This is some finely chopped sage. It is for the crust of a lemon tart that I made for dessert. It is no secret that I don’t really like citrus flavors in the food I cook. I’m not a big fan of zest in anything and I don’t like to punch up any flavor with citrus juice. When the troops were asking for something that had lemon in it, I had to think what recipes I had that at least had something in it that would interest me. I have been reading Martha Stewart’s ‘Pies and Tarts’ and I saw this recipe for a Marbled Lemon Tart with a Sage and Cornmeal Crust. This sounded different enough. This was what I would make to get the lemon lovers their fix. I was actually surprised. A crisp crust that contained sage and cornmeal, along with lemon curd that had its bite taken down a few notches by the addition of creme fraiche. It was pretty good. So let’s make a lemon tart that even non-lemon heads can handle.
For the Sage-Cornmeal Crust:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 3/4 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 large egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons ice water
Pulse flour, cornmeal, sugar, sage, salt and lemon zest in a food processor until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg yolks and ice water in a small bowl. With machine running, add to flour mixture through feed tube; process until dough just holds together. Turn out dough onto a work surface. Divide in half, and shape each portion into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 30 minutes (or up to 2 days). On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk to a 10-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges flush with rim. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Reserve remaining dough for another use (it can be frozen up to 3 months). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dock the shell by pricking the bottom of tart shell with a fork. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
For the Filling:
- 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons creme fraiche
Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in lemon juice. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and whisk constantly until mixture has thickened and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Whisk in gelatin mixture.
Remove from heat and whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, until smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Prepare an ice-water bath. Place bowl of yolk mixture over bath and stir until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Spread curd into crust; smooth top. Dollop creme fraiche on top. Using a wooden skewer or the tip of a knife, swirl creme fraiche into curd to create a marbleized effect. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours (or up to overnight).
In my rush to get the dessert out to the lemon lovers, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product so I included a copy of Martha’s so you get the feel. While no one’s dessert can look as good as one shot by a professional photographer, mine was pretty close….let’s just say in a more ‘rustic’ way. Given that I usually give citrus the cold shoulder, even I thought this dessert was pretty tasty and refreshing. So when lemon is the name of the game, give them something different with a lemon tart with a marble swirl in a sage-cornmeal crust. It’s the perfect summer treat. What desserts do you make that contain lemons?