When my friend Lauren Carmen San Diego came to visit this spring, she brought the sunshine with her. It was glorious. Summer had given us a sneak preview, and we were determined to make the most of it. We went to the beach and attempted to frolic in the waves, until we realized the water was too cold and we were better off sunbathing. We wore sundresses and flip flops, and in my case, yellow plastic sunglasses. We walked around in the sunshine with ice cream cones in our hands. We went out for Mexican food and ate at a picnic table outside as the sun began to set.
And we ate these lemon-raspberry tarts, which tastes like an edible bowl of crisp buttery goodness filled with summery sunshine. Looking back on it, the lemon cream might be too soft and runny to put into a tart shell, but it is so, so yummy. I had a large bowl of unused lemon cream in a bowl in my fridge, and every 10 minutes or so, I would scoop a huge spoonful of lemon cream straight from the fridge just to satiate my lemony lust. Seriously. It is really, really good.
In short: make these tarts. Or at least make the lemon cream. If you're too lazy to make tart shells, just layer the lemon cream and raspberries in a glass to make a parfait. Actually, that sounds really good. I think I'm going to go do that now.
Lemon Raspberry Tarts
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
9 tablespoons butter (very cold and cut into small pieces)
1 large egg yolk
Combine flour and powdered sugar in a bowl, stirring to combine. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients (you can do this with your hands) until the mixture resembles wet sand (the pieces of butter should be no larger than a pea). Stir the yolk to break it up, and add a little of the time, stirring it in with a spatula until the dough forms clumps and curds. Knead the dough lightly just to incorporate any dry ingredients.
Divide the dough into six portions. Press each portion of dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of 4-inch tart pans. You might want to save a little bit of dough to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes before before baking.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Butter the shiny side of some aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against each crust, butter side down. Put the tart pans on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully removie the foil. If the crusts have puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 5 minutes until it is firm and golden brown. Cool the crust to room temperature before filling.
Adapted from Tartelette
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
zest of one lemon
3 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and egg yolks until pale. Slowly add the milk and whisk well. Bring the mixture to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer til thick. Remove from heat and slowly add lemon juice. Return to medium-low heat and let cool.
2 pints raspberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
Gently toss the berries in lemon juice and sugar until evenly coated. Let macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
To Assemble Tarts
Coat the inside of each tart shell with some melted white chocolate. Let the chocolate harden. Divide the lemon cream among the tart shells. Place plastic wrap over the top to prevent skin from forming and refrigerate for at least one hour.
When ready to serve, top with the raspberries.