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These are one of my very favorite desserts. The lemon cream is sweet and sour and silky and beautiful. The crust compliments with its mellow flavor and texture.
For the sweet pastry:
Place a sieve over a medium bowl. Sift the flour and 6 ½ tablespoons powdered sugar, almond flour (or meal), and salt into the bowl, then whisk to combine.
Place the butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium speed until it becomes the consistency of mayonnaise. Sift in the remaining powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix on low to combine and then increase to medium and mix about 1 minute, until the mixture gets a little fluffy (scrape down sides if necessary).
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mix in 2 additions, mixing about 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bottom of the bowl, mixing in any dry ingredients. Add the egg and mix on low just until combined. Use a scraper to mix and make sure everything is incorporated. Divide dough into two round logs or bricks, double wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours. Dough can be frozen up to 1 month.
When ready to use, remove one package of the dough and cut into 6 equal portions. Lightly dust your work surface (I love this mat) and roll each piece, one at a time, into a circle-ish about 5 ½ to 6 inches in diameter that will overlap the tart pans. If you like a thick crust, roll the dough 5 to 5 ½ inches in diameter.
Place in your tart pans, gently pressing in and up the sides. Run your rolling pin across the tart pan to cut the overhanging crust off. If you’d like a taller crust, use a sharp knife to cut the crust 1-2 millimeters above the tart pan. I put all the crust remains on the cookie sheet I bake the tarts on. My kids gobble them up. Gently shape the tops. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes (or freezer for 10) and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Remove tarts from the fridge and poke light holes in each tart shell with a fork. I don’t blind bake these shells as they don’t shrink or puff up very much, but you are welcome to! Place 6 tarts (and the crust remains) on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush egg wash on each tart shell gently with a pastry brush. This step will seal your crust, keeping it dry when you fill them. Return to the oven and bake about 10 more minutes, but keep a close eye on them–you’re looking for a nice golden brown. It will depend on how thin you rolled your pastry and ovens vary. Let them cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tart pans.
For the lemon cream:
Heat 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan to simmering, not boiling. Combine lemon juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt in a stainless-steel bowl (I use my kitchen-aid mixing bowl). Whisk to combine and place bowl on pan of simmering water-making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk the mixture constantly to avoid the sugar and egg reacting. When it becomes very thick and registers 180 degrees (this will take about 10 minutes), remove from the heat and let cool to 140 degrees, stirring from time to time.
Cut the butter into 1 tablespoon pieces. For this next step you can put the lemon cream in your blender or keep it in your mixing bowl and use an immersion blender. Add 1 piece of butter at a time and mix after each addition until incorporated. It will become pale and thick-and delicious. Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days. You can use straight from the fridge or gently heat and soften in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water.
To assemble the tarts:
Distribute the lemon cream between each sweet pastry shell and smooth the tops. I have found it easiest to put the lemon cream in a pitcher and pour into the pastry shells. Let sit for an hour or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Melt the white chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl in two 30-second increments, stirring after each interval. Remove tarts from the fridge and drizzle the white chocolate over the tarts using a fork or a plastic pastry bag with just a very tiny corner snipped off. Place in airtight containers and refrigerate until ready to eat or deliver. These keep well for a couple 5 days. Enjoy your beautiful creations!
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