form.   Throw in sour cream to bring it all together. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll & press into five 6 inch tart shells. Score bottoms. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. If it rises, just press it down with the back of a spoon.

Filling ~

In the blender:

2 cups sugar

1 ½  sliced lemons (with skins – without seeds)

lemon seeds

Hold the lemon slice up to the light to find seeds ~

Blend until mushy. You will have to stir it a few times to keep things moving.

Add two eggs and one tablespoon of honey.

Add 2 teaspoons of corn starch and a stick of melted butter.

Blend away until very smooth and then pour into shells (on a baking sheet). Leave about a quarter inch around top of shell because this will bubble and it will most likely bubble right over the sides if you pour it too full. ** Obviously, mine bubbled right over and though it was something of a mess – it was a caramelized delicious mess.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes and then cool on a rack for half an hour or so. If your filling bubbled over, you need to try to push it away from the sides of the tart pan a little or it will freeze there and cause your tart to tear when you try to remove it.

naked tart

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve at room temperature.  (pictured at top)

The texture is fantastic and the flavor is sunny and earthy.  It is a little bitter, I admit, but it’s a very nice diversion from a really sweet curd.  I would definitely make this again.  The crust was light and soft, but sturdy,  and very flavorful.  Maybe a brulee topping?  Hmmmmmmmm?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2009 8:43 pm

    I love anything lemon and this actually sounds doable! Love the pictures and the sense of humor.


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